During the recession, as financing vanished and condo prices plummeted, the city’s real estate market was flooded with ultra-luxurious rentals. Developers, eager to fill what had been envisioned as condo towers, offered renters top-of-the-line finishes, sprawling floorplans and master-of-the-universe views—perks long denied to those who borrowed rather than bought.
And though such unprecedented luxuries came with unprecedented price tags—a penthouse at New York by Gehry debuted for $60,000 a month—renters materialized all the same. Brokers cooed about this new breed of renter, who preferred a lease to a deed not because of circumstance or financial necessity, but because they craved convenience and flexibility. Not so frequently discussed were the many would-be buyers swelling the ranks of luxury renters who would, presumably, abandon the high-rental market as soon as the housing market rebounded.
Is now the time to rent? Should you continue to rent and hold off on buying? Where? What amenities do people really care about? NYO spoke to experts across the industry, who dished on where the rental market in Manhattan stands and what is expected for the fall. Read More
Joanne Russo felt a sense of panic when she awoke on October 29 to a rain-soaked, wind-battered city and reports that the worst was yet to come. It wasn’t the storm anxiety causing hearts to race around the city—Ms. Russo and her roommate were scheduled to move that morning. Their lease was up on October 31st and their landlord had been unpleasantly insistent that they clear out early. The couple who were moving into their apartment had left their place the week before and were living in a temporary unit downstairs. Ms. Russo felt that she couldn’t stay until after the hurricane, but she wasn’t sure if she could leave either.
“The last thing we wanted was to get stuck,” said Ms. Russo. “We were afraid the movers would bail on us and then we wouldn’t be able to leave for days.”
She was relieved when Imperial Moving called at 8 a.m. to say that they would be there in an hour. As businesses shut down and traffic vanished, the movers emptied the women’s two-bedroom on East 31st Street and carted their belongings to their new sixth-floor apartment at 20th Street and First Avenue. They finished shortly before the electricity went out and the elevator shuddered to a stop. Ms. Russo knows she was lucky, even if she and her roommate can only unpack in the daylight, hauling the empty boxes down the darkened stairwell.
Guess what? The rental market is even more crazy expensive than it was before.
Rents increased across all apartment categories, the vacancy rate dropped and concessions were just about impossible to come by last month, according to Citi Habitats monthly rental market report. Given that March was already a month of record-setting highs, and that the rental market often heats up as spring shifts into summer, it’s not a great time to be apartment hunting in the city.
It’s going to be a rough summer for renters, especially since the rush of college grads should be starting any minute now.
Although the winter months have historically lowered things like mood, libido, energy and rents, at least one of these has proved impervious to the winter gloom this year. Manhattan rents have actually increased this season, bucking a time old seasonal trend.
Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing interview series, Meet the Neighbors! Brian Morgan was named Rookie of the Year in 2006, after leaving the film industry for Citi Habitats. Now a vice-president at the firm, he also finds time to run a bar with his two brothers and a non-profit Read More
Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing interview series, Meet the Neighbors! A native New Yorker, Shari Cohen came to real estate from a career in advertizing, where she worked mostly with big corporate clients, because she wanted a more personal job. Her sales experience has been a boon, but what people really Read More
Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing interview series, Meet the Neighbors! Jay Heydt has done more than 10,000 transactions in his decade in the real estate game, all without taking shortcuts–that is his motto, “No shortcuts.” This earned him top listing status in 2008 and 2009, and he has built relationships with Read More
Ready to cash in on 9 Commerce Street?
The Citi Habitats listing calls this “a diamond in the rough,” but to us it looks more like an empress in need of finery. The four-story, 20-foot-wide home has already been gutted, and that leaves a lot left to do–but that is the fun part. Read More
Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing interview series, Meet the Neighbors! For the past two years, Tracie Hamersley has been the top broker at Citi Habitats and made the top five in 2005, 2006 and 2007. With listings all over town, there is nothing she can’t sell–with the help of her sister, Read More