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Latest Rent Numbers Show Landlords Gaining Upper Hand

Manhattan rental prices are up more than 10 percent over the same period last year.

Median rental price per month was $3,195, and the average length of time on the market was 39 days compared to 55 this time last year. New rentals surged 54.5 percent from 2011, while vacancy rates dropped from 2.62 percent to just 1.85 percent. Landlords are less willing to give out concessions like a month’s free rent for signing a lease, so much so that the concession rate fell two percent from 8.6 percent last year, making the rental market now a landlord’s game.

“Credit is irrationally tight that homebuyers trying to get mortgages, they’re renting, they want to shift over to purchase, it’s really hard. So they’re staying in rental, sometimes not by choice, and that’s tipping the market. So the supply is not meeting the demand and a large part of it has to do with tight credit,” explains Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller.

Miller, who compiled the data, says the improving job market also helps because the rental market responds quicker to job growth. The report also tracked monthly data and for the first time, looked at Brooklyn rentals, where prices overall slipped a little – just 2.1 percent from last year. But one bedroom rentals jumped 10 and a half percent over last year to $2,100 a month, and two bedrooms rose 6.9 percent to about $2,673 a month.

Brokers there say demand is also outpacing supply.

“The most in-demand neighborhoods in Brooklyn are Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, and Park Slope,” explains Prudential Douglas Elliman Executive Vice President Michael Guerra. “Brooklyn in many ways is offering the same amenities that Manhattan used to be known for. As Manhattan has become dominated by big businesses and larger kinds of stores or chains, Brooklyn is still a place with boutique, with something funky, with something different, with something unusual.”

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