Start thinking about a roommate or taking your relationship to "the next level" if you're interested in saving money on rent any time soon, because the New York rental market is not going to help you out if you're a single. Overall rents trended upwards in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the RentJuice Rent Index, with fewer studios available on the market. Larger apartments were easier to find, with an increase in the availability of 1BR (+2.0%), 2BR (+7%), and 3BR (+2.0%); this growth in apartment size "will be driving prices up while lowering costs per square foot."
That's a downward trend that renters will have to search for though. Prices really took off downtown on a per square foot basis during the fourth quarter. Rents in both SoHo and NoHo rocketed 23% upwards between Q3 and Q4. Crown Heights may be near the bottom of the list as far as price per square foot ($2.01 vs. $6.23 in Soho), but the Brooklyn nabe saw a 21% jump in square foot prices during the quarter. Another Brooklyn standout was the Vinegar Hill neighborhood, closer to the water. Vinegar Hill had the greatest average increase in asking rents of any neighborhood across the city?up 27.6% between Q3 and Q4.
Neighborhoods that saw downward pressure on square foot prices were Hamilton Heights (-37.0%), Flatbush (-24.0%), Boerum Hill (-22.0%), and the Upper West Side (-18%).