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Report: Incentives for Gotham renters at 5-year high

In January, 17% of the renters who found

In January, 17% of the renters who found apartments through Citi Habitats received incentives from landlords. (iStock) Photo Credit: iStock

Renters, the market is in your favor, according to new real estate reports out today.

It’s not because of prices, which are on the rise, but rather an increase in the number of landlords offering concessions.

In January, the amount of Manhattan rental properties that Citi Habitats brokered that came with the payment of the broker fee and/or a free month’s rent reached a five-year high, at 17%, the real estate group reported. That’s up from 14% in December.

Such incentives have helped the borough-wide vacancy rate fall to 1.9% in January, down from 2.06% in December, according to the report.

Rental prices are up year-over-year, though. The average rent for a Manhattan apartment last month was $3,475, up $45 from January 2015, but only $5 more than the December 2015 average, according to the real estate group.

“Landlords continue to be hesitant to lower their asking rents, despite recent tenant push-back,” Citi Habitats president Gary Malin said in a statement. “Instead, owners have ramped up their use of concessions, which has been largely successful in stabilizing the city’s rental market.

“The recent vacancy rate increases have come to a halt, and rents have held steady,” he explained.

Douglas Elliman is also seeing a rise in concessions. Last month, 16.4% of the real estate company’s Manhattan rental transactions included an incentive, up from 8.5% in January 2015, it said in a report released today. The average concession was the equivalent of 1.9 months of free rent.

Douglas Elliman also found that rents are on the rise, with the median asking rent in Manhattan in January up 1.5%, to $3,350, from the year before. But the group reported an increase in the borough-wise vacancy rate last month, to 2.82% from 2.43% in January 2015.


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