NYC Renters Market In Retreat: Rents Up, Vacancies Down On Manhattan Rental Apartments

Like a heroine in a Russian novel, the Manhattan real estate market is never more lovely than when it's ailing. For NYC dwellers looking for Manhattan rental apartments, at least, a weak NYC rental market is a friendly NYC rental market, with all the rental concessions, no fee apartment listings and deals on Manhattan luxury rentals that entails. But while the economies of New York City and New York state are still struggling along, the NYC real estate scene has surged back to robust health in recent months. For landlords, this is great news. For people searching Manhattan rental listings, it's somewhat less so. The July New York City rental report by The Real Estate Group New York bears why that is -- the almost total disappearance of rental concessions, the scarcity of no-fee rental listings, and a modest but notable across-the-board hike in rents on Manhattan rental apartments. Read on, if you dare.

"Inventory declin[ed] and rents climb[ed] in both month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons, according to the Real Estate Group NY's July report, which measures rental activity from June 15 to July 15," The Real Deal reports. "The largest year-over-year rent hikes were seen amongst non-doorman studios, which averaged $2,077 per month, up 6.06 percent from July 2009. Meanwhile, prices for studios with doormen, averaging $2,367 per month, rose by just 1.29 percent -- the smallest increase of the apartment types." The whole report can be viewed here, but the gist is clear: occupancy is up, rents are up (albeit not dramatically) and deals are harder to find. The good news is that they're still out there: no fee rentals are comparatively easy to find among Financial District rental apartments, and rents fell dramatically for both Lower East Side rental apartments and rental apartments in Harlem over the period the TREGNY report covers.

So, no, it's not all bad news for those looking for Manhattan rental apartments. But the trendlines suggest that there may not be much in the way of good news -- for renters, that is -- on the horizon. In the abstract of the report, TREGNY recommends that those searching for Manhattan rental apartments strike now, while deals can still be found. "There are few indications that landlords will introduce more favorable pricing come September," TREGNY writes. "Renters will have to diligent in their search to find a value." We'd have to concur with that. Luckily, if you're searching for Manhattan rental apartments, you're in the right place.