The pace of rent increases slowed in January as more people became buyers, according to market reports released Wednesday.
In January, the median monthly rent in Manhattan hit $3,150, up 2.6% from the same time last year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman, continuing a recent trend of relatively modest rises. For the past few months, year-over-year rent increases have been about five percentage points lower than they were for about a year prior, says Jonathan Miller, the CEO of Miller Samuel Inc. who prepares the Elliman reports.
“It’s now the fourth consecutive month with a very modest year-over-year rise in median rent,” Mr. Miller said. “One of the key reasons you’re seeing the pace of rental growth ease is that you’re seeing [low] mortgage rates pulling in buyers.”
Mark Menendez, Douglas Elliman’s director of rentals, reported similar findings.
“The changes [in median rent] are minimal, but we’re seeing renters move into the buyers market a lot more now,” Mr. Menendez said.
Meanwhile, Citi Habitats reported that between December and January, rents actually dropped slightly. The average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,211 in January, a decrease of $23 from the previous month. Year-over-year, however, average rents were up.
“Although prices are down slightly, they’re still at pretty high levels, and they are higher than they were a year ago,” said company President Gary Malin.
Over in Brooklyn, the median rental price fell by 4.2% to $2,527 between December and January, but remained essentially unchanged from the same time a year ago, according to the Elliman data.