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Manhattan Rents Barely Down From June; Still Sky High Overall

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Grab your lunch and a seat, cause we got a fresh CitiHabitats market report for you. So, how's it looking? If you'll recall, rental prices in Manhattan seemed to be unstoppable in June, with the average rent being $3,372. Well, July isn't much different with that number dipping ever so gingerly to a still-high $3,358. To put it in context, rents peaked back in May of 2007 at $3,394. Compared to last year, average rents for studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms and 3 bedrooms were all up between 7 and 9%, but down just around 1% compared to this time last month. The exception to this being 3 bedrooms, which actually rose 1%. Crain's also astutely points out that rents in new doorman buildings went down 4% to $5,370 from last year, likely a result of bullish expectations from the owners.

But what of vacancy rates, you ask? Well, they're actually up slightly at 0.86% from 0.69% in June. But compared to the 2.46% in February of 2009, things are looking downright peachy for landlords. Unless, of course, CitiHabitats president Gary Malin's question proves to be true: As we move into the cooler months and demand diminishes, the question is, do we see a normal step down suggesting the typical ebbs and flows of the market, or is this the beginning of a dramatic decline resulting from global economic issues?" Let's hope for the former!

Concessions are going the way of the Dodo, it seems. Last July, Citihabitats reported that 25% of leases included concessions. This time around? A measly 7% and it's a downward trend, it was 8% in June. Well, with vacancy rates this low, it was bound to happen we suppose. We would make a terrible joke about hot rents and hot temperatures in July, but with the economy in a, let's say, turbulent state, we might hold off on tempting the fates too much.