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Ranking the Top Rentals

01/01/2010, By Candace Taylor

Ranking the top rentals

A look at the most expensive apartment leases on the market in ManhattanJanuary 05, 2010 12:00PM


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From the January issue: It's no secret that many top-notch New York City sales brokers took on pricey rentals last year because high-end apartments were slow to sell. But with the economy struggling, did the high-end rental market fare any better than the sales market? Were celebrities still willing to pay top dollar for temporary Manhattan pads? And did struggling corporations change their tactics in renting out apartments for top executives? This month, The Real Deal chipped away at the notorious lack of transparency in the rental market (unlike sales, rentals are not publicly recorded) and looked at both the priciest rental listings, which were provided by the real estate Web site StreetEasy, and closed deals, which were supplied by brokerages and agents. According to StreetEasy, the 10 most expensive rental listings on the market in Manhattan late last month ranged from $60,000 to $140,000. Some 38 listings priced over $50,000 per month hit the market at some point in 2009, up from 31 in 2008, suggesting that more high-end sellers are listing their homes for both sale and rent because of the tough economy. The agents who listed these über-expensive rentals reported that wealthy renters, like other consumers, became more price-sensitive as layoffs climbed and the stock market went on a wild ride. Much like the high-end sales market, prices for high-end rentals dropped precipitously in 2009. Brokers estimated that rents across the top of the market have fallen between 15 and 50 percent from the peak, depending on the neighborhood and apartment type. 

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