viernes, 11 de mayo de 2012

The lease you can do

Pity the poor college senior.

His student loans are high, his job prospects are bad and if he decided to strike out on his own in the big city . . . well, we salute the courage of anyone looking to rent an apartment in NYC.

The rental market is flat-out lousy for a first-timer, and it’s not much easier for someone looking to upgrade.

According to Citi Habitats, the vacancy rate in April was 1.16 percent. Not as bad as it was last summer (0.69 percent), but real estate pros are bracing themselves for a busy June.

“The market’s tightening up and prices are getting higher,” says Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats. “There’s very little new construction. There are only going to be 2,230 [new] units in Manhattan this year, which is a drop in the bucket. It’s the lowest [number of new units] it’s been in seven years.”

DUMBO’s 134-unit 220 Water St. hit the market in February. The rentals go from $3,175 a month for a studio to $5,975 for a convertible one-bedroom.

Evan Joseph; Ben Gancsos(inset)

DUMBO’s 134-unit 220 Water St. hit the market in February. The rentals go from $3,175 a month for a studio to $5,975 for a convertible one-bedroom.

And if the low vacancy rate doesn’t raise your eyebrow, prices will. According to Malin, the average Manhattan studio rented for $2,025 per month in April; the average one-bedroom was $2,785; the average two-bedroom was $3,891; and the average three-bedroom was $5,186 per month.

“Last month was an all-time high,” Malin says of prices overall. “We assume that every month [over the summer] we’re going to continue setting an all-time high.”

And for luxury rentals, the market is just as strong. Related is introducing 1214 Fifth Ave. — the tallest rental building on the Upper East Side, where alcove studios start at $2,595, one-bedrooms start at $4,025, two-bedrooms start at $5,195 and three-bedrooms go for $8,995.

And if you thought Brooklyn was a better story, in some cases it’s worse. At the new DUMBO building 220 Water St., which opened in February, studios start at $3,175.

Even in Long Island City, rents are rising.

“On the water, it’s anywhere from $48 to $52 per foot,” says Eric Benaim, president of Modern Spaces. (This means a 1,000-square-foot apartment would cost approximately $4,000 to $4,333 per month.)

Still, LIC and other Queens neighborhoods continue to attract those priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“A lot of people can’t find anything in Williamsburg or are priced out of Williamsburg,” Benaim says.

We asked the experts for their tips on handling the heated rental market.

1. Carry a lot of paper on your hunt.

“Have immediate access to all of your paperwork to verify employment and references,” says Marc Lewis, chairman of A.C. Lawrence. “You need to have copies of your two to three most-recent pay stubs. If you’re a new hire, obtain a signed employment letter on company stationery stating your job description, hire date, annual salary and any bonus.”

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Citi Habitats, Gary Malin, Manhattan, Manhattan, rental market, vacancy rate, Manhattan studio

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