Manhattan Rents Rise Again But Only With Doormen in the Building
(Bloomberg) -- Rents are climbing again in Manhattan -- but only in buildings with doormen.
The median price of those apartments, in fancier towers with more amenities, jumped 8.1% in August from a year earlier, to $4,160, according to a report today by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the biggest annual increase for doorman rents since 2012.
At the other end of the spectrum -- in buildings without doormen, and few, if any, other frills -- rents continued their pandemic-era plunge. The median price for those units fell 12% to $2,595.
The divide reflects a tale of two Manhattans: In one, well-heeled office workers remained employed during Covid-19 lockdowns and are securing new apartments near their companies ahead of in-person returns. The other is comprised of contract employees, service workers and freelancers whose incomes remain uneven amid New York’s struggle to return to normality.
“The more affluent are more active in the rental market,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in a phone interview. “They’re trading up, moving back to the city and they’re renting more-expensive apartments.”
Last month marked another frenzy of apartment-renting in the borough, with 8,201 newly signed leases -- the most for any August in data going back to 2008, the firms said. That demand helped whittle away the large pile of rental inventory, which plunged 29% to 8,364 listings at the end of the month.
The demand for rentals in the final months of the year will likely be less pronounced, with employers having pushed back the dates by which they expect workers to return as the delta variant keeps Covid-19 cases elevated in the city, Miller said.
“Companies are kicking the can down the road, so we may not see the same intensity,” Miller said. “Any kind of significant spike that was expected in the coming months is probably going to be more muted.”
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