Manhattan Apartment Rents Fall the Most Since 2014By
Apartment rents in Manhattan fell the most in almost four years as landlords made deeper price cuts to lure tenants in a market brimming with choices.
Landlords agreed to accept a median rent of $3,295 last month, or 2.7 percent less than the previous December, appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report Thursday. It was the biggest annual decline since February 2014, and only the second one last year.
After two years of propping up apartment prices with behind-the-scenes offers of free months and gift cards, owners contending with a flood of supply could no longer hold up the dam. They still offered sweeteners -- last month, in 36 percent of all new leases, a record share -- but they also agreed to whittle what they charged in rents.
“The concessions were working for a while, but the consumer is now really pushing more on the negotiating side of the rents,” said Hal Gavzie, who oversees leasing for Douglas Elliman. “The price points needed somewhat of a correction.”
The cuts seem to have helped: The number of new leases signed last month jumped 48 percent from a year earlier to 5,269. The vacancy rate declined to 1.9 percent, the lowest for a December in five years, the firms said.
After concessions such as free months and the payment of broker’s fees are factored in, tenants paid a median of $3,208, down 2.5 percent from a year earlier. That decline was also the biggest since February 2014.