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Manhattan Rental Market Trapped in Sales Brochure

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[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller is in the mood for pie.]

With the sales market heating up following the remarkable rental market run-up last year, I thought I'd look at the market share of rental versus sales activity. I compared them by using closed sales and closed rental transactions for all of 2012. Keep in mind that I only used new rentals (not renewals), since renewal data is not generally available (and not part of any rental market studies currently published).

To illustrate the difference between the two types, I compared each of the major Manhattan neighborhoods/regions in pie charts to show the relative size difference (no, I wasn't influenced by last week's "National Pi Day" or the indisputable fact that pie is better than cake).

A few observations:

· New rental activity is three times larger than sales activity.
· The Financial District has the highest rental concentration at 88 percent.
· With the exception of Midtown West, the northern and southern reaches of Manhattan generally have the highest rental concentrations.
· Soho/Tribeca had the highest concentration of sales at 36 percent.

· Most surprising: Harlem/East Harlem had the third highest concentration of sales. This either reflects a greater pace of gentrification than I have observed or my rental data is lighter than it should be in that market.

· Most amazing: Back in the 1990s, the Chelsea and Soho/Tribeca neighborhoods would have shown significantly higher rental concentrations, but the burst in that era's loft conversions triggered additional non-loft development, resulting in the higher sales activity we observe today.

Although Manhattan developed from south to north, the sales market seems to have developed from the center outward (north, south). This was something I hadn't visualized before.

I think it's clear that Manhattan is a rental market with sales as a very visible and serious hobby.
· Matrix [matrix.millersamuel.com]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]