Thought I’d share a rental anecdote. I just renegotiated my rent on a 1BR here in Manhattan’s Midtown West area. My savings compared to last year: 18%. Had I been willing to move, similarly sized apartments in the neighborhood could have been had for as much as 25% off last year’s price.
Rents in this neighborhood have stabilized since Winter, but concessions that landlords had planned to lift by now remain in place. Every building I visited in the city is offering some version of a month’s free rent. First month on a 12 month; last month on a 13 month. Some higher-priced newer buildings are offering 2 months free, which brings their pricing in-line with the market.
According to a broker I spoke with yesterday, summer months are typically much busier as NYC receives its annual quota of new residents. This year not so much. Most of the rentals she’s seeing are New Yorkers moving within the city, looking to take advantage of better deals.
The lack of new residents is likely due to the weak job market. Plenty of buildings planned during the boom continue to go up. From my window I can see 5 new buildings. One completed in January, two beginning move-ins next month, and two more set to open some time next year. That’s a lot of new inventory coming on the market, which means rents should remain under pressure for some time.
And falling rents are bad news for the housing market.