Telling only half the story.
The median ask for a rental in Manhattan has skyrocketed to $3,925 a month — a staggering 31.9% year-over-year jump from April 2021 — according to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report.
That means, in order to apply for a city apartment, a renter would need to earn $157,000 per year, under the 40 times rent rule that landlords generally require.
It’s a new record high for rent in the city, coming off record lows during the thick of the pandemic. The unprecedented demand for apartments in the city, as New Yorkers return to work and new work-from-homers move to NYC, has even resulted in bidding wars for studio apartments, as The Post previously reported.
Is some of this a case of landlords charging whatever the traffic will bear? Sure. Real estate is also fantastically expensive in Manhattan, but the regulations are even more so, and the dirty secret of renting in the city is that once a tenant is in the apartment, getting him or her out is an almost impossible task.
So setting high rents and demanding proof of high income is a hedge against the professional squatters who infested the rental market during the oughts.
This kind of thing is why small-scale landlords are terrified of being burned.
An accused roommate from hell returned Sunday to the West Village digs where she’s allegedly been squatting and wreaking havoc for more than a year — armed with an NYPD escort.
Kate Gladstone — described in court papers as a nightmare “serial grifter’’ who has become a menacing scourge in the well-heeled Manhattan neighborhood — pulled up to 129 Barrow St. in a police SUV around 2:30 p.m.
Two uniformed cops escorted the 44-year-old woman inside the building — with one of the officers carrying Saturday night’s city Housing Court order preventing her from being booted amid the coronavirus.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen now,’’ lamented co-op owner Heidi Russell, who sued Gladstone to try to evict her, to The Post on Sunday after the return of her alleged rogue short-term tenant.
The homeowner said Gladstone offered to leave the pad about a week and a half ago — but only for a $24,000 payout.
Russell said she balked at paying the amount to the “grifter” — who previously refused to leave the Christopher Street home of an ex-girlfriend in the Village until she was paid $20,000, court papers allege.
High rents are a way of pricing risk. They’re a hedge against the catastrophes that renter protection and other regulations create.
I’m not saying Manhattan rents would be dirt cheap without government regulations, but, as usual, the regulations add risks and costs that are balanced out with market consolidation and soaring prices. Airbnb becomes one solution to avoid squatters, but even that doesn’t always work. Meanwhile the situation gets worse for both landlords and tenants.