Who wants to move in August? No one even wants to be in the muggy cesspool of the city, let alone between two separate apartments. Indeed, August rental reports reflect the general malaise one is apt to feel when clutching a box damp with sweat at the bottom of a five floor walk-up. Or maybe Manhattan is now obeying the schedules of the Hamptons as the middle class flees?
Manhattan vacancy rates remained relatively flat in August. At 1.19 percent, they are basically unchanged from the 1.2 percent vacancy rate of July and slightly up from August 2011, when they were at just one percent, according to a report from Citi Habitats. Cause for celebration?
Not really. Citi Habitats notes that while this is the highest vacancy rate that August—typically a month of intense demand—has seen in the last three years, rents have always stayed remained unchanged (at their incredibly high levels) since last month. Although given the way that things have been going in the Manhattan rental market, no appreciable change from one month to the next is about the best we can hope for. A year of no increases would be an honest-to-god miracle.
The bad news is that Manhattan renters are flocking to cheaper units in non-doorman buildings. The biggest increase, month-over-month, occurred in non-doorman apartments, according to the MNS report, with Greenwich Village studios spiking 7.4 percent from last month and Midtown East one-bedrooms shooting up 6.7 percent. Renters also rushed to the Upper East Side and the Lower East Side, two of the last islands of comparatively reasonable rents, reducing the apartment availability in both neighborhoods.
You can’t win! You try to save money and just end up spending more. But whatever you do, stay away from Tribeca, which saw the biggest monthly increase, according to MNS. Non-doorman studio apartments went up $285 from July and now cost an average of $4,133 a month. For a studio!