It was just a few months ago that the pricey rent concessions some buildings and landlords were being analyzed, but lately it seems like some landlords want their tenants to...pay more. One Midtown tenant who is facing an apartment lease renewal sans concessions (like a month's free rent) told NY1, "It is shocking to see numbers jump like that, especially for someone who is new to the city. I obviously don’t know what the New York City real estate game is like, but as a renter who is new, who experienced an unbelievable deal coming here, it was shocking for me to be faced with those numbers."
His broker explained, "[Tenants] taking a hit, because in their mind they are paying $2,500, even though their legal rent is $3,000. They go to renew and they think their rent is being raised to $2,800 or $3,000, but in reality the free months are just being taken away." (Rent increases have been tested by landlords since earlier this year, to take advantage of the slow economic recovery.)
According to CitiHabitats, the rental vacancy rate is at 1.1% for August, up from 0.88% in July (apparently it's unusual for the vacancy rate to go over 1%). One reason being cited is the end of rent concessions: Crain's New York reports, "In August, a mere 20% of apartments rented by CitiHabitats included concessions—typically giving a free month's rent or paying the broker's fee. That is drastically down from the peak of incentives in December 2009 when roughly 60% of apartments rented by the brokerage included concessions."