Apartment rents see annual price drop

By Candace Taylor | September 09, 2009 01:08PM

Citi Habitats today released its rental market report for August, revealing year-over-year rent declines in all categories but little change from July.

The average rent for a Manhattan studio apartment in August was $1,756, down 9 percent from $1,919 in August of 2008, said the report (see below), which is based on transactions from Citi Habitats, the city’s largest rental brokerage. The average rent for a one-bedroom was $2,442, down 8 percent from $2,668 in August of last year. Two-bedrooms fell 9 percent to $3,372 from $3,721 last August, and three-bedrooms dropped 8 percent to $4,583 from $4,995.

The report found that rents were virtually unchanged from the previous month. Average rents for studios and three-bedrooms both fell 1 percent from July, the report said, while one-bedrooms increased 1 percent, and rents for two-bedrooms were roughly the same as the previous month.

The report found that the priciest apartments were in Soho/Tribeca, where the average studio rented for $2,086, while three-bedrooms went for $7,400. The lowest prices were in Washington Heights, where rents ranged from $1,100 for a studio to $2,075 for a three-bedroom.

The vacancy rate in Manhattan was 1.62 percent, up slightly from 1.39 percent in August of last year, the report found.

Citi Habitats also said it did more rental transactions in August of 2009 than the same month of last year, but did not release specific figures.

By contrast, a Manhattan rental report released in July by Prudential Douglas Elliman — tracking data from firms throughout the city — found a 58.3 percent drop in rental transactions year-over-year in the second quarter, while the average rental price per square foot dropped 17.5 percent.

Got a tip? E-mail Candace Taylor at ct@therealdeal.com. CitiHabitats Rental Market Analysis – August 2009