After brief fall, Manhattan rents see small spike: report

Don't expect any dramatic declines anytime soon

TRD New York /
May.May 12, 2016 07:00 AM

Manhattan rents have pulled a Chumbawamba: After a brief fall, they’re right back up again.

In March, the median residential rental price dropped for the first time in two years. The decrease, however, didn’t herald a trend. April’s median rent saw a year-over-year increase of 1.4 percent, rising to $3,415, according to a new report by Douglas Elliman. This is also a 3.5 percent increase from March 2016, which saw a median rent of $3,300.

Manhattan can expect to see more of this slight fluctuation in the foreseeable future, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel and author of the Elliman report. Since New York City has a strong economic base, rents most likely won’t decrease dramatically anytime soon.

“It’s straddling zero percent [change],” he said. “When rents begin to stop rising, I wouldn’t be hopeful that they’re going to fall. It means they’re going to move sideways.”

Median rental prices in ultra luxury properties also jumped 2.9 percent from April 2015 to $8,536.

Still, the percentage of new rentals with landlord concessions continued to rise — a dramatic 13 percent in April 2016 compared to April 2015’s 2.7 percent — and listing discounts are also on the rise. New development median rental prices also dropped to $4,416, a 2.5 percent year-over-year decrease, according to the report.

Meanwhile, median Brooklyn rents continued its now four-month consecutive upward climb, rising a nominal .9 percent — to $2,780 — from April 2015, according to the Elliman report. Since new development in the borough tends to skew toward luxury, smaller apartments — where the stock is stagnant — are experiencing bigger price jumps. The median rental price for one-bedroom apartments was $2,746 in April 2016, a 7.3 percent spike from April 2015. The median price for three-bedroom apartments fell 4.6 percent from last year to $3,426.

In Queens, the median rental price slipped .4 percent from last year to $2,753, according to the report. Listing inventory surged 46 percent — to 488 — from last year, and the number of new leases dropped 7.6 percent to 171. Like Brooklyn, the larger apartments seemed to be in a weaker position than smaller units. Three-bedroom apartments saw a 34.3 percent year-over-year decrease in median rent, which hit $3,687. The median rental price for studios only dropped 1.4 percent since last year at $2,409.

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