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Surplus of Manhattan and Brooklyn Rentals Driving Prices Down, Report Says

By Kathleen Culliton | August 11, 2016 9:15am
 The Manhattan skyline is seen from the 48th floor of 7 World Trade Center on September 1, 2011.
The Manhattan skyline is seen from the 48th floor of 7 World Trade Center on September 1, 2011.
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NEW YORK CITY — The number of apartments on the market in Manhattan and Brooklyn in July were the highest in years — driving down prices and paving the way for landlords to court would-be buyers with concessions such as covering broker’s fees or offering a free month’s rent, according to a new report.

“There’s just been more product brought into the market through more development,” said Jonathan Miller, author of a market report from Douglas Elliman released Thursday. “More inventory has brought more concessions, more modest price growth and kept vacancy rates elevated.”

“This has been a five-year development boom,” Miller added. “It’s already having an impact.”

Listing inventory numbers across Brooklyn and Manhattan increased 29.6 and 30.3 percent respectively in the past year, reaching 7,681 in Manhattan and 2,424 in Brooklyn, the report found.

July also marked the highest inventories recorded in Brooklyn and Manhattan in more than 7 years, according to the report.

And listing inventory numbers in Queens rose 15 percent from 464 in July 2015 to 534 in July 2016.

In addition, as more inventory flooded the market, especially at the high end, brokers saw a rise in vacancies in Manhattan — or 2.49 percent — the highest point in the past nine years, according to the Douglas Elliman report.

As inventory and vacancies expanded, increased competition slowed or reversed the growth of median rental prices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Median rental prices increased only .9 percent in Manhattan and slipped .8 percent in Brooklyn and 8.2 percent in Queens, the report found.

Median prices for luxury rentals — where new developments have flooded the market — dropped by 5 percent in Queens and .4 percent in Manhattan, and only rose 2.1 percent in Brooklyn.