Apartment Vacancies Up, Rents Down (But Not Enough!)

Citi Habitats released its November rental market report today (PDF here), showing a continued rise in vacancy rates across all Manhattan neighborhoods, and, while rents continue to soften, there hasn’t been a very significant decline.

In October, the Financial District/Battery Park City was the only area to report a vacancy rate of over 2 percent; but, in November, Chelsea, Gramercy, Midtown East, Midtown West and Murray Hill all had vacancy rates of 2 percent or higher. In November, the vacancy rate for all of Manhattan was 2.04 percent, the first time the island’s vacancy rate crossed the 2 percent threshold in over 12 months and a noteworthy rise from last November’s vacancy rate of a meager 1.21 percent.

You would think that the surge in vacancies would inflict some downward pressure on prices, but that isn’t happening yet. While average rents dropped slightly across the board, they have managed to hold firm in spite of the local economic calamity.

Average rents for studios dropped from $1,901 in October to $1,808 in November, while rents for one-bedroom apartments fell slightly month over month, dropping from $2,563 to $2,506. Two-bedroom rents had a similarly modest drop in month-over-month rents, falling from $3,605 in October to $3,518 in November.

It’s something, but not exactly comfort-food news for renters.

Apartment Vacancies Up, Rents Down (But Not Enough!)