(Source: New York Times

Great Recession prices are drawing even the most loyal outer-borough dwellers back to Manhattan. The migrants hail from Hoboken, Astoria and the brownstone blocks off Prospect Park, as New Yorkers who found themselves priced out of the gilded isle in the boom years are bidding farewell to long commutes and skinny-jean chic.

Newly minted Manhattanites range from 30-somethings seeking a professional edge through a shorter commute, to out-of-work recent graduates who think they can get a better deal on the Upper East Side than in the usual post-college enclaves of Williamsburg and Fort Greene.

Numbers on the New York rental market are notoriously unreliable, but recent reports suggest that rents are falling faster in Manhattan than in neighboring boroughs.

In the first three months of the year, one-bedroom rents in Manhattan fell 6.7 percent compared with the previous year, while Brooklyn one-bedrooms dropped just 3.2 percent, according to data from Citi Habitats and Ideal Properties Group, both brokerage firms. Other reports show some Manhattan rents down by 10 percent from a year ago.

“We do see that certain neighborhoods in Manhattan may be a better deal than certain neighborhoods in the boroughs,” said Stephen Love, a broker at Ardor Realty.

Read Michael M. Grynbaum’s full article “Manhattan Calling” in the New York Times (May 8, 2009).

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