What’s Good for the Economy May Be Bad for Your Rent


One beneficial side effect of the “Great Recession” has been a corresponding decrease in the overinflated — bloated, even; gouty! — rents of times past. We know of several people who have actually negotiated with their landlords for rent decreases, an act unheard of in the flush ’90s, when you had to put a deposit down the moment you saw a place if you stood any chance of getting it at all, and when all-out bidding wars could raise the annual price of a standard windowless studio to the cost of a college education at a top-tier school.

Now that the job market is looking a little more healthy, though, it seems that rents are headed onwards and upwards.

Curbed reports that “Evidence from local brokerages over the past few months has suggested rents are on the way up” and refers to a report (pictured) from Reis Inc. indicating “a first-quarter rent increase of 0.9 percent for New York, even taking concessions like free months’ rent into account.”


Deterioration seems not to have just been arrested but reversed,” said Victor Calanog, director of research for Reis, to the Wall Street Journal. “Several markets have bottomed and may be on track to recovery.”

So soon? Is it possible? And does this mean — pray no — we should expect rent increases?

Hessam Nadji, managing director at real-estate firm Marcus & Millichap, says no: “Rent reductions are not over yet.”

And, in fact, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, the biggest annual rent gains over the past year are 2.5 percent in Colorado Springs and 2.0 percent in Washington, D.C.

New York City didn’t even make the top 10 list. For once, that’s a relief.