(Bloomberg) -- Manhattan’s shrinking rents are prompting apartment-dwellers to think big.
Units with three or more bedrooms accounted for 12.2 percent of new leases in May, the largest share since appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate started tracking the data in 2011. Excluding renewals, deals were signed for 767 apartments in the category, a 20 percent jump from a year earlier.
Manhattan renters are all hunting for a bargain, and the biggest ones to be had are with the borough’s largest homes. For apartments with three or more bedrooms, the median rent fell 5.8 percent from a year earlier to $5,650. By comparison, rates for two-bedroom units dropped 4.6 percent to $4,295, and one-bedroom rents were up 0.3 percent to a median of $3,459.
With discounts like those, and an oversupply of high-end apartments, it may make more sense to trade up to a bigger rental rather than buy, according to Hal Gavzie, Douglas Elliman’s executive manager of leasing.
“We’re getting more people who were in the sales market and just haven’t pulled the trigger” on a purchase, he said. “They’re seeing that it’s a renters’ market, and maybe they’re just looking for that deal.”
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