Manhattan Apartments Get More Costly, Even in Dead of Winter


(Bloomberg) -- The year is off to a good start for Manhattan apartment landlords, who have been able to increase rents, offer fewer incentives and retain tenants.

  • In February, the median rent with the value of concessions factored in climbed 4.1 percent from a year earlier to $3,297, appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report Thursday. Rents also rose in January.
Manhattan Apartments Get More Costly, Even in Dead of Winter
  • Landlords also offered fewer deal sweeteners for a second straight month, following 43 months of increases. The share of new leases with incentives, which averaged 1.2 months of free rent, dropped to 42 percent from 48 percent a year earlier.
  • New signings fell for a fourth time as landlords succeeded at getting renters to renew rather than move. February’s new leases totaled 3,443, down 11 percent.
  • The vacancy rate tightened to 1.81 percent from 2.29 percent.
  • Landlords are able to charge more and grant fewer incentives at least partly thanks to the turbulent sales market, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. Would-be buyers are camping out in their apartments, creating more competition among new renters in search of a deal.
  • In its own report Thursday, brokerage Citi Habitats said the Soho and Tribeca area had the borough’s priciest rents last month, with a median of $5,695. Washington Heights was the least-expensive neighborhood at $2,250. Below 96th Street, the cheapest rents were on the Upper East Side, where the median was $3,400.

Other Boroughs

  • In northwest Queens, a jump in new studio-apartment leases dragged down rents for the first time in four months. The median, including concessions, fell 1.1 percent to $2,685, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said.
  • Brooklyn rents climbed for a third month, to a median of $2,784. Just 45 percent of new leases came with incentives, down from 48 percent a year earlier.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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