is the season torent apartments,or that is theresounding chorus being sungin the real estate community.According to The Real EstateGroup’s March rental report,rents are up, and though theyhave not reached the March2009 level, brokers say theuptick should last at leastthrough September.“Trac is increasingand serious renters areresuracing,”says JasonGohari, Associate Director atThe Moinian Group. “We’reexperiencing an increase inboth broker and walk-in trac.”But Mr. Gohari admits that“One may contribute a part oour current success at Dwell95and Ocean/1 West Street to thechange in season.”The largest percentagerent increase on average sinceFebruary was in non-doormanbuildings in Gramercy Park anddoorman buildings in the EastVillage. Two-bedroom doormanapartments have seen thesteadiest recovery comparedwith last year’s numbers.Doorman buildings haverecovered more quickly thanthose without, a sign that somestratication in luxury pricesmay be on the horizon. “Asactivity picks up this summer,renters should anticipate areturn to paying a premiumor service,”the March rentalreport states.And although rents are up,but so are vacancies overall.The Real Estate Group alsosays that the increase invacancies can be a sign ohealth in the market. SnezanCebic, o Mark David &Company, agrees. “I’ve hadtwo applications all throughbecause the landlord eitherdecided to relist the apartmentwithout concessions or theydecided to list it a higher price.”And as the luxury marketheats up, concessions are therst thing to go. Glenwoodhas stopped oering rentalconcessions at their premiereMidtown West propertyEmerald Green. “In act, we’vestopped them at hal o ourbuildings,”says GlenwoodExecutive Vice President GaryJacob. Mr. Cebic sees thistrend as well. “Tenants on thehigh end are still asking orand receiving rent reductions,between 5 and 8%, butlandlords are taking awaymany o our concessions.”Which hoods to keep aneye on? Brokers say MidtownWest, Gramercy Park, and theUpper West Side in Manhattan.“Non-doorman luxury listings...the Westside in particular isdoing really well,”says Mr.Cebic. Scott Walsh, Director oMarketing at TF Cornerstone,says “within our portolio, weare 99% occupied.”Downtown Brooklyn, with itsmany new towers, is still leasing
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