High rents, few concessions led to more vacancies: Report

More Manhattan apartments sat vacant last month, as landlords eased off discounts and sought to raise rents — a mismatch atypical of summer, according to Citi Habitats. The brokerage’s July market analysis, which is set to be released Thursday, noted that 1.34 percent of its rental listings in Manhattan were vacant, up from 1.32 percent in June. Although the number of unused units has increased, the current vacancy rate is lower than it was at this point last year, according to the firm’s data. “Given the historically busy time of year, owners seized the opportunity to raise rents and lower concessions. However, tenants resisted these changes — thus tempering demand,” Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, said in the analysis. “In response, many have postponed their apartment search entirely. Others have chosen to focus on other locations.” The borough’s average rents rose 2 percent from June to July for studios, one-bedrooms and threebedrooms; and 4 percent for two-bedrooms, Citi Habitats said. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of all leases Citi Habitats helped broker last month came with some sort of a concession, such as the landlord paying the broker’s fee or waiving a month of rent. The use of concessions has declined over the past six months, but still remains as common as it was in July 2017, the firm said.

Manhattan vacancies rose slightly from June to July.