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Manhattan Residential Rents: "Outer Boroughs, Here We Come!"

Manhattan residential rents: “Outer boroughs, here we come!”

Following a report from Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies yesterday that showed that more than a quarter of renters are spending more than 50% of their income on housing, three residential brokerages released data on Manhattan rents suggesting that vacancies are increasing, with prices forcing renters to consider other neighborhoods. There are also signs that concessions are growing.

From Douglas Elliman:

  • Median Manhattan rental prices in November 2015 were $3,361, up 3.9% YoY.
  • Median Manhattan rental prices with concessions were $3,318—not much less (though the stock of apartments offering incentives is likely different from the stock as a whole.) However, the share of new rentals that had concessions or whose fees were owner-paid was 13.5%, up from just 4.8% a year ago—and the highest share in 5 years.
  • The Manhattan vacancy rate in November 2015 was 2.87%, up from 2.31% a year prior.
  • Median Manhattan rental prices increased the most for 3-bedroom units, where the YoY increase was 7.3%.
  • Signs of softness? Doorman rents didn’t rise as much as non-doorman rents, and the median price in the “luxury” market (the top 10%) slipped.



Another report from Citi Habitats (not yet released on their website, but noted here) indicated that Manhattan's vacancy rate has continued to climb, and represents the highest level in six years. Manhattan rents averaging $3,464 last month, versus Douglas Elliman’s $4,071.

A report from MNS Realty also confirmed some of the above findings, with average Manhattan rents of $3,945 in November 2015, up 4.83% YoY. Once again, those areas with less expensive inventory performed the strongest: Average rents in Harlem increased by 10.9%, from $2,423 in November 2014 to $2,688 in November 2015. Listing inventory increased by to 8,866 rental units in November 2015 from 7576, a dramatic 17% jump.


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Heidi Learner

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