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How high can apartment rents go?

After remaining almost steady for four months, the average rent on Manhattan apartments went up again in February, according to a report released yesterday by Douglas Elliman. Manhattan’s median rent in February was up 4.9 percent from the year before. Previous months saw increases of just over one percent. Even with record-low interest rates drawing rental tenants into the home buying market, tight credit and the city’s employment growth are feeding a steady demand for rental housing, according ot Jonathan Miller, who prepared the Elliman data.

But, with the vacancy rate holding steady at 1.7, Miller thinks rents may soon stabilize. “There doesn’t appear to be a lot more room left for this type of sustained grown, but I think the pressure will remain on rents. I don’t think rents are going down any time soon,” he said.

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