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NYC Rental Market Heats Up

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Buildings in Soho. Buildings in Soho. (Jenchapter3/flickr)

Forget about all those landlord concessions like a month's free rent or a gratis gym membership to go with that one-year lease —  they're so last summer. New Yorkers looking to rent in the five boroughs are facing steep competition for available space, and they're paying more for it.

New York brokerage firm Citi Habitats found in its latest rental market report that vacancy rates have hit a five-year low, a far cry from a few years ago when vacancy rates edged above 2 percent. 

"The Manhattan rental market is nearing the conditions seen at the market's peak," said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats.

And it's not just brokers who believe the rental market has become tougher to navigate. 

"Median rents have been going up and inventory has been growing tighter," said Sofia Song, head of research at real estate search site StreetEasy.com.  

While May through September is traditionally the busiest time for New York's rental market, there are other reasons the market has strengthened. 

"We're entering a period of more uncertainty. People are still trying to figure out what is happening with the economy, with our political system," said Jhoanna Robledo, real estate columnist for New York magazine.

That's the case for 26-year old Mike DiNapoli, who just landed a job as a financial analyst with a hedge fund but doesn't feel secure enough at work to plunk down cash on a co-op or condo. 

"I wanted to see how my [job] will turn out," he said.

DiNapoli said he decided to rent a space on the Upper East Side, and, like many other New Yorkers, will hold off buying a place of his own until at least next year.

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Comments [2]

Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

I would like to hear less about the housing woes of a financial analyst at a hedge fund, and more about the LACK of affordable housing for us regular folks.

Jun. 29 2011 08:05 AM
Hugh

How many times must it be said that going to the real estate industry 'analysts' is not unbiased journalism?! NPR invariably goes to Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors. WNYC goes to Citi Habitats. They have every incentive to misrepresent the truth.

Jun. 28 2011 06:57 PM

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