Report: Manhattan rental season “muted”

August 25, 2009 01:18PM

Data source: TDG/TREGNY

The residential rental market has continued its lackluster trend, according to the August Manhattan monthly market report from TDG/TREGNY. The report, released today, shows that while summer is typically a booming rental season, this year’s hottest months didn’t do much to help the market.

Both doorman and non-doorman rentals in Manhattan for studios and one- and two-bedroom units have dropped between 5 and 10 percent between August 2008 and August 2009. And, month-over-month, the average price for units in some neighborhoods has dropped significantly. For doorman studios in Soho, for example, the average rent dropped more than 11 percent since July.

The report indicates that the glut of available properties has put a crimp on landlords who may have expected to draw big bucks in Manhattan’s most active rental season.

“This month has been a bit of a power struggle between renters seeking value and property managers trying to capitalize on summer demand,” the report says. “The summer peak has been considerably muted this year.”

Even with this quieter summer season, TDG/TREGNY still suggests that renters wait until the peak is over to sign a lease.

“While increased demand in summer generally inflates prices in the rental market, fall often brings a respite from the peaks,” the report says. “If you’re looking for a great deal, it might be worth the wait.”

Even so, the earlier, dismal summer months could indicate that the market has bottomed out.

A recent Manhattan rental report from Prudential Douglas Elliman showed that rental transactions were down nearly 60 percent for the second quarter of 2009. TRD