All eyes on rentals now

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From the February issue:
New York City has always been a town of renters. But in the last few years, it was easy to forget that fact, with condo towers selling out in a matter of days and the average price of a Manhattan apartment peaking at a record $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2008, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman. For a time, everyone wanted to own New York real estate, and every broker wanted to sell it. Now that the ensuing wave of job losses has made buying property impossible for many New Yorkers, rentals are suddenly back in vogue. “I wouldn’t want to be selling condos now,” said Richard LeFrak, the chairman, president and CEO of the LeFrak Organization, one of the biggest rental landlords in the New York City area. LeFrak will soon begin marketing a new 33-story rental tower in Jersey City called Aquablu. Occupancy is set for May or June.