Elliman Report Manhattan Rentals - 1

The salient trends from the latest batch of monthly rental market reports may sound doomsday-esque at first glance, with rents rising across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. But let’s look at a little closer at October’s figures. For Manhattan, the mammoth Elliman Report (warning: PDF!) shows that while median rents did jump 3 percent to $3,246 since the same time last year, they slipped 0.5 percent from September 2014. So that’s something. Then again, this year-over-year hike has been constant for eight consecutive months now, which isn’t so fabulous. “Prices were generally higher than a year ago across all three boroughs because credit remains tight, keeping renters from transitioning into the sales market,” says Jonathan Miller, the appraisal guru whose firm Miller Samuel does Elliman’s analyses. In Manhattan, “there isn’t a rush of tenants opting not to renew and try their luck elsewhere, like we saw in Brooklyn and Queens. … Tenants are resigned to paying the offered rent because they understand the lack of alternatives.” Ugh.

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Also: “New York City employment has been rising, and the rental market responds more immediately to changes in employment than the sales market does.” That means more demand, folks. Let’s move on to Brooklyn, shall we?

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In the hippest of all boroughs, rental prices increased again, 5.9 percent to $2,858, after two months of declines. (Those two months of declines, by the way, followed 14 consecutive months of increases, so we’re back on the up-and-up, and not in a good way.) And that ever-important spread between Brooklyn and Manhattan rents continues to shrink: median Brooklyn rents were $388 less than Manhattan compared to $451 less last year.

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Next, we turn to Queens, where—and this is not a surprise, because it was in the headline—the median rental price increased 3.5 percent, to $2,743 per month.

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New development is booming in the borough: approximately 1 in 4 rentals were located in a new development project.

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↓ The detailed monthly analysis issued by brokerage MNS includes a close read of Manhattan’s rental trends, neighborhood by neighborhood.

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Overall, MNS found that Manhattan rents increased a tiny bit: by approximately 0.21 percent, from $3,755 in September 2014 to $3,763 in October 2014. Year over year, though, they did drop, by a more significant 3.6 percent. So is 2014 > 2013 because 2013 rents < 2014 rents, at least for the month of October?

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↓ Onto Brooklyn, where rents slid a teensy amount both month-over-month and year-over-year. The numbahs: rent prices in Brooklyn decreased by approximately 0.33 percent from $2,703 in September 2014 to $2,694 in October 2014, and by 0.2 percent (from $2,698) compared with October 2013.

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Last but not least, Queens.

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In this borough, folks, rents are not decreasing. Average rents throughout Queens increased 2.43 percent, from $2,047 in September 2014 to $2,097 in October 2014.

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A Citi Habitats study issued today also breaks Manhattan down by neighborhood, finding that, borough-wide, average rents slipped overall, with those for studios and one-bedrooms decreased by 2 percent. One reason is that the vacancy rate continued to rise for the fourth straight month, climbing 0.2 percent between September and October.

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“The average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,423 during October 2014, $25 less than it did in September 2014, when the average was $3,448. Looking year-over-year, average rents are also down. The average apartment rented for $3,438 during October 2013, $15 more than it did last month.”

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