The priciest rental market in New York City experienced a slightly difficult start to 2016, according to the MNS January Market Report. Month-over-month, rents declined .96 percent, as they were up to $3,911 in December. Average rents in Manhattan slid to $3,873 in January from $3,923 this time last year, a 1.39 percent drop.

  • Rental prices tend to dip during the dead of the winter, and even high-end markets like Manhattan aren’t immune to fluctuations.
  • Although averages seem only minimally affected, renters have more negotiating power due to higher vacancy rates, so lessees with some determination might be able to receive higher reductions.
  • Tribeca took the biggest hit this time around, with non-doorman one-bedrooms down 23.9 percent between December and January.
  • Battery Park City average rent increased 5.8 percent since January 2015.

The priciest rental market in New York City experienced a slightly difficult start to 2016, according to the MNS January Market Report. Month-over-month, rents declined .96 percent, as they were up to $3,911 in December. Average rents in Manhattan slid to $3,873 in January from $3,923 this time last year, a 1.39 percent drop.

While the yearly drop is a negative mark for Manhattan, monthly fluctuations are largely dependent on seasonal demand. Rental prices tend to dip during the dead of the winter, and even high-end markets like Manhattan aren’t immune to fluctuations.

Pro tip: Take advantage of signing deals in the rental off-season

The off-season is prime for renters to take advantage of decreased rates, according to real estate professionals. Although averages seem only minimally affected, renters have more negotiating power due to higher vacancy rates, so lessees with some determination might be able to receive higher reductions.

“I have often advised my renters about the potential benefits of moving during the off-season, when management companies and landlords could be more apt to negotiate,” said Nicole Beauchamp, global real estate advisor at Engel & Völkers NYC and Inman contributing writer.

Vacancy rates sometimes coincide with a greater influx of rental units on the market. In January, listing inventory increased across Manhattan by 2.82 percent, from 8,760 units to 9,007 units month-over-month.

Tribeca and SoHo suffer, but not enough units to consider as benchmarks

Tribeca took the biggest hit this time around, with non-doorman one-bedrooms down 23.9 percent between December and January. Average rents shrunk from $5,123 to $3,898 during this time frame.

Non-doorman studios increased 13.1 percent, but that was due to a high-priced loft and a total sample size of three rental units, according to the report. Keep in mind, less than 20 units were surveyed for Tribeca.

In SoHo, average price for doorman studios decreased 23.7 percent, from $4,195 to $3,200 last month.

BPC continues to attract renters while studios gain traction

[graphiq id=”er2qrt6sFIV” title=”Battery Park City Manhattan, NY Profile” width=”600″ height=”598″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/er2qrt6sFIV” link=”http://places.findthehome.com/l/146049/Battery-Park-City-Manhattan-NY” link_text=”Battery Park City Manhattan, NY Profile | FindTheHome”]

On the flipside, Battery Park City average rent increased 5.8 percent since January 2015. Last year, BPC average rent was $4,442 and is now $4,700 per month. BPC also saw a 4.8 percent increase in doorman-operated studio apartments, and a 0.2 percent average rent increase in doorman one-bedroom apartments, too.

“[I’m] not surprised about Battery Park City … Brookfield Place and all the other wonderful happenings in BPC and the Financial District are making people look at the area with renewed interest,” Beauchamp said.

Overall, average studio prices across neighborhoods increased slightly, helping Manhattan rental prices stay somewhat afloat. Averages on studios went from $2,933 in December to $2,974 in January across the borough.

Although rents moderately shrunk for the time being, Manhattan renters likely won’t jump at leasing opportunities without considering the long-term implications. With tax season approaching and many assessing their monetary standings, it might be time to reconsider current living situations, especially as they relate to the current real estate market trends.

“It has been my experience, that this time of year, especially as many prepare to work on their taxes, they look at trends with a closer eye as part of their overall discussion when deciding whether to renew their current leases or move to a different rental property. Or, in some cases, to purchase if that is feasible for them depending on their individual circumstances,” Beauchamp said.

Email Jennifer Riner.

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