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Rental prices show slight dip in 4Q from last year.

Fourth quarter 2013 rental reports from leading brokerages show prices across the board slightly decreased since last year.

Though rents still remain high, they haven't grown like sales prices, according to the Douglas Elliman 4Q market report, compiled by Miller Samuel Inc. Real "Estate Appraisers & Consultants.

Year-over-year, the median rental price in Manhattan declined 1.6 percent, from $3,139 to $3,100.

Rental price per square foot rose 5 percent, from $49.88 to $52.36, and the average rental price increased slightly at 0.9 percent to $4,009.

While in the luxury sector, the median rental price at the top 10 percent of the market and the top 5 percent expanded 13. 8 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively, from the same time last year.

The vacancy rate, at 2.79 percent, was at its highest level since August 2006, jumping from 1.77 percent last year, according to the Douglas Elliman market report.

"For those looking to rent in Manhattan, the winter months are a great time to be in the market for a new home," said Citi Habitats president Gary Malin in a press release.

"We expect conditions to remain relatively tenant-friendly in the near term, but no matter the market conditions, it's important to stay knowledgeable about what to expect in the marketplace."

Breaking it down more specifically, Citi Habitats' numbers show average rents decreased year-over-year slightly for smaller apartments, while they increased for larger apartments.

Studio and one-bedroom rents decreased in price by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, while two-bedroom units, which had the biggest change, increased 2.1 percent from the previous year. Average rents for three bedroom units increased 1.9 percent in the same period.

"We believe that the notably high Manhattan vacancy rate reflects the fact that despite the recent quarter-over-quarter rent declines, rents in the borough have remained relatively high, historically speaking," said Malin in a press release.

"In general, Manhattan landlords have been slow to adjust pricing to reflect market conditions.

"Tenants who were looking for bargains in this typically slow season didn't find them, so instead chose to stay put or look for opportunities in the outer boroughs.

As evidenced by the strong Manhattan sales market, many renters chose to make the leap to homeownership as well."

The highest median rent in the 4Q was unsurprisingly in the neighborhoods of Soho/ Tribeca, at $5,650, while the second highest was in Wall Street/Battery Park City at $3,600, and third highest was Gramercy/Flatiron, at $3,500.

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Comment:Rental prices show slight dip in 4Q from last year.(NEWS)
Author:Dutton, Holly
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 15, 2014
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