It’s a Tiny Bit Easier to Rent an Apartment in New York City These Days


According to a new report from Citi Habitats, your chances of finding and renting an apartment in the city, always a tremendous pain unless you are very, very lucky, or very, very rich, have gone up a bit. That is to say, it’s not quite so difficult because the vacancy rate has increased…to 1 percent. This, though it may not sound like much, is actually the highest vacancy rate in 6 months, and, Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, says, a correction to “brutal” conditions earlier this summer. Rents for studios and one bedrooms went up slightly, while rents on larger places went down a bit.

To give some perspective on the vacancy percentage, according to the report,

The overall Manhattan vacancy rate climbed to 1%, which is up 14% from July. Vacancy rates were at 0.69% for May and June, and at 0.86% for July.

Vacancy ranges around town, of course, with the hardest place to get an apartment the West Village (vacancy rate 0.35 percent) and the “easiest” place East Midtown (vacancy rate 1.26 percent). The highest overall vacancy rate in recent times, for the record, was in February of 2009, at 2.46 percent. Imagine.

As the rents themselves, the average apartment in Manhattan went for $3350 in August, which is 8 percent higher than the average Manhattan apartment in August of 2010. However, we’re still below the all-time high of $3394, from May of 2007. Sheesh. Comparatively, the average price of a studio is $2013, and a one bedroom, $2686.

This all makes our small-living hero Luke Clark Taylor’s 78-square-foot, $800-a-month apartment seem quite a bargain, huh? Well, sort of.