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3PLT: Saturday Morning Alive Show

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

WTF - Ave. Rent: $2,000 a Month, for a Studio ???

Ave. Rent: $2,000 a Month, for a Studio
Jul 13 01:29 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - If you're looking for a Manhattan apartment, be prepared to shell out about $2,000 a month—unless, of course, you'd like a bedroom to go with it.

Studio apartments in New York's most expensive borough went for an average of $1,995 a month last year, according to an analysis released Friday by Citi Habitats, a Manhattan rental brokerage firm. That's up from $1,659 in 2002.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment shot up to $2,737, compared to $2,227 in 2002, and two-bedroom apartments climbed to $3,893, from $3,198 in 2002. Three-bedroom apartments saw the largest percentage increase: more than 36 percent, from $4,059 in 2002 to $5,534 last year.

The increase did nothing to decrease demand. The overall rental vacancy rate for Manhattan last year was less than 1 percent.

The report reflects that "we're the center of everything," said Citi Habitats spokesman Christopher Dente. "There's a lot of relocation—thousands of people are coming in."

He attributed the bulging rents to the city's strong economy. In addition, the U.S. dollar is low against foreign currencies, "and we're a very popular destination for foreigners," Dente said.

Citi Habitats based its data on 50,000 deals the firm closed from 2002 to 2006.

About 75 percent of housing in Manhattan is comprised of rental properties. The company did not analyze properties in the city's other boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. The study also does not include Manhattan apartments subject to rent control or rent stabilization—at least 10 percent of available properties.

The trend of rising rents continued in the first six months of this year with increases between 4 percent and 8 percent, said Citi Habitats CEO Gary Malin.

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