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NYC Rents Remain At All-Time High

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The second-quarter numbers are in, and the rental market in New York City remains at an all-time high. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

Rents remain at an all-time high, according to the latest market report released by Citi Habitats.

"The only thing hotter than the temperature these days is the rental market," says Gary Malin, the president of Citi Habitats. "The second-quarter prices are up on average about 5 percent. Month over month, we are seeing modest gains but we are still seeing gains, so rents are at all-time highs. We’ll probably be setting records for the next few months given the demand that is out there."

According to the report, the average price for a rental in Manhattan is now just over $3400 per month. That’s the highest on record since Citi Habitats began tracking the data.

"Quarter over quarter, studios are up about 5 percent, one-bedrooms are up about 4, two-bedrooms 3 percent and three-bedrooms are up about 3-and-a-half percent," Malin says. "So there has been a nice jump quarter over quarter but month to month, the price appreciation has been pretty modest. So that is a silver lining for tenants in that we are probably at the point landlords just can’t raise rents much higher if they want to attract a large tenant population."

Other good news is the slight increase in the vacancy rate.

"In the month of June, we saw the vacancy rate actually go up a little bit from May, which is very odd for this time of the year," Malin says. "So from a tenant's perspective, it just means there is more property out there for them to choose from."

Malin says the increase in the vacancy rate could be the result of more people jumping into the sales market. He adds that there is a great divide in price between the super luxury and the no-frills walk up. So in some cases, renters may need to adjust their priorities to find that ideal home or they may want to consider exploring a new neighborhood.

"There is value in this marketplace," Malin says. "Places like Washington Heights, Astoria and parts of Brooklyn have incredible property and great value that could trade for anywhere from 20-30 percent less than Manhattan pricing. So one positive of a strong market is that it allows other neighborhoods to grow and get better and have owners develop properties they wouldn’t have developed before."

And Malin says the summer is the hottest time for the rental market. So if you can wait until later in the year to move, you may also find a better deal.

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