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Median Brooklyn Rent Decreases for First Time in 15 Months

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Manhattan rental prices continue to creep higher, with the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in median rental price, according to the Douglas Elliman market reports. Higher rates of employment, tight credit, and a lack of supply all contribute to pushing up rents (with averages of $3,946 in Manhattan, $3,172 in Brooklyn, and $2,934 in Queens), according to markets guru Jonathan Miller. However, although rents continue to hover near record highs, we're not seeing the name steep trajectory of a couple months ago — the cost of renting has simply gotten high and stayed high.

In Brooklyn, the streak is broken. After 14 consecutive months of increases, the median rental price dropped 1.5 percent to $2,808. This also allowed Manhattan to regain a little of the lead that it has enjoyed, well, forever, as there is now a $367 gap in median rental prices between the boroughs. The median price did rise year-over-year, though, up 1.5 percent from August of 2013. Brooklyn has also seen a surge of new rentals, with 951 in August, up 71 percent from the same period last year.

In Queens, as everywhere, the luxury market price gains outpaced the regular market. The median rental price is actually down 1 percent from the same period last year, but that can probably be chalked up to a shift toward smaller units. The number of new units that appeared last month (289) was more than quadruple last August's output (66).

On a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, the MNS reports that neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy (and prices actually dropped in Greenpoint) while Crown Heights and Bushwick are seeing big gains. Crown Heights is leading the way as overall rents have increased by 17.59 percent since July of this year.

And in Manhattan neighborhoods, according to the Citi Habitats report, Tribeca remains the most expensive and Washington Heights is still the least. Vacancy rates are currently highest, somewhat surprisingly, in the East and West Villages, with tenants possibly having reached their limits on how much they're willing to overpay.
· The Elliman reports [Elliman]
· The MNS Brooklyn report [PDF]
· The Citi Habitats report [Citi Habitats]v