In Manhattan, it’s still renter’s world - Metro US

In Manhattan, it’s still renter’s world

Despite reports of a national economic rebound, Manhattan renters continue to get discounts.

Rents dropped 6.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as landlords cut prices to lure tenants.

The median rent fell for all sizes of property except one-bedroom units, broker Prudential Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. said Thursday. Broker CitiHabitats found average monthly prices down as much as 7 percent.

About half of landlords are offering sweeteners.

When Jesse Zarouk, 30, was looking for a West Village apartment big enough for the furniture he accumulated in Los Angeles, he got a free month’s rent and $150 off the monthly asking price. The landlord also agreed to tear down a wall and pay CitiHabitats’ brokers commission for him. Zarouk, a vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald, landed a $3,800-a-month 950-square-foot apartment.

“I think I’ve got a free month in me for the next lease,” he said.

Fallout from the recession and credit crisis are still rippling through Manhattan.

“With high unemployment, it’s premature to suggest that we know where things are going,” Miller said.

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