Extreme Rents Forcing Tough Decisions in NYC

As the average rental price in Manhattan surpasses the all-time high set in the real estate frenzy of 2007, Marc Santora reports on the tough choices facing many renters, amongst the backdrop of a still struggling economic recovery.
April 23, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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With vacancy rates in Manhattan hovering around 1 percent, and landlords able to increase rents by amounts unfathomable just a couple of years ago, many renters are facing a host of unappealing choices, accompanied by rising resentment.

According to Santora, "Landlords and brokers say more and more young people are sharing, even if it means sacrificing a living room to add a bedroom or two. There has also been a surge of interest in the other boroughs, with many neighborhoods reporting record rents of their own."

With rental demand being driven by a tight credit market that forces people to stay in the rental market and limits new construction, the sky-high rise in prices is, quite unusually, "divorced from the larger economic picture", explains Santora.

Will the rise in rents force people to decamp for other desirable cities, or prevent them from moving to New York in the first place? It's not a subject Santora seems willing to explore.

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Published on Friday, April 20, 2012 in The New York Times
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