Lower East Side Rents Up, SoHo's Drop

If all the neighborhoods below 100th Street in Manhattan competed for an annual prize of best rental market (from the landlords’ perspective), the 2007 winner would clearly be the Lower East Side. There, a spate of luxury residential development drove the average rent of a studio apartment in a doorman building up 32.8 percent to a peak of $3,034 in the fall, according to a report from brokerage The Real Estate Group New York.

Rents in all doorman apartments increased by at least 10 percent on the Lower East Side, but there are still bargains. The average rent dropped in all non-doorman categories in 2007, with two-bedrooms dropping 17.7 percent to finish $712 lower than 2006.

The only neighborhood below 100th Street where rents dropped in every apartment size last year was SoHo. Non-doorman two-bedrooms showed the steepest drop-off, at 35.6 percent, to $4,680.

"Soho was what most surprised me, because rents were down across the board and that’s generally considered a place most New Yorkers want to live," said Daniel Baum, COO of The Real Estate Group.

Maybe now some can afford to.