Manhattan rents rise to another record-setting high
Where will it end?
Manhattan rents reached historic highs -- again -- last month, with the average apartment soaring to $3,429 - $11 more than the month before, according to the latest survey by Citi Habitats.
Rents increased across all apartment categories, with studios, now renting at an average of $2,025 showing the greatest uptick (4%) since March. A three-bedroom in the borough now goes for an average of $5,186.
Prior to March, the previous all-time high for Manhattan rents was $3,394 in May 2007.
Citi Habitats President Gary Malin said he expects prices to continue inching up along with temperatures at least until Fall, as the coming months are the most popular for relocations. High demand is being driven in part by renters who would like to buy, but can’t, because “they can’t get the loans they need,” from tight-fisted banks, Malin said.
Prices reflected in the Citi Habitat survey don’t begin to cover what it really costs to move to – or in - Manhattan, noted Dennis Blischak, a Hell’s Kitchen resident who has been searching for a one-bedroom in his neighborhood for three weeks. Brokers demand fees equal to the cost of one month’s rent or 15% of a year’s rent, and landlords require at least first and last month’s rent up front, he said. One landlord with a $3,450 a month apartment wanted three months rent as a deposit.
“You have to come up with that and show (annual) earnings 40 times a month’s rent, plus two-years of your tax return and good credit,” said Blischak, co-owner of a mid-town rehearsal facility.
Escalating prices are not only pricing people out of Manhattan, but forcing those who stay here to be more flexible - accepting apartments farther from the subway than they might like, settling for a walk-up in lieu of an elevator building, or taking on roommates when they prefer to live alone, said Malin.
Max Chernin, 22, an actor who lives in Inwood, said his $800 share in an Inwood apartment "is great! I'm just out of school and can't afford anything crazy." He appreciates his 'hood's cheap groceries, excellent Latino food and the family conviviality of the area. And his apartment, he said, is nicer than the one he had in Cincinnati. Chernin copes with the 45-minute schlep home (“the trains only go local at night”) by using the time to learn lines.
But Blischak - who has a brief and breezy 16-block walk to work - is not quite ready to surrender the convenience of midtown. "I commuted on the Path Train for three years. I don't want to do that any more. . . . .I love being in the city. You have to pay a price for that," he said.