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May 18, 2010

Looks like the craziness for Manhattan residential rentals is coming back strong. Could this be a sign that of a rebound for New York, or just a dip in availability?

New Yorkers are once again having to be aggressive to land their rentals, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Does anyone track rent by neighbourhood in Canada? I would love to see what is happening with the rent in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

Check out what the Wall Street Journal has to say:

Across Manhattan in March, the average rent for a one-bedroom was $2,341, while two bedrooms came in at $3,289, according to Citi Habitats. That’s down 4.2% and 7.4%, respectively, from a year earlier, but up a hair from $2,335 and $3,283 in February. (We realize that would pay the mortgage for a mansion in much of the country.)

Plenty of people are willing to pay that amount. But there isn’t much to go around: The vacancy rate in Manhattan, where most of the housing stock is rentals, is already declining. It came in at 1.38% in March, below February’s 1.54% and down from 2.46% a year ago, according Citi Habitats. The national rate is 8%.

Another sign of healing: Negotiating for better lease terms is no longer a given. After two years in the driver’s seat, renters at all price points are seeing their control weaken. More landlords are sticking with their asking rents and offering fewer freebies, a shift that coincides with the arrival of the peak season.

“Now it’s sort of take it or leave it,” said Robin Schneiderman, senior vice president with Citi Habitats. “People are taking things occupied and even renting before the renovations are done. You didn’t really see that.”

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