Manhattan Rental Report Shows Big Drop in Inventory in November

As the year draws to a close, the latest rental report from MNS for the month of November reveals that rents in Manhattan have fallen again, hence following the trend seen in the borough’s rental market since fall began. However, the decrease seen in November is a very small one, with the average decrease across units reported as only $19. However, professionals following the real estate market closely over the past few years will probably not be too surprised by these values, because decreases in rents are traditionally seen during the same time as temperatures fall in New York City. Besides, the rents here had been on an upward spiral up till September, and had also plateaued at really high values. But November’s report is noteworthy because of the drop in the city's inventory, thanks to a market that was already short of apartments and Superstorm Sandy shuttering many of the new buildings as well.

The inventory graph in the MNS report is certain to send jitters through the city’s apartment hunters looking to rent homes in Manhattan—the number of vacant apartments in the city has dropped by eight per cent, when compared with October’s inventory levels. The report highlighted the Tribeca neighborhood for its stunning 20 per cent drop in inventory, a number that is particularly significant since the area is notoriously known for being lacking in apartments that are available for rent. This big drop in inventory has been attributed in part to the adverse effects of Superstorm Sandy, which had damaged many buildings in the area.

As for the rents in the different neighborhoods of Manhattan, many of them continue to be at startlingly high values. A non-doorman studio apartment had a mean rent of $2,301, while a doorman two-bedroom apartment asked for an average of $6,054. The most expensive rental apartments were mostly found in Tribeca, whereas the rental apartments on the other end of the scale were all found in Harlem. Here’s an example to make the difference in rents in the two neighborhoods clearer: the average rent for a Harlem non-doorman two-bedroom rental was $2,389, while a similar apartment in Tribeca asked for a monthly rent of $7,749.

But although Harlem enjoys the position of being the least expensive among all of Manhattan’s neighborhoods, the historic neighborhood also saw an increase in the asking rents across all unit types, with the average increase reported to be $56. But its still-low rents should be able to attract many of Manhattan’s apartment hunters. The MNS report also suggested that New Yorkers looking for new homes should consider the Chelsea neighborhood, as prices for one- and two-bedroom apartments dropped in the last month. With all the buzz happening around this neighborhood, this is one suggestion that New Yorkers should definitely take to heart when looking for a home in the city.