Surprise, Surprise: New York Becomes Even Less Affordable

Manhattan living has become more overpriced than before, even though there are more open apartments than in January 2011, a new study has found.

Citi Habitats, one of the town's largest real estate firms, says that rents have gone up 5 percent compared to last year.

"While rents often decrease during the winter months, this year seems to be an exception, and apartments continue to rent for increasingly high prices," Citi says in a statement.


Some details from Citi's survey?

The average Manhattan residential rental cost $3352 in January 2012. In 2011, it was $3183.

Borough studios are said to cost around $1967, up 6 percent from last year, while one bedrooms weighed in at $2652, 5 percent more than last year.  The more bedrooms, the bigger the bill: Two bedrooms rented for an average $3762 and three bedroom units increased 4 percent, to $5026.

A few other interesting tidbits from the research?

SoHo/TriBeCa were the trickiest neighborhoods to find a place to live -- vacancies there were a scant .40 percent.

Gary Malin, who runs Citi Habitats, says that Wall Street bonuses will play a big role in apartment prices -- if the one percent doesn't do quite as well, they'll remain renters, which will make the market more difficult for everyone to navigate.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.  

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