The worm is finally turning in Manhattan’s winner-take-all apartment universe. According to the Manhattan-specific October rental market report released today by Citi Habitats (PDF here), vacancies are up and rents are down, all of which is playing to the advantage of renters who have been at the mercy of not terribly merciful brokers and landlords since, oh, forever.
Vacancies in Manhattan apartments increased from 1.46 in September to 1.71 percent in October, a 12-month high. While Battery Park led all neighborhoods with a vacancy rate of 2.02 percent, vacancies were up in each of the other 10 neighborhoods tracked by Citi Habitats, including always popular neighborhoods like the East Village and the Upper West Side.
There is also some downward pressure on rents, perhaps due to the uptick in idle apartments. Average rents for studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms all fell modestly from September to October. Some neighborhoods are falling faster than others, however, and some of the most severe drops are in surprising locales.
Yes, studio rents fell by over $100 on average in Harlem and the Financial District, but average monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments in the East Village slipped by over $200 from September, falling to $2,481. Average rent for an Upper East Side two-bedroom fell from $3,299 in September to $3,068 in October.
Feel free to laugh in the face of any broker who asks for full commission. Those days are long gone, baby, for now anyway.