Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. On Thursday night, the Rent Guidelines Board voted to jack up the rent approve rent increases of 4 percent for one-year leases and 7.75-percent for a two-year leases, as reported by The New York Times. The decision will mean increases of $40 a month, or $480 a year for a $1,000-a-month apartment, or $960 for a $2,000-a-month apartment, twice the amount of the 2012 increases, which were capped at 2 and 4 percent respectively.
When not even rent stabilized tenants can afford to stay in New York, the rest of us may as well start looking for apartments in Jersey City. Or maybe it’s time to throw in the towel altogether and decamp to the West Coast, leaving Manhattan to the I-bankers and the spoiled spawn of people who actually work for living.
A rent stabilized apartment is often spoken of as a kind of golden ticket in New York, the rare real estate find that will enable its lucky denizen to stay in a neighborhood, a borough, and increasingly, a city where housing is becoming a luxury commodity. A rent stabilized apartment is not only a renter’s insurance against being priced out of their current place, but a magical amulet against a future move to Hoboken or Jersey City.
Not that rent-stabilized apartments are particularly cheap, only cheaper. Nor does stabilization mean that tenants are protected from hefty rent increases, only that those rent increases will be determined by the Rent Guidelines Board, rather than their landlords. And this year, the increase looks likely to be considerable: between 3.25 and 6.25 percent for a one-year lease and 5 and 9 percent for two year leases, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
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.