Manhattan Apartments

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Real Life
The Rental Report
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R E A L N U M B E R S * R E A L T I M E * R E A L P E O P L E
April 2012
As the rest of the country suffered through a floundering real estate market this year,
New York City proved to be one of the few shining stars.
Over the past four decades, I have become deeply ingrained in the Big Apple's real estate
landscape through my experience as both an owner and broker. I have weathered many
recessions and have personally witnessed all ends of the rental spectrum in Manhattan.
I clearly remember back in the early 1970's when real estate owners had to come up with
creative ways to lure prospective occupants when they experienced a lack of tenants. In order to
incentivize prospective tenants, owners offered concessions, or OP's (Owner-Paid Commissions),
which helped fuel the downward rental market. This practice recently became popular again in
2010 and 2011 as owners needed to attract tenants during the global economic uncertainty.
While 2010 and 2011 were characterized by ambiguity and rent concessions, 2012 has shown to be the year of high
rental and purchase demand and steadily increasing prices. This year, 95% of broker incentives have been eliminated.
We currently are experiencing an unprecedented lack of new rental construction, coupled with the lowest amount of
inventory in decades. Additionally, as mortgages are becoming increasingly difficult to secure, more clients are being
thrown into the rental market. Natural forces such as job relocation or changes in relationship status also play a role
in the influx of prospective renters. The combinations of these factors are driving rents up and have put an end to the
enticements owners were previously compelled to offer.
What happens to the tenant who rented their apartment two years ago at an under-market rental price?
Many tenants are being asked to pay the largest renewal rates in history with some increases as high as 25% above their
current rent. Unfortunately, the tenant is vulnerable as their options are to pay the exorbitant increase or move elsewhere and
pay the additional cost of a 15% broker's commission plus all the related expenses of moving and signing a new lease.
The A.C. Lawrence & Company Real Life Rental Report is intended to serve as a real life depiction of what it will cost to
rent an apartment in Manhattan--right now--which is why we're gathering market data and publishing frequently to be
of use to the end users as they look for new homes.
As prospective tenants survey the market, it is essential they work with a broker who can navigate the extremely
specialized market of New York City. Many real estate owners will only deal with a select group of brokers, whom they
deem trustworthy and reputable. A.C. Lawrence has developed close relationships with hundreds of owners throughout
New York City. Now that the competitive and nonstop rental season, which typically stretches from April to October, has
begun, we are seeing a tremendous demand from new renters seeking to move to Manhattan, putting additional upward
pressure on the market and pushing another uptick in rents. We expect this to be the most challenging time in decades for
new tenants, as the demand will be very high, while the supply will struggle to keep pace.
Marc Lewis
Chairman of A.C.Lawrence & Company, Inc.
www.aclawrence.com
228 East 45th Street, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10017

212.989.0880

April 2012 Report
AVAILABILITY BY
AVAILABILITY BY
BUILDING TYPE
APARTMENT SIZE
3 bed+
Walk-Up
5%
Manhattan
23%
Studio
Doorman
April Average
$3,324
24%
58%
1 bed
Elevator
March Average
$3,309
48%
19%
2 bed
% Change
0.5%
23%
Doorman
Elevator
Walk-Up
Average
Studio
April Average
$2,494
$2,058
$1,845
$2,243
March Average
$2,497
$2,037
$1,808
$2,232
% Change
-0.1%
1.0%
2.0%
0.5%
1-Bedroom
April Average
$3,428
$2,443
$2,157
$3,199
March Average
$3,393
$2,407
$2,153
$3,203
% Change
1.0%
1.5%
0.2%
-0.1%
2-Bedroom
April Average
$5,283
$3,513
$2,959
$4,360
March Average
$5,164
$3,406
$3,019
$4,348
% Change
2.3%
3.1%
-2.0%
0.3%
3-Bedroom
April Average
$6,883
$5,445
$4,579
$5,879
March Average
$6,730
$5,401
$4,488
$5,826
% Change
1.5%
0.8%
2.0%
0.9%
2
www.aclawrence.com
228 East 45th Street, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10017

