Brokerage Citi Habitats reassured the city's landlords last month that Manhattan's rental market had fallen back into its traditional seasonal pattern, and the firm's fourth-quarter report, released this morning, backs up the claim. Rents are up, and the vacancy rate, while higher than it was this summer, is lower than the December 2009 stats. Studios and one-bedroom apartments have seen the year's largest rent spikes, of 6.2 and 7.2 percent. But over the last month, the biggest rental income windfalls have actually come from three-bedrooms, with rents up 4 percent, mirroring a sales market trend in the popularity of larger apartments. Happy New Year, landlords!
Not only are prices up to a degree that will have renters crying fast-freezing tears, but concessions are way down. In December 2009, 60 percent of Citi Habitats-tracked rental transactions included some kind of concessions, such as the payment of a broker's fee or a month of free rent. This December, only 22 percent of deals included any concessions. Of course, a return to normal seasonal patterns means a slow winter rental market, so right now, renters, anything goes. Time to get apartment huntin'!