Rents rose in Manhattan between 6.2%, as reported by Citi Habitats, and 9.5%, as reported by appraisal firm Miller Samuels and Prudential Douglas Elliman. Exact increases are very hard to pin down, but suffice to say that rents have gone up A Lot in the past quarter. Considering how recently landlords were moaning and groaning, and giving rent concessions like a month rent free recently, this is quite an amazing turnaround for the rental marketplace.
But here’s the part that gets me; according to Prudential Douglas Elliman, the median rent reached $3,265. Is this really a useful number? There doesn’t seem to be any differentiation between doorman luxury buildings and century old walk-ups. Does Douglas Elliman use only their rentals to arrive at these numbers? There is no central repository of recently rented apartments, like an MLS, so where are they getting these numbers from?
I’m not disagreeing with their call about the direction of the apartments for rent in Manhattan, but I’m puzzled by their pronouncement that $3,265 is the median of apartment rentals in Manhattan. Let’s do a quick show of hands; how many of you are paying more than that amount? Less? Just what I thought. By far, most of you are paying less.
Here’s the takeaway: The market is unseasonably tight. Rents have gone up A LOT, and Douglas Elliman pulls numbers out of thin air.