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Residential

Manhattan landlords holding firm on rents

Manhattan landlords continue to be hesitant to lower their asking rents, despite recent tenant push-back, according to Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats.

Instead, owners have ramped up their use of concessions, a move Malin said has been “largely successfulˮ in stabilizing the city’s rental market.

Citi Habitats Manhattan rental market analysis for January found that rents are relatively unchanged from December and the borough’s vacancy rate fell.

Move-in incentives climbed to the highest rate seen in five years, according to the report.

Gary Malin
Gary Malin

Some 17 percent of rental transactions brokered by Citi Habitats offered a free month’s rent and/or payment of the broker fee to entice new tenants in January, up from 14 percent in December.

Year-over-year, their prevalence also increased. In January 2015, 10 percent of leases offered a move-in incentive. January 2016’s concession percentage is the highest since January 2011, when the percentage reached 21 percent.

According to the Citi Habitats report, the average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,475 in January 2016, $5 more than it did in December 2015, when the average was $3,470. Year-over-year, average rents are also up.

The average apartment rented for $3,430 during January 2015, $45 less than it did last month.
Average rents for studios dipped one percent in January and rose one percent for one-bedrooms. Average pricing for two- and three-bedroom homes only shifted by marginal amounts, according to the report.

Rents are still higher across the board than they were last year. When compared to January 2015, rents for one-bedroom homes increased the most, with a six percent rise.

For two-bedrooms, rental pricing increased three percent year-over-year, while average rents were up two for two-bedrooms and one per cent for studios, respectively.

In January, the borough-wide vacancy rate fell to 1.9 percent from December’s rate of 2.06 percent – largely as the result of landlord incentives to new tenants, according to Citi Habitats.

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