Manhattan Residential Rents Continue to Rise; Renters Resist

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A.C. Lawrence & Company’s Real Life Rental Report Releases Data, Trends & Client Searches

As the summer swelter escalates, so do the asking rents in New York City. But now, renters being pushed beyond the limits of their salaries are pushing back, according to the June 2012 A.C. Lawrence Real Life Rental Report released today.

Following an extremely busy and productive April and May, A.C. Lawrence’s residential rental division continues to see many apartments being scooped up rapidly … but there is some sign of “Tenant Resistance” to the increases landlords have put into place due to their “shrinking inventory,” resulting in some units sitting on the market longer than expected, according to A.C. Lawrence Chairman Marc Lewis.

“The understandable temptation by landlords to attempt securing an ‘all time’ high rent, to make up for all the concessions, rent decreases and increased expenses from 2007-2011, has finally seen some push back by tenants in certain instances,” Lewis stated. “Owners are realizing they may have to slow down the increasing of rents or in some case even reduce them, in order to become more competitive with other vacancies.”

This push back is less noticeable in areas with little available inventory such as the Village and other “hot downtown” neighborhoods, but it does take longer to rent an apartment even in these hot areas.

Last month, rents increased overall by 2.9% from April to May, while this month for June over May, the report summarized that rent increases slowed to an increase of only 1.9%, or 38% less of an increase than the previous month. This reflects people resisting the increases as the asking rents have soared to a level that they cannot afford.

“Manhattan landlords will keep rents steady or reduce slightly as they track tenants’ reaction to the increases of this season. Some tenants might decide to go outside of Manhattan or wait longer to move, or seek roommates. While others might consider other size units, different types of buildings or shift neighborhoods within Manhattan,” Marc added. “A renter seeking a doorman studio for $2,000, may be finding it’s now asking $2,500, so will instead rent a studio in an elevator building for $1,900. For some, if they don’t find a home in their ‘first pick’ area, they might consider other areas.”

To view the entire June 2012 A.C. Lawrence Real Life Rental Report, with average apartment rents by size, type and broken into Manhattan neighborhoods, as well as anecdotal descriptions of the rental journeys of several A.C. Lawrence clients:

About A.C. Lawrence & Company
A.C. Lawrence & Company is a New York City-based real estate brokerage specializing in residential rentals and sales, corporate relocation, and commercial tenant and landlord representation and investment sales advisory. For additional information:

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Charlotte Kullen

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