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As Manhattan Vacancy Rate Rises, A Rent Check Cheat Sheet!

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[Click to expand! Graphics via Citi Habitats.]

Over the summer Manhattan's vacancy rate dipped to a teensy-weensy .88%, and a wave of stories about landlords taking back the lead in the rental tango was unleashed. But ever since that July market report issued by brokerage Citi Habitats, the vacancy rate has been climbing, now for a fourth consecutive month, up to 1.29%. Fear not, landlords, according to Citi Habitats this proves that Manhattan is returning to its normal seasonal ebb and flow, and why would they pull our leg? The 1.29% vacancy rate is 31% below November 2009's vacancy rate of 1.87%, so it looks like college grads are giving the Big Apple a whirl once again. The Tribeca/Soho area had the lowest vacancy rate at .63%

As for rents, Citi Habitats data shows that average November prices across the island were basically flat (studios and one-bedrooms were up 1%) when compared to October, but rents increased across all types of apartments over last year (including a 9% gain on 1BRs). Above is a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of average rents. We usually include the disclaimer that the numbers do not reflect incentives handed out by landlords, but Citi Habitats reports that only 20% of its rental transactions for the month had any sort of freebie, down from 60% in 2009.

Here's a November breakdown by building type. (The full report will be available for download on the Citi Habitats website shortly.) So, you paying too much, or what?