Maybe this isn’t new news to you time-wearied renters out there, but it’s official: Manhattan rents haven’t declined in 26 months. The long-running trend of year-over-year increases—which makes landlords grin with glee and tenants grind their teeth in frustration—continued into August, according to the latest rental market report from Douglas Elliman. To be precise, median rents rose 1.8 percent to $3,150 last month. But at least the rent jumps themselves are getting smaller as 2013 progresses, meaning that the market is headed, at some indeterminate point, to a plateau. But that’s not expected to happen in the near future, mostly because tight credit, low inventory, and rising mortgage rates on the sales side are keeping those who might otherwise buy under better conditions in the competitive rental market. “None of these factors is expected to change significantly over the next year, so whether rents are rising (in Brooklyn) or stabilizing [in Manhattan], we don’t expect much relief to tenants over the next year,” says Elliman report author Jonathan Miller. “On the bright side, in what other city can you buy strawberries at 3am?”
Before we move on to Brooklyn, one more analysis of Manhattan trends. The latest Citi Habitats report, also out today, puts the average August rent at $3,434, which based on their data is actually a slight decline compared with July and last August. See their neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown, above.
There’s no respite from the hikes to be found in Brooklyn, folks, where the median August rent was $2,850, a 4.6 percent jump from August 2012. That’s the highest figure Brooklyn has seen in over five years. More good news? The borough’s upswing is about 12 to 18 months behind Manhattan’s. So Miller expects Brooklyn rents to see more and bigger increases than Manhattan down the line, just because they “were later to the party.” · Market Reports [Elliman] · Market Reports [Citi Habitats] · Manhattan Median Rents Haven’t Declined in 25 Months [Curbed] · Market Reports archive [Curbed]