Economics

Manhattan Vacancy Rate Mystery

|

I've long been fascinated with the quest for quantification above truth or accuracy that haunts American journalism (and American culture generally)–here's a piece I wrote on the topic over a decade ago for Cato Policy Report, and here's another one from the December 1995 issue of Reason. So I'm always delighted to add to my clip file of "figures that no one actually knows"–in this case, saith the New York Observer, Manhattan's rental vacancy rate .

NEXT: The Swiss Could Poke You Full of Holes

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. One way I figured out to make it seem like you are right all of the time is to make a big deal about the small times you are right, no matter who trivial, while quitely dismissing the times you are are wring. For example, when I’m working at Blockbuster and I find a movie that my manager claimed we did not carry, I do the “I Was Right” dance in which I thrust my hips around while chanting “I was right.

    Another trick I learned is that you can get away with being a total selfish prick in front of your friends if you do them intermittent small favors, like treating the group to pizza after you hit on one of their sisters. That way, you delay the coming day when they finally call you on your shit as, if they yell at you, you can throw all the examples of when you where a nice guy into their face.

  2. [bitch]I suppose if you work at Blockbuster you have to make the most of whatever victories you’ve got.[/bitch]

  3. I guess out of fairness of honesty I should point out that after my dance, I realize where I’m at and begin weep openly.

  4. Don’t feel too bad, Jonathan. I used to be simultaneously cool and hot, yet now I make HTML jokes on a libertarian chat board.

  5. I just have to settle with “hot.”

  6. Jonathan,

    I do the same thing with my girlfriend who is insanely more knowledgeable than me when it comes to pop culture.

    Except in my household, it’s known as the “cat dance”, which delights me but pisses the cat off to no end.

  7. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve had to watch a Blockbuster employee weeping openly.

    Jennifer: nice post on your blog today. I look forward to your company in the hereafter.

  8. …while quitely dismissing the times you are are wring.

    Like these?

    Kevin

  9. [bitch]I suppose if you work at Blockbuster you have to make the most of whatever victories you’ve got.[/bitch]

    Wait, didn’t you used to be a stripper?

  10. “. “Manhattan’s the only place in the country with no M.L.S…” -Daniel Baum co-founder and C.O.O. of the Real Estate Group New York brokerage

    Is New York is it’s own country? I have never lived anywhere that rentals used MLS. We have these things called houses that people buy. Rentals are mostly for college students and people who can’t afford houses( in the various non-NY/LA places where I have lived). No one shows apartments. You fill out an app at the rental office or you call the # on the sign/classified ad. You might deal with a salaried apt. manager or some guy’s secretary. No one makes money off rentals. You talk to a Broker/Agent when you buy a house.

  11. Nobody makes money by renting out property? Are you kidding me?

  12. Johncjackson,

    Here in the DC area MLS is used for rentals quite frequently.

    I think you can get it on Realtor.com or realestate.com (forgot which) for most zip codes in the USA.

  13. Oh, added bonus, many folk here in NoVA and DC use Craiglist to find apartments, but I believe the examples in this story to be fabricated.

  14. use Craiglist

    That’s what I intend to try next time here in NYC. I have a friend who found an apartment thru Craigslist, so I guess it works. Newspaper listings most definitely do NOT work. Before the rise of the Internet, the Village Voice is where everyone turned to find apartment listings. Problem was, every listing was already taken by the time you called it. This is why many people use a broker.

    We have these things called houses that people buy.

    We don’t. At least, those of us who don’t work on Wall Street don’t.

  15. “””Is New York is it’s own country? I have never lived anywhere that rentals used MLS. We have these things called houses that people buy. Rentals are mostly for college students and people who can’t afford houses( in the various non-NY/LA places where I have lived). No one shows apartments. You fill out an app at the rental office or you call the # on the sign/classified ad. You might deal with a salaried apt. manager or some guy’s secretary. No one makes money off rentals. You talk to a Broker/Agent when you buy a house.””””

    New York is it’s own county, though sometime it may seem like it’s own country. There is a MLS for real estate people.

    Finding an apartment is NOT like the above, it a different ball of wax here. There are brokers for apts, plenty of them. You may have to bribe a super to get one. Houses? those are in the burroughs, Long Island, and Jersey. You need around half a million for one of those and property tax is up there.

    The vacant apartments that doesn’t rent is usually because they want 4K a month for a 1 bedroom. You don’t have to pay that. You can get something decent for 2,500. Apartments are expensive.

    Check it out http://newyork.craigslist.org/about/apts.html

    The Village Voice classified adds have been sucking for about 10 years now. Craigslist is the go to place for classified ads. It

  16. Thanks, Godfrey! I have a little circle of regulars who comment there, and I’m gratified that they find the blog worth visiting regularly, but I’m always thrilled to see comments from new people there.

    Asterisk,
    The key phrase here is used to be.

  17. If there’s no money to be made in renting, i’ll need to see my last broker about that $3,000 I paid him to show me my one bedroom walkup apartment and spend 1/2 an hour filling out paperwork on my behalf.

    In some [many] corners of this country, a 3% half side commission for buying or selling an actual apartment won’t be that much money.. Here in Manhattan its routine to pay a 12-15% of annual rent as a brokers fee for just renting.

  18. No joke! I paid my broker a swell amount of money to find me a Boston apt. Where do you live Johncjackson?

  19. Here in Manhattan its routine to pay a 12-15% of annual rent as a brokers fee for just renting.

    Yeah, it’s sickening – what a racket. I don’t think you see this anywhere outside the coasts; certainly not where I’m from. In Western New York they’re practically giving apartments away. Just dial the owner listed in the classifieds and it’s yours.

  20. Manhattan is its own county (New York County), as are each of the 5 boroughs of New York City.

    There are plenty of single-family houses in NYC, especially in Queens, Brooklyn and on Staten Island, not to mention duplexes.

    Kevin

  21. If you are the same nationality as the super and throw them 200 bucks you can get an apartment easily in the outer boros. Upper Manhatten too, but I don’t think that works anywhere below 130th St. anymore.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.