Concessions up, luxury prices down in Manhattan's rental market

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | November 10, 2016 - 12:31PM

This year's October market report from Douglas Elliman has good and bad news for renters. First, the good stuff: The market share of landlord concessions hit a record high (representing 23.9 percent of total apartments), double the number compared to the same month last year. Marketing time, negotiability, and vacancy all expanded. And as we've been hearing for a while now, the entry market has seen price gains, while rents in the luxury market have declined. Interestingly, rents in doorman buildings also fell as non-doorman rents edged higher.

"Concessions are the big story," says appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, who authored the report. Concessions represented the larges share of the market since he started tracking them six years ago.

The other big story: non-doorman vs. doorman buildings. "Rents are up 1.8 percent in non-doorman buildings, and down 0.8 percent in doorman buildings," he says. And the concession market is at 31.4 percent in the doorman market, and 16.6 percent in the non-doorman market, Miller says. 

But rents are still very high—with the median coming in at $3,400 (up 0.3 percent), and that's causing an overflow into the suburbs, says Miller. 

"This past quarter, Westchester County had the most sales of any quarter in the last 35 years. That's because even with concessions rising, rents are high. Fairfield County in Connecticut saw the most sales in more than a decade. Long Island saw the most sales in 14 years," he says.

Wondering what exactly you can get for $3,400 a month in Manhattan? Scroll below for three apartments (and one extra in Brooklyn, where the median rental price slipped 0.3 percent to $2,875):


This furnished midtown studio comes complete with a flatscreen TV and custom recessed lighting. The building, at 145 West 58th Street, is steps from Central Park. $3,450/month, no broker's fee.


A fully furnished, move-in ready one-bedroom in a townhouse with high-end European stainless steel appliances that have hardly been used; Corian countertops and custom wood cabinets. The kitchen is even fully stocked.$3,400/month, no broker's fee.


A recently renovated two-bedroom in a well maintained walk-up in the East Village. $3,400/month.

A modern one-bedroom with Brazilian wood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows at the Toren, a luxury building in downtown Brooklyn. $2,875/month.


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.