Manhattan Rents Falling, and Fast

The seemingly irreversible slide in Manhattan rents continued into January, according to a report (PDF) released today by Citi Habitats. Rents flopped almost across the board from December, with the exception of two-bedroom apartments, which saw an insignificant $4 increase on average.

The year-over-year decline in average rents is much more pronounced, with rents falling dramatically: three-bedroom rents, now at $4,597, fell $121; two-bedroom rents, now at $3,534, fell $200; one-bedroom rents, now at $2,449, fell $116; and studio rents, now at $1,775, fell $92.

The all-important vacancy rate, sitting at 2.24 percent, remains unchanged month-over-month. Still, it is up substantially from January 2008, when it was at 1.34 percent. The vacancy rate has now been above 2 percent for three consecutive months after spending most of 2008 below 1.5 percent.

The annual drop in rents and concurrent rise in vacancy help define what a dismal year it has been for city landlords, who are struggling to attract tenants at the higher price levels they were able to charge last year. Manhattan Rents Falling, and Fast