Help from Congress? No Thanks, Property Owners Create Their Own "Rental Market Fix"

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As Congress debates a credit market fix, Manhattan property owners have created their own 'rental market fix.' Making a concerted effort to lower vacancies and prices, inventories have fallen for the second consecutive month. This much needed correction is giving Manhattan a fresh breath of stability, which is good news for both renters and property owners alike.

The Real Estate Group

And while August's slump questioned a link between the sales and rental markets, it seems the rental market is finally seeing a benefit from sluggish sales.

The Real Estate Group's September monthly Manhattan Rental Market Report, released today, indicates that while the financial markets may be in turmoil, the Manhattan rental market is bucking seasonality trends and possibly starting to gain footing, aided by a sluggish sales market. While prices in doorman units fell slightly compared to last month, non-doorman apartments remained flat or moderately increased. Non-doorman one-bedrooms showed the largest gains at 1.76% compared to August.

"This year, the summer upswing that we would normally expect to see was absent, making September's gains appear as a rebound.," says Daniel Baum, COO of The Real Estate Group. "And while August's slump questioned a link between the sales and rental markets, it seems the rental market is finally seeing a benefit from sluggish sales."

"As Congress debates a credit market fix, Manhattan property owners have created their own 'rental market fix.' Making a concerted effort to lower vacancies and prices, inventories have fallen for the second consecutive month. This much needed correction is giving Manhattan a fresh breath of stability, which is good news for both renters and property owners alike."

Property owners were warned to proceed with caution, however, as the current trends could easily reverse. A comparison of current average citywide rents to prices this time last year shows that the cost of renting an apartment has decreased across all apartment sizes and service levels since September of '07. Declines were as much as 7.04%, for doorman studios, and 4.34% for non-doorman one-bedrooms. This marks the fourth straight month of price declines in each of these categories in year-over-year comparisons and illustrates that while the new statistics are a welcome correction, the market is not yet ready to be tested.

A comprehensive update on price changes in individual Manhattan neighborhoods can be found in the Quick Look section on pages 4-6 of the Manhattan Rental Market Report: http://www.tregny.com/manhattan_rental_market_report

The Real Estate Group's Manhattan Rental Market Report derives its data from over 10,000 available apartment listings in four major real estate databases. It is the only report that compares changes in the city's rental prices on a month-to-month basis. The report categorizes apartments by neighborhood, service level (doorman vs. non-doorman) and size, omitting ultra-luxury property to obtain a true monthly average.    

Access all archived issues of the Manhattan Rental Market Report at http://www.tregny.com/content/rental_market_reports/

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Cassandra Stoklosa
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