Dis Incentives: Are New York City Renters Getting Fewer Freebies From Landords?

During the still-ongoing renters market in NYC real estate, NYC dwellers have gotten used to all kinds of incentives, freebies and assorted other real estate concessions on even the most desirable Manhattan rental apartments. While there's some debate over how long the renter's market for Manhattan rentals will last -- we covered some of this yesterday -- it's generally presumed to have at least a bit more gas left in the tank. At The Real Deal, though, Candace Taylor looks at the (anecdotal, but easy to believe) recent decline in free months' rent and other renter's market treats and sees another sign that the renter's market may be drawing to a close, with rent increases perhaps the next down the pike.

"In recent weeks, brokers have reported that landlords are doing away with concessions, and even increasing rents," Taylor writes. More surprisingly, Taylor cites several reports that indicate the strategy to be working... or at least not not-working. Again, the degree to which this is actually happening is unclear as of yet, but Taylor cites a couple of reasons that make some sense. One is that the number of vacant NYC rental apartments has decreased some, from 1.84 percent to 1.59 percent. While rents remain comparatively flat, the decline in rental inventory has NYC dwellers competing with one another for elite Manhattan rentals. "Clients have recently been competing with other [applicants] on the same apartments, and bidding wars are not unheard of," Citi Habitats president Gary Malin said. "This is especially unusual in the winter months, so it has brokers talking."

A word of warning to those about to freak out: this is barely even a trend yet, and there are still plenty of excellent no-fee rental apartments in Manhattan (and on Luxury Rentals Manhattan), and there will always be plenty of appealing rental apartment listings in Manhattan. But sooner or later the party had to end. We'll be keeping an eye on this, obviously.