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Sorry, Renters, The Good Days Appear to be Over in Manhattan

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Not only is it not Friday yet, but it's also rental market report day?and for renters, the news is still not looking good. Brace, folks: rents are up, inventory is down, and concessions are way down.

The median rental price was $2,995/month, about the same as last year but up a bit from the second quarter. (Citi Habitats, also with a quarterly report out today, places that number higher, at $3,346/month.) And that's without factoring in concessions like free rent. Once that's included, the median net effective rent is actually $2,970, up 4.9 percent from the third quarter of 2010. And a far smaller percentage of listings came with concessions this time around: only 8.6 percent of new leases (Citi Habitats has the number at 5 percent) included concessions, compared to 45 percent of leases a year ago. This could change as the rental market assumes its more glacial winter pace, though.

The vacancy rate is actually lower than it was in the third quarter of of 2010?0.93 percent compared to 0.99 percent, according to Citi Habitats. But the rate is up significantly from the 0.72 percent of this year's second quarter.

Of course, the numbers vary by apartment size. Both Elliman and Citi Habitats saw substantial rent increases for studios and three-bedrooms. At the same time, new lease signings in both categories dropped significantly. For studios, the decline came from first-time buyers choosing to purchase instead while mortgage rates are low; for three-bedrooms, supply simply became more limited. Check it out in chart form:

rentalmarketsizesQ32011.jpg

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