MANHATTAN apartment rentals more than doubled in the second quarter from a year earlier as the city’s job market improved and tenants gained confidence.
The number of leases signed surged to 5659 in the quarter ended June 30, according to a report by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc and property broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
”I don’t want to characterise that things are booming, that things are fantastic, because it’s not like that,” said the president of Miller Samuel, Jonathan Miller. ”I don’t know if it’s sustainable.” New York City‘s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 9.6 per cent in May, the fifth consecutive monthly decline.
The city’s finance industry added 6800 jobs from the end of February until May, the largest three-month increase since 2008.
Across the US, quarterly apartment vacancies dropped for the first time in two years, falling to 7.8 per cent from a 30-year high in the first three months of the year, New York-based property research company Reis says in a separate report.
The median Manhattan apartment rent fell 3.2 per cent from the year-earlier quarter to $US3000 ($3500) a month, according to Miller Samuel and Prudential. ”Part of it is a release of pent-up demand from the abnormally low level of activity last year,” Mr Miller said. His figures don’t include landlord concessions such as a free month’s rent or building managers paying brokers for finding tenants.
Such enticements are declining, according to a separate report by broker Citi Habitats. Landlords sweetened Citi Habitats deals in 28 per cent of the company’s June transactions, down from 47 per cent in January, the broker said.
”If you’re expecting to negotiate rent, or you’re expecting to get free rent, you’re going to have to recalibrate your expectations,” said the president of Citi Habitats, Gary Malin.