Photo: Robert Clark

Manhattan renters got a bit of break in November, with prices falling slightly and more landlords offering incentives on new leases.

But competition among renters remained stiff as the number of available units dwindled, according to a report released today by New York brokerage Douglas Elliman.

The average Manhattan rent fell 0.1 percent year-over-year to $4,091 in November, a decline of 0.5 percent from the previous month. The median price slipped 1.2 percent month-over-month to $3,360, although it was up 0.3 percent from the same time last year.

But while overall prices were down, the entry-level submarket was the only submarket to record annual gains. The median price of an entry-level apartment rose 0.2 percent to $2,299 in November. At the same time, the median price in the mid-level submarket remained unchanged while falling 0.1 percent in the high-end submarket.

Listing inventory was down 1.3 percent from last year in November. Manhattan apartments spent an average of 49 days on the market, down from 52 days recorded last year at this time.

The number of new leases dropped a whopping 17.4 percent from the previous month in November, and was down 5 percent from last year.

Meantime, the share of new leases that had landlord incentives rose to the second highest level on record in November. Nearly 30 percent of November’s new leases received incentives.

Landlords use incentives to keep units from being left vacant, and are customarily a period of free rent — currently 1.3 months. Although landlords are increasingly offering more “high-tech” incentives, like Netflix subscriptions or Amazon gift cards, as well.

The use of incentives helps to keep the vacancy rate in check. Following three consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Manhattan’s vacancy rate fell to 2.35 percent in November, down from last year’s reading of 2.53 percent at this time.

Over the last year, the average rent in Brooklyn rose nearly 3 percent to $3,080 in November, while the median rent edged up 0.5 percent to $2,795. The use of landlord incentives rose annually for the 22nd consecutive month, with almost 19 percent of new leases receiving incentives.

And, as listing inventory shrank almost 16 percent from last year in November, the average days on market fell from 48 days to 43 days.

Click here to read the entire report.

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