Apartment vacancies rise, rents fall over a year

Asking rents for units in doorman buildings in Manhattan this month are down 5.79% compared with December 2008, according to the Real Estate Group of New York. But rents in non-doorman units are off just 1.74%.

From November to December, rents for doorman units slipped 1.19%, yet non-doorman units rose 0.87%.

Vacancies climbed 2.89% higher than November numbers.  Although non-doorman units have maintained pricing, their inventories rose by 6.08%.  At the same time, doorman units, which had modest discounts this month, maintained inventories; they went up only by 0.43% in December.  As the group’s report put it:

Renters have welcomed the discounts on doorman units and continue to keep inventory levels stable. . . Renters are looking for deep discounts and perceived value.”

Regarding two-bedroom units, they have continued to remain the most stable size category.  Such units are holding prices again this month and actually increased their average price by 1% since November.

Depending on how reliable are the numbers, which are issued monthly, the implication seems to be that anyone who doesn’t need a two-bedroom apartment or a doorman should rent quickly, before landlords have their way with you.

If it’s a doorman building you crave, hey, take your time.

And if you want to move, change your lifestyle and own a piece of the island, this may well be the right time to act.  But as always, I can argue both sides of that decision since I am no more prescient than anyone else about three critical variables:

  1. Mortgage rates
  2. The strength of the economy
  3. The moment that the housing market hits bottom

What’s your opinion?

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
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