First Signs of Rental Market Recovery 2009 : Landlords Say NO

August 12, 2009

g4As the first third of August passes, brokers are learning a new truth about their notoriously weakened rental market:  it’s not as weak as the media and the grapevine would have us all believe!  A trend has been identified among rental agents at Benjamin James in which landlords who have negotiated rents and offered deal-sweetening incentives since last fall are now pushing back on would-be tenants’ negotiations!  One major landlord came to market on Friday, August 7 with over a dozen one bedrooms in a popular midtown doorman building.  Brokers and their customers were lined up in the lobby and out onto the sidewalk to view the new listings, which were priced between $2550 and $2695 (at least ten percent lower than most larger doorman one bedrooms).  By Friday evening, applications began rolling in, and on Saturday, the Landlord’s office was responding to offers only $50 below the asking rent with resounding NO.  They noted that this is the time of year for high volume, and they believed that their prices were fair.  Time will tell, or in this case, time has told.  The landlord rented a dozen apartments between Friday and Monday at the end of the day.  So much for the lazy summer weekend.

Other major landlords have discontinued paying broker fees altogether.  One large firm, in particular, has done away with free rent incentives and broker fees in their many Manhattan buildings.  The only unusual perk this landlord offers is no security deposit for credit-worthy applicants!

Many landlords still pay broker fees, and some continue to offer a combination of free rent for consumers and fees for brokers.  For consumers looking to snag that great “no fee” apartment, this is the time.  The season will turn with the economic markets, which are also looking up, and while recovery may be gradual, the rental deals that are offered are dwindling.  Like all good things, the incentives that have kept the market going in the recession are only here for now.client_11_15

Douglas Wagner
Benjamin James Real Estate –

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3 Responses to “First Signs of Rental Market Recovery 2009 : Landlords Say NO”

  1. David Says:

    Something smells vaguely of BS on this piece. humm..

  2. driveconvert Says:

    I am not a realtor but I work in the industry and IMHO it was a very subjective piece. Just my 2C.

  3. […] Only two weeks ago, my head was spinning at the number of landlords who were turning down low offers…  This year, however, there are vacant units which remain un-rented on all sides of those premium homes.  For landlords and developers who have gone above and beyond to create special apartments with solid finishes and a few splashy perks, vacancies remain minimal, provided those landlords have maintained conservative pricing.  Clearly this is not the market to expect super high prices to fall in line with the very high finishes.  It has proven not to be the market in which tenants can name their price and expect to be taken seriously. […]

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