Looking for a place in Manhattan? Start looking elsewhere
If you're looking for a Manhattan apartment, you're going to need a little luck and a lot of patience.
Because of record-high rents that make people stay put or send them fleeing to the outer boroughs, Gotham's vacancy rate has dropped to 0.89%, according to a report by realty firm Citi Habitats.
It's the first time the rate has fallen below 1% since last July.
The average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,438 in May, and all apartment types, even non-doorman studios, saw a spike last month, according to the report. The cost is forcing New Yorkers to seek cheaper areas, Citi Habitats president Gary Malin said.
"High rental prices force people to be creative, and may cause them to consider neighborhoods they may not have before," he said in a statement.
The rise in prices isn't the only factor affecting available apartments, according to Andrew Barrocas, the CEO of reality firm MNS, which also released a report Thursday revealing record-high Manhattan rents.
Residential development in Manhattan is still reeling from the financial collapse and there has been a lack of new units.
"The shortage of rental inventory has created a demand on the rental side that has driven prices up," Barrocas said.
The MNS report showed that Harlem had the biggest increase in rent over the last three months, compared to every other neighborhood in the city.
A studio apartment without a doorman fetched $1,391 in February, but now costs $1,432.
Despite the surging rent and sparse openings, Barrocas said there are still some hot spots throughout New York that renters can seek out.
The MNS report pointed out that there were more studios in SoHo and one bedrooms in the Financial District available last month, and that they were slightly cheaper.
"It's a younger market there so it's got a faster turnover," Barrocas said.