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Report: NYC landlords ask for higher rents and offer fewer freebies in June

The Manhattan vacancy rate for June was 1.16 percent, unchanged from the same period last year.

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If you’re looking for a New York City rental apartment, the numbers probably seem astronomical to you.

The June rental market report from Douglas Elliman for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens bears that out. It finds the median rental price for Manhattan is up 4.4 percent to $3,550. 

Since landlords want to see annual earnings of about 40 to 45 the monthly rent, you (and your roommates, if you have them) need to earn at least $142,000 to qualify for an apartment at the median rent in Manhattan. One thing in your wallet's favor: The new rent laws cap your security deposit at one month, and landlords can no longer ask for "last month's rent" in addition to a security deposit.

What’s more: Manhattan landlords are not offering concessions as frequently—the share of new leases with the landlord paying the broker free or offering a free month or two—was 32.2 percent. It is the fifth time in six months year over year that landlord concessions have declined.

Fewer landlords are offering freebies because the market is so tight: The Manhattan vacancy rate for June was 1.16 percent, unchanged from the same period last year.

New development median rent grew 9.1 percent, three times the rate for existing median rent. The median rent for luxury apartments—the top 10 percent of the market—only ticked up 1.5 percent, to $8,120 a month.

Concessions are also down in Brooklyn. The percentage of new leases with some kind of freebie dropped annually for the sixth straight consecutive month. The median rent was up 5.3 percent to $3,000.

In Queens, concessions declined sharply, to 36.2 percent down from 45.7 percent of new leases. Rents are also on the increase here. The median rent was up .5 percent to $2,864.

Other market reports

Citi Habitats said the vacancy rate was the lowest it’s been in seven years.

“The summer season is in full swing, and rental housing is in strong demand. The vacancy rate has fallen for six consecutive months, and has reached a seven-year low,” says Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats. Concessions are down, he says, but still represent an effective tool for owners who want to keep their rents up and offer something of value to apartment seekers.