Cautious buyers are pushing up Manhattan rent prices

Prices are increasing thanks to a softer sales market
By Meenal Vamburkar | May 09, 2019 08:30AM

(Chart by Miller Samuel)

(Chart by Miller Samuel)

Manhattan’s rental market has been getting back on track, thanks to cautious buyers.

Pricing in the borough continued an upward trend as the market share of concessions declined, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report. The share of new leases with incentives fell to 36.9 percent in April, down from 44.3 percent a year earlier. At the same time, the median net effective price rose 4.4 percent to $3,379.

“It’s more and more clear how the weakness of the sales market continues to resuscitate and press rental prices up,” said Jonathan Miller, author of the report and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

The overall number of sales closed in the first quarter dipped 2.7 percent versus a year earlier while the median sales price fell 0.2 percent, according to Elliman. Among new development properties, sales volume tumbled 39.4 percent, as the median price ticked up 3.4 percent.

The top end of the rental market has steadied, too. In the luxury segment, the median rental price rose 2.6 percent year-over-year to $8,200 while the number of new leases dipped 0.8 percent. The entry threshold climbed 3.9 percent to $6,495.

In a separate report, Citi Habitats noted that Manhattan rents were lowest in Washington Heights, with a median rent of $2,350. In neighborhoods below 96th Street, the Lower East Side was the least-expensive neighborhood for renters, with a median rent of $3,450.