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Shocker: Manhattan Rents Cooling?

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The Real Estate Group knew they had a doozy of a Q3 report on their hands, so they played it the smart way: let the Big Fours of the world release their reports first, let the situation cool, then drop the bomb of all bombs. Brace yourself for this wallop: according to TREGNY, the Manhattan rental market is declining. Whoozawutnow? Yeah, that was our reaction, too. Here's the claim, direct from the report summary:

For the First Time in 2007, All Average Manhattan Rents Decreased Across the Board– All Mean rental rates throughout Manhattan posted a decline in October, signifying the continuation of a cooling apartment rental market typical at the start of the 4th Quarter.There's all sorts of charts and graphs and numbers, but we like anecdotal evidence, such as this: "Some have resorted to unusual rewards for agents ranging from iPods to airline tickets. For example, in Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town, the leasing office is offering a free all-inclusive trip to Cabo San Lucas to the broker who closes the most deals in the complex, and an iPhone to the 5 runners-up." On our Christmas wish list: an "I Closed 12 Stuy Town Deals And All I Got Was This Lousy iPhone" T-shirt.
· Manhattan Rental Market Report [TREGNY]
· Your Morning Credit Crunch: Manhattan Stays Bullish [Curbed]