212.989.0880

April 2012 Manhattan
Neighborhood Averages

Doorman
Elevator
Walk-Up
Doorman
Elevator
Walk-Up
Studio
1-Bedroom
Battery Park City
$2,549
*
*
$3,408
*
*
Chelsea
$2,902
$2,697
$1,988
$3,976
$3,302
$3,060
East Village
$2,772
$2,153
$1,937
$3,504
$2,705
$2,027
Financial District
$2,789
$2,463
$2,022
$3,685
$3,114
$2,738
Gramercy/Flatiron
$2,786
$2,490
$2,125
$3,728
$3,038
$2,529
Greenwich Village
$2,910
$2,525
$2,347
$4,158
$3,585
$2,938
Harlem
$1,491
$1,138
$1,299
$2,094
$1,640
$1,405
Inwood/Wash Hts
$1,577
$1,255
$1,126
$1,866
$1,461
$1,285
Lower East Side
$2,323
$1,977
$1,788
$3,768
$2,706
$2,254
Midtown East
$2,555
$2,185
$1,947
$3,652
$2,648
$2,234
Midtown West
$2,883
$2,370
$1,982
$3,716
$2,911
$2,450
Morningside Hts
$1,696
$1,613
$1,550
$2,950
$2,250
$1,750
Murray Hill/Kips Bay
$2,605
$2,153
$2,065
$3,493
$2,756
$2,389
Soho/Tribeca
$3,184
$2,663
$2,448
$4,357
$3,916
$3,127
Upper East Side
$2,480
$1,822
$1,634
$3,372
$2,354
$1,927
Upper West Side
$2,554
$1,937
$1,725
$3,467
$2,678
$1,988
2-Bedroom
3-Bedroom
Battery Park City
$5,433
*
*
$6,234
*
*
Chelsea
$6,296
$5,106
$4,350
$ 7,200
$6,025
$5,300
East Village
$5,159
$4,049
$3,198
$6,218
$4,950
$4,320
Financial District
$4,684
$4,761
$3,150
$6,638
$6,300
*
Gramercy/Flatiron
$6,053
$4,869
$3,948
$6,912
$5,932
$5,081
Greenwich Village
$6,293
$4,981
$3,989
$7,054
$6,280
$5,396
Harlem
$3,019
$2,225
$1,709
$3,892
$2,828
$2,205
Inwood/Wash Hts
$2,400
$1,951
$1,591
$3,700
$2,504
$2,141
Lower East Side
$4,912
$4,008
$2,983
$5,700
$4,708
$3,938
Midtown East
$5,148
$4,053
$3,078
$5,950
$4,998
$4,025
Midtown West
$5,152
$4,461
$3,628
$6,418
$5,494
$4,862
Morningside Hts
$3,878
$2,887
$2,373
$4,860
$4,008
$3,719
Murray Hill/Kips Bay
$5,171
$4,249
$3,785
$5,863
$4,550
$4,014
Soho/Tribeca
$6,579
$5,725
$4,512
$7,300
$7,790
$5,795
Upper East Side
$4,850
$3,995
$2,739
$6,013
$4,760
$4,116
Upper West Side
$5,456
$4,179
$3,463
$6,219
$5,015
$4,625
*Sample too small to report
3
www.aclawrence.com
228 East 45th Street, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10017

212.989.0880

Making the Move ...
A . C . L AW R E N C E A G E N T S R E C O U N T:
W H AT T H E Y WA N T E D . W H E R E T H E Y L A N D E D .
April 2012
ERIN WHEELOCK:
TIM HANSLEY:
Client Challenge #1
Client Challenge #3
"In April, one of my clients living and working in
"This month I worked with a financial analyst who
Philadelphia wanted to move back to NYC, while
decided his current roommate arrangement wasn't
being able to reverse commute easily to Philly."
working well and decided to find his own place."
GOAL: Luxury. $3,000 monthly budget.
GOAL: One-bedroom, under $2,400, in Hell's
CHALLENGE: Close to Penn Station.
Kitchen/Midtown West
RESULT: "She ended up in a beautiful one bedroom
CHALLENGE: Felt he already had seen it all...but
unit in Midtown West for $3,450, very close to the
would walk up to four flights.
transportation hub of Penn Station, while having
RESULT: Second-floor walk-up, in target area, for
the conveniences and amenities of a residential
$2,250 (under budget)
neighborhood."
Client Challenge #4
Client Challenge #2
"A client relocating from Australia to work in the
"With the goal of saving money to buy a home in a
financial sector down on Wall Street needed to find a
year, a mother with a young son came to me seeking
one-bedroom quickly so he could move and keep his
a one- or two-bedroom."
focus on his new position."
GOAL: 1- or 2-bedroom, close to
GOAL: Upper East Side one-bedroom.
the Historical Museum (the son's
CHALLENGE: Required a doorman elevator building
favorite spot)
with a maximum budget of $2,700. Close to the
CHALLENGE: Location,
4/5/6 train for his commute to Wall Street.
space & $2,500 budget
RESULT: One-bedroom in condominium building for
RESULT: One-
$2,600 ($100 under max budget)
bedroom unit
on the Upper
West Side.
Monthly rent -
$2,550
RENTAL TIP
How can I best prepare for my rental search?
The best way to get ready is to have immediate access to all of your paperwork to verify employment and references,
as well as at least the equivalent of three months of rent at hand to cover the security deposit, first month's rent and any
associated application and broker fees. As the vacancy rate is well below 1%, the market is extremely competitive and
it may be wise to decide on your first, second and maybe even third choice in apartments in order to find, sign and
secure one in your chosen time frame.
Purpose
The purpose of this report is to identify and highlight market trends based not only on our statistical data gathering but also based on empirical data
collected by our market professionals who interact with clients and landlords on a daily basis.
Source
ACL tracks over100,000 apartments. Data for this report is based on available apartments per our proprietary rental listings database as well
as data from the REBNY Listing Service (RLS). Prices are based on actual rents, not net effective rents. Apartments priced above $7,500 are not
included in this report, in order to come up with a "true" average.
Disclaimer
The information provided in this report is for informational purposes only. All data is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or representation
is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, or withdrawal without notice.
4
www.aclawrence.com
228 East 45th Street, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10017

212.989.0880