Manhattan's Rental Market Springing Ahead, MNS Reveals

The number of available Manhattan rental units may have grown by 6 percent in April, but that didn't keep rent prices for the month from experiencing a case of spring fever, and climbing by an average of $17.

New York—The number of available Manhattan rental units may have grown by 6 percent in April, but that didn’t keep rent prices for the month from experiencing a case of spring fever, and climbing by an average of $17.

That’s the word from the recently released the April 2012 Manhattan Rental Market Report, from residential brokerage and marketing firm MNS. The largest year-to-year increases were registered in the two-bedroom market, the report divulged. Non-doorman units were up 11.6 percent, and doorman units up 7.4 percent.

Among the highlights of the report was the fact that rents on both non-doorman and doorman studios in Harlem declined by averages of $110 and $292 respectively over the past 12 months. The report also showed a monthly rental increase taking place in non-doorman studio units in the East Village, where rents climbed 6.8 percent, or $133. That was the largest rental hike in the city, and a reversal from the 6.5 percent decrease in the East Village in March.

In the same April period, the Financial District saw 13 percent less inventory, leading MNS to predict rent increases in FiDI in the next few months.

“Renters due for renewals on two-year leases may want to look for other options,” MNS reported, noting that annual rent increases will be 14 percent or $300 on studios, 12 percent or $350 for one-bedroom units, and 15 percent or $600 on two-bedroom rental units.

The greatest turnover of leases was witnessed on the Upper West and Upper East Sides, generating a miniscule decline of 0.3 percent in rents. The report tracked a decline in rental listings in the Financial District and Murray Hill. These, along with Midtown West, where no change in rental listings was seen, appear to be neighborhoods to which renters are gravitating, the report’s authors noted.

Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS, observed that the report’s findings reflected the seasonality of the market.

“Little movement from March to April is typical,” he said. “With the spring rental season upon us, we are already seeing an increase in prices, and inventory being swooped up in prime neighborhoods like Tribeca, Financial District [and] Chelsea.”

The MNS Manhattan Rental Market Report is the only study comparing fluctuation in the city’s rental data on a monthly basis.

It is used by renters seeking transparency in the New York City apartment market, and is viewed by rental building owners and managers as a means of efficiently and fairly adjusting individual property rents in Manhattan.

The report is based on data cross-sectioned from more than 10,000 currently available listings south of 155th Street and priced less than $10,000, “with ultra-luxury property omitted to obtain a true monthly rental average,” MNS states.