Monday, June 23, 2008

Manhattan Rentals Take A Breather

This is all anecdotal, but here we are in the middle of the traditional heavy season, and something is happening that I haven't seen in the past three years. Apartments are actually on the market for 7 days or longer, sometimes up to a month. Looks like we are FINALLY seeing some relief from the overheated conditions that have been occurring for the last two years! I suppose that I should be unhappy, but really I'm not. I'm relieved that I can take clients to several apartments (including the ones that I actually publicize on my website!) and let them think about what they like.

Now, the sudden increase in choice of apartments does not mean that suddenly New York apartments have gotten any better! The majority are still small, quirkily laid-out, and have limited light. So if you previously had a budget for a closet, that doesn't mean that you can now find a palace! But it does mean some of the following things:

  • You may be able to get a little more space for the same price.
  • Landlords may be willing to negotiate slightly on asking price (depending how long it's been on the market)
  • Landlords (particularly in big developments) may be willing to pay part or all of the brokerage fee.
All in all, it's been a good season for renters. Manhattan rents are still high, but it's such a relief to know that you can take a little time to make a choice. I think it will continue through the end of the year.

In Brooklyn, the opposite seems to be the case. Apartments in the northern end of Brooklyn continue to rent for more than they did last year. A lot of the more affordable southern areas have increased in price as they become more popular. One bedrooms in the Ditmas Park area, for instance, have increased by $150-$200/month over last year. From my experiences, it appears that a lot of people in that price range are still moving into the NYC area, at least, more than are moving out. The city government bears me out on this: according to them, more than 26,000 people moved to New York City between April-June 2008. So housing will continue to be in demand.

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