"Just Bring Me Bodies," Landlords Will Do Anything for a Lease

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Manhattan landlords are feeling the pressure as vacancies are up and prices are down, according to the latest edition of the Manhattan Rental Market Report.

The Real Estate Group

Many property owners, especially those with doorman buildings, are not releasing their full vacancy list and there are more high-end units on the market than in the recent past, which is keeping average rents at a higher point than they would be otherwise.

The Real Estate Group's November monthly Manhattan Rental Market Report, released today, confirms the anxiety that landlords are already feeling. In both month-to-month and year-over-year comparisons, rents are down across the board and data sets show that vacancies are up for the second straight month, 7.5% since October, and 17% since September of this year.

"Landlords are feeling a lot of pressure this month," says Daniel Baum, COO of The Real Estate Group. "I have heard everything from 'anything for a lease' to 'just bring me bodies.' Concessions have become standard and price drops are happening across the board."

Still, the data may not paint the full picture of where the market stands right now. "Many property owners, especially those with doorman buildings, are not releasing their full vacancy list and there are more high-end units on the market than in the recent past, which is keeping average rents at a higher point than they would be otherwise."

A closer look at the report shows that many neighborhoods and units have dropped to their lowest price points since the Real Estate Group began reporting data. East Village non-doorman studios and Greenwich Village doorman studios are among the categories to find their new lows, $1,922 and $2,484 respectively.

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.

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