Summer rental activity down, report says

July 21, 2009 01:32PM

alternate textSource: TREGNY

The Manhattan rental market’s usual summer frenzy is absent this year, according to the July rental market report from the Real Estate Group New York.

Rents have stayed flat or dropped this month compared to June and are below 2008 levels. Vacancies have also increased between the two months. The steepest year-over-year drops came in doorman one-bedroom units, which saw rents fall an average of 10.34 percent, to $3,276 from $3,654, and non-doorman two-bedrooms, where rents dropped an average of 9.12 percent, to $3,590 from $3,950. The greatest neighborhood-specific decline was seen in non-doorman studios in Midtown, where rents have fallen 15.34 percent year-over-year.

In the TREGNY report, COO Daniel Baum noted that the absence of the usual seasonal increase in the July numbers could mean that there will just be more demand later in the year, as new college graduates who would ordinarily have started jobs in May or June see their start dates pushed back, for example. But Baum also noted, less optimistically, that “the lack of demand could be just that,” and could “have a profoundly negative impact on the rental market heading into the colder months.”

But certain types of apartments in several neighborhoods saw price increases in July, according to the report. Rents for Financial District non-doorman two-bedrooms rose 9.93 percent between June and July, and rents for East Village doorman two-bedrooms rose 11.46 percent. The market for doorman units overall seems to be stabilizing, the report says, with prices dropping only 0.26 percent from June.

Another recent report showed similarly negative rental market statistics. The second-quarter rental market report from Prudential Douglas Elliman, the brokerage’s first, recorded a 58.3 percent decline in rental transactions year-over-year. Inventory is up, while rents declined an average of 17.5 percent per square foot. TRD