Asking the Experts: What the 2012 Manhattan Rental Market Will Look Like

In honor of the new year the Real Deal solicited a group of real estate experts and industry insiders to get their opinions on where the Manhattan rental real estate market is headed in 2012. The experts agreed almost unanimously that conditions will be similar to how they were in 2011. Apartments for rent, they said, will still be in the grip of a strong market, and ultraluxury rental apartments will do particularly well. There was general consensus that average rent will either stay the same, or increase slightly over the year. Many experts said that high and stable rents will force condo and co-op prices upward, and most agreed that the rental market would overall be steadier than the purchase market.

Apartments for rent in New York went for slightly higher rates than apartments for sale in 2011, and that trend will likely continue. High rent is a product of low apartment vacancy, and that is unlikely to change in the new year, said one expert. The same expert predicted that rent will increase during the second quarter, and will skyrocket after the unemployment numbers go down. Another industry insider said that there will be an influx of people renting small apartments, due to a scarce inventory of inexpensive rentals. Most experts agreed that the market would continue to be tight.

We’ve written about the rental market before, and how market scarcity has kept rental prices high. But we’re pleased to report that the market is still strong, which will only increase market security, and lead to better economic conditions. For renters looking for places to stay, we suggest new neighborhoods, such as Harlem, Midtown West, and the Lower East Side. If you have an apartment for rent, or are interesting in subletting, it might be a good idea to wait for a few months. If the experts are right, prices are bound to go up.