Despite a dip in Manhattan rents this month, more people are being tempted to buy, according to at least one city brokerage.
Citi Habitats released its monthly rental market report for January 2013 today.
The results show that the average price of a Manhattan apartment decreased across all apartment sizes (from studios to three bedrooms), while the island’s overall vacancy rate remained stable, both measures as compared to December 2012.
The average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,211 during January 2013, $23 less than it did in December 2012, when the average was $3,234.
This is the fifth consecutive month-over-month comparison in which we have seen an overall rent decline.
Before this five month period, the last time Manhattan rents declined month-over-month was in December 2011.
While the recent rent declines may seem like a positive for tenants, rents have plateaued at a relatively high level, say the experts.
In contrast to the across-the-board rent declines, the overall Manhattan vacancy rate remained stable month-over-month. Borough-wide, the vacancy rate for January was 1.37%, unchanged from December’s rate. However, apartment seekers have more available inventory to choose from, in comparison to 12 months ago. The vacancy rate is up 5% when compared to last January’s vacancy rate of 1.30%.
“Conditions in January remained relatively stable compared to the previous month,” commented Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats.
“The vacancy rate remained unchanged, while apartment rents declined, albeit slightly, across the board. While some of these recent declines can be attributed to the historically slow winter season, many renters are seeing value in the sales market, and are taking the leap to homeownership if it’s feasible for them. In addition, many renters are taking a pioneering approach and choosing homes in the outer boroughs, where monthly rents can be 25% to 30% lower than for equivalent Manhattan apartments.”
The report also found that in January 2013, the average monthly rental price for a Manhattan studio was $1,989, 1% higher than January 2012. For one bedroom homes, the average was $2,673, down 3% from last year. For two bedrooms, the average rent was $3,832, up 2% from January 2012. Finally, three bedroom apartments rented for $4,914, a 2% decrease from 12 months prior.
During January 2013, rents for studio and two bedroom apartments decreased 1% from the previous month. Rents decreased 2% for one bedroom homes, while pricing for three bedroom units decreased by 4% when compared to December 2012.
The Manhattan vacancy rate during January 2013 was 1.37%, unchanged from December 2012’s rate. During January of last year, the Manhattan vacancy rate was 1.30% (5% lower).
SoHo/TriBeCa was the most difficult area to secure rental housing during October 2012, with a vacancy rate of 0.76%.
The East Village, which had a rate of 1.69%.