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Rental Transactions on Upward Swing, But Rents Still Falling

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[Click to expand! Images via Prudential Douglas Elliman.]

Sure, we already looked at rental trends for all of '09, but who doesn't get excited about more charts and numbers? Especially charts and numbers from Elliman market report preparer, appraiser, and Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller! As with the fourth-quarter sales market, things seemed to be looking up in the rental world at the end of 2009, judging by Elliman's Q4 Manhattan Rentals Report (available here). In the inventory arena, there are a few whoppers: the number of rentals rose 47.5 percent from fourth-quarter '08, and listing inventory fell 21.3 percent. Apartments spent about 20 days less on the market. So it's not the rentpocalypse. But before you skip the orange juice in your mimosas this morning, it's not all great news.
Rents weren't quite so rosy, with the average rental price still falling to $3,789, 4.3 percent below where it was last year (though a slight improvement from '09's third quarter). The rental price per square foot dropped 4.6 percent from the prior year, and the median rental price fell to $2,900, a 9.4 percent decline. The average rental price drops were steepest for three- and four-bedrooms, and uptown was hit hardest, with a 15.1 percent year-over-year drop in average rents. Does this match your experience, renters?

Here's the by-bedroom breakdown, because we like picturing you where you sleep:

· Market Reports [Elliman]
· Rental Market Report coverage [Curbed]