Renters in Manhattan are pushing back against exorbitant prices

TRD New York /
Oct.October 15, 2016 10:00 AM

Renters are increasingly rejecting the surge in rental prices in Manhattan. 

In September, the median rental price fell 1.2 percent to $3,396 year-over-year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate released on Thursday. This was only the second time in 2016 that the median rent fell. It was flat in August, Bloomberg noted.

A quarterly report from the same firm released earlier in October showed that the number of sales fell 18.6 percent in the third quarter.

Manhattan’s housing market is still far from crashing. In fact, Douglas Elliman reported a “significant number of new leases signed,” which is a sign of strong tenant demand.

But these declines show that buyers and renters are increasingly rejecting prices that they think are too high. Prices fell the most in September, by about 3 percent, in the luxury end of the market; rents were flat in the category with the cheapest apartments.

The glut of new construction is partly why renters are pushing back. Not only do they have more choices, but the extra supply – especially of luxury homes — is containing the surge in prices.

Also, more landlords are offering potential tenants discounts like a month of free rent, giving tenants more bargaining power while they’re apartment hunting. The share of new leases with concessions was 15.1 percent in September, the most for that month since 2010 according to Bloomberg.

Douglas Elliman found that it took longer for landlords to find tenants. The number of days that units were listed for increased by 12.8 percent to 44 in September.

The firm also said the median rental price in Brooklyn rose by 2.4 percent to $2,949 in September.

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