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Manhattan Rents Up 3 Percent Since Last Year, and Still Rising

NEW YORK CITY — Don’t let a reported dip in October rents fool you: Rent rates are still on the rise from last year, and with displaced Sandy victims searching for new places to live, they stand poised to go even higher, experts said.

Analysts from the real estate firms Citi Habitats and Miller Samuel, an appraiser analyzing data for brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman, found at least a 3-percent increase in rents between October 2011 and last month.

There was a slight cooling-off period in the last two months, with the price of a Manhattan apartment dropping slightly — from $3,453 in September to $3,444 in October. But in the long run, renters were still paying $103 more this October compared to the same time last year, experts said.

“In the grand scheme of things, the Manhattan rental market remains robust,” said Citi Habitats president Gary Malin in a statement. “The reason is three-pronged. The time of year is one factor, as are the aggressive rents. In addition, the continued favorable conditions in the city’s sales market are turning many renters into buyers.”

Malin added that the Hurricane Sandy effect will make the housing market even more unpredictable in the weeks to come.

“It will be interesting to [see] what November’s statistics show, however, as the recent terrible storm has caused increased demand in the rental market citywide,” Malin said.

Median rental prices in Manhattan ballooned to $3,200, while the average price hovered at $3,856, according to Miller Samuel.

Miller Samuel’s team also found that the median price of Manhattan luxury buildings jumped 5 percent from 2011, while super-luxury buildings saw a 15-percent jump in the same period.