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Manhattan’s Rental ‘Glampers’ Send Luxury Lease Prices Soaring

Rents on super-luxury rents in Manhattan rose 9.1 percent in September compared to a year earlier.

(Bloomberg)—Manhattan rents are on the rise, and climbing fastest for the most-expensive apartments in the borough.

Super-luxury rents -- the top 5% of the market by price -- jumped 9.1% in September from a year earlier to a median of $12,000, while the top 10% luxury category saw a 3.4% gain to $8,473, according to data from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. By comparison, non-luxury rents -- the bottom 90% -- rose 1.7% to a median of $3,395. It was the 10th straight month with an increase.

Manhattan Luxury Demand

Leasing in Manhattan is getting more costly as would-be homebuyers at all income levels seek safety in the rental market while waiting for purchase prices to come down. Luxury sales are particularly slow -- falling 13% in the third quarter from a year earlier -- as a surplus of new-development inventory competes with high-end co-op resales, and well-heeled shoppers show little interest in either without significant discounts.

So those with a taste for the glamorous, and the patience to wait for the right place to buy, are choosing to rent.

The leasing strength “reflects the additional weakness we’re seeing in the high end of the sales market,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “Sales of more than $2 million, that’s where there’s blood in the water, so it makes sense that people are camping out in the luxury rental market. We’ll call it ‘glamping.’”

--With assistance from Nancy Moran.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at [email protected].

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Urban at [email protected]

Christine Maurus

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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