The Real Deal New York

NYC resi rents remain flat in March: report

Landlord concessions have doubled since last year
By Miriam Hall | April 13, 2017 08:00AM

From Left: 795 Fifth Avenue unit 39 in Manhattan, 180 Myrtle Avenue unit 16P in Brooklyn and 23-10 Queens Plaza South unit 10C in Queens

New York City rental prices are staying stagnant, and figures indicate the weakness will continue to affect the market.

In Manhattan, the median net-effective rent was $3,294 last month — a 1 percent increase from March last year, according to the monthly rental report from Douglas Elliman. The market share of concessions, a tool that landlords are using to keep vacancies at bay, was 28 percent — double what it was last year.

“For the last year, rents edged up a little bit then slipped a little bit,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “[The small rise] is not a trend, a month ago the median fell 5 percent.”

Leases on new development in borough jumped 72 percent, but Miller said that spike is not significant and is driven by a large amount of new product becoming available.

In the borough, the median rent for doorman apartments last month was $3,700, down 1 percent from last year. For non-doorman apartments the median was $2,895 — a 5 percent increase year-over-year. However, according to Miller, declines in the upper half of the market would have been larger if it weren’t for the surge in new development leases.

In Brooklyn, the figures represent a similar trend. The median rental price, after factoring in concessions, was $2,806 — a 2 percent year-over-year jump. For studios, however, the median price jumped 9 percent to $2,495. For the luxury end, which is the top 10 percent of the market, the median was $5,596, a 7 percent increase. Price jumps, according to Miller, were also driven by an influx of new development in the borough. Meanwhile, market share of landlord concessions hit 16 percent — up from nearly 7 percent last year.

“Because the economy is pretty good and I don’t see the pipeline changing, I think this slow grind will stay the same – at least for the for short term,” said Miller.

In northwest Queens, the median rental price was $2,734, when taking concessions into account, which is unchanged from last year. Landlord concessions made up 42 percent of the market, double what it was this time last year. Listing inventory was 576, a 30 percent increase from last year.

“I would characterize the northwest Queens market as moving sideways,” said Miller.

(To see a ranking of 2016’s top resi rental owners, click here)