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Finance Manhattan rents tumble by the most in nearly 7 years even after landlords offer a ton of freebies

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Landlords seem to be running out of tricks.

manhattan rent play

manhattan rent

(Mario Tama/Getty)

  • Manhattan rents in March fell year-over-year by the most in nearly seven years, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
  • This happened even as landlords continued to offer several concessions to get new leases.

Manhattan landlords seem to be running out of tricks.

They're aggressively offering a month of free rent and other concessions to get new tenants. And yet, in March, Manhattan's median rent including such discounts fell 3.2% year-over-year, making for the biggest drop in 6 1/2 years, according to a monthly report released Thursday by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Armed with more choices, apartment seekers are pushing back on rental prices in New York City's largest borough, according to Hal Gavzie, the executive manager of leasing at Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

They're also concession-hopping for which landlord is offering the most incentives like gift cards. Landlords offered concessions on nearly 42% of all apartments, the third-highest share in nearly eight years of data collection and up from 28% a year ago.

"It's a great renter's market if you're looking for an apartment," Gavzie told Business Insider. "It's a fantastic time to be looking because you do have so many choices and there are still quite a bit of concessions available."

The decline in rents also shows that the market is adjusting to all the inventory that has been built, Gavzie said.

The oversupply also hit the rental market at its luxury end, where overbuilding has been an issue and sellers are cutting prices to woo potential buyers. Up there, the median rent costs $8,437, and was down more than 6% from last year, the most among all price tiers.

A separate report released by Douglas Elliman earlier this month showed that Manhattan condo and co-op sales slowed in the first quarter to an almost nine-year low.