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Weather Outside Not Frightful, Landlords' Outlook Delightful

Another month has passed with little sign of winter weather?and even less sign of a slowdown in the Manhattan rental market. According to the latest numbers from brokerage Citi Habitats, the average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,352/month in January, a 5 percent increase year-over-year. Rents are up slightly?by 1 percent?from December 2011, too. The greatest increases compared to January 2011 were in studios and 2BRs, both of which rented for 6 percent more than they did a year ago, on average. One clue that it's actually winter: incentives for renters. Landlords in 13 percent of Citi Habitats-brokered transactions offered an incentive (a free month's rent or the payment of the broker fee), compared to 11 percent in December 2011. But 21 percent of landlords offered such an incentive in January 2011, so that's not much comfort, renters.

The January vacancy rate was 1.30 percent, up slightly from December and from the 1.26 percent vacancy rate of January 2011. Renters might have the best luck on the Upper West Side, where vacancy stands at 1.61 percent, or the East Village/Lower East Side, where vacancy is at 1.48 percent. Or hope for a cold snap that chills the market this month.
· Market Reports [Citi Habitats]
· Rental Market Reports coverage [Curbed]