We used to be able to count on certain things. Like when our hair looked good, we looked good. If we got a burger, we’d also get fries. And, when the economy was down, so were the rents. Or so we thought. Not for long, say real estate gurus/money-grubbers du jour Prudential Douglas Elliman and Citi Habitats.
Manhattan rental transactions are up and inventory is shrinking, according to first-quarter market reports released today by Prudential Douglas Elliman and Citi Habitats.
Rents, however, still remain slightly down. Per Elliman, the average rent for a Manhattan apartment was $3,812 (we’d just like to know who’s paying anywhere near that, and if we can sleep on your couch for a few nights). In the first quarter of last year, the average was $4,142.
Citi Habitats, who seem to be more our kind of peeps, estimated the average rent for a studio at $1,750, which is slightly down from $1,771 in the first quarter of ’09.
Is this the moment, then, to finally upgrade from your broom closet parent’s house 10-cubic-foot refrigerator studio, before landlords drop the facade of having an ounce of humanity and start overcharging us in blood money while they line their trousers with $50 bills and the fur of helpless animals?
Gary Malin, the president of Citi Habitats, seems to think so:
“Prices are likely to increase, albeit slowly, and incentives are starting to go away,” he said.
Meanwhile, we haven’t even gotten over the economy yet, says a new Marist College poll.
54% of registered voters in New York think the state’s economy is getting worse. 34% say it is staying about the same, and only 12% report it is getting better.
Somebody needs a drink.