The Real Deal New York

More inventory proves no obstacle to rising Manhattan rents

May 10, 2012 09:30AM

Manhattan rents ticked up in April even as more inventory came online, according to a rental market report released today by MNS based on data from more than 10,000 listings. There were 6 percent more rental listings last month than there were in March, as renters eschewed renewing their lease in search of better deals elsewhere, MNS determined. Renters with expiring two-year leases last month saw rents increase 14 percent for studios, 12 percent for one-bedrooms and 15 percent for two-bedrooms from the time they first negotiated their deals in April 2010. 

But that supply spike didn’t engender relief for renters. On a monthly basis, the average Manhattan rent increased 0.4 percent to $4,250. (A report yesterday by Citi Habitats found April rents to have grown by 0.3 percent to $3,429.) The modest increases are typical of April, MNS said, which is one month before rents begin their annual summer climb. Last April, for example, the average rent actually decreased 0.6 percent compared to March 2011, before rising 2 percent in May.

The borough’s largest units were responsible for most of its rent growth. Two-bedroom units in doorman buildings charged $5,831 per month, 7.4 percent more than they did in April 2011, while two-bedroom apartments in buildings without doormen experienced an 11.6 percent annual increase in rent, climbing to $4,231 a month. Yearly rent growth in studios and one-bedroom apartments hovered between 4.2 percent and 6.9 percent, with non-doorman buildings generally experiencing more significant rent gains than doorman buildings.

Renters looking to ditch roommates and find bargains were best off looking to the far north and south of Manhattan last month. Average rents for doorman studios in Battery Park City dropped 3.2 percent since March to $2,728, and one-bedroom apartments in non-doorman Harlem buildings declined 3.8 percent month-over-month to $1,752. Midtown West non-doorman studio rents also fell 4.9 percent in that time frame to $1,932 monthly.
Meanwhile, rents appreciated most in the last month along the east side of the island. The largest growth occured in studios in non-doorman buildings in the East Village (up 6.8 percent to $2,084) and one-bedroom units in non-doorman buildings on the Upper East Side (up 3.1 percent to $2,500) and Midtown East (up 2.9 percent to $2,589).

The overall priciest neighborhood remained Tribeca for non-doorman buildings and Soho for buildings with doormen. As usual, Harlem was the cheapest neighborhood among all building types. — Adam Fusfeld