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Manhattan renters gain edge as rental prices hit plateau.

Manhattan rental rates hit a plateau in August as a record number of bargain hunters signed leases. According to the latest report from Douglas Elliman, the median rent in the borough was at $3,999, almost identical to the $3,400 from the same time last year. The figures came in spite of 6,285 signed leases, the most since 2008. The number of signed lease represented a 1.8 percent jump from last year and a 5.9 percent increase from last month.

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"The rent is sideways because, if you look under the hood, the upper end of the market showed flat prices and the low rent market showed really strong growth. When you put it together, the end result was flat," said Jonathan Miller, the president and CEO of appraiser Miller Samuel.

In August, the median rental rate in the luxury bracket was down 0.5 percent to $7,861 compared to last year. The figures also dropped when taking into account the average rent price. On a year-on-year basis, the average luxury rent in the borough dropped 2.4 percent to $9,843.

The decline was more pronounced in Brooklyn, which saw a 1.9 percent median rent drop compared to the same time last year. The median rent in the borough was at $2,895. The decrease in rental rates in the borough coincided with a jump in landlord concessions.

During the month, the share of new leases with concessions doubled from 5.2 percent to 10.5 percent.

Rising rental rates were confined to Queens. In August, the median rental price in the borough jumped 5.3 percent to $2,895. The increase lifted Queens' median rent with that of Brooklyn. The average rent also inched upward by 0.2 percent to $3,033.

The increase coincided with a 20.3 percent jump in new leases to 355.

According to Miller, Manhattan prices are likely to continue dropping over the coming months. "I think the general trend is going to remain in place for a while.

Because we're seeing weakness in the upper end of the market and that's where the new supply is coming. The rental development that's being added to the housing stock is skewed towards the upper half of the rental market," he said.

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Comment:Manhattan renters gain edge as rental prices hit plateau.(NEWS)
Author:Bautista, Christian Brazil
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 14, 2016
Words:384
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