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Manhattan becomes more affordable for property seekers

Many found themselves priced out of property in locations like the Lower East Side and instead bought in cheaper places and resigned themselves to long commutes.

But now they have found the buying or renting property is much cheaper. For just a couple of hundred dollars a month more they can live in the trendy centre of New York.

Rents are falling faster in Manhattan than in neighbouring boroughs. In the first three months of the year, one-bedroom rents in Manhattan fell 6.7% compared with the previous year, while Brooklyn one-bedrooms dropped just 3.2%, according to data from Citi Habitats and Ideal Properties Group. Other reports suggest that some Manhattan rents are down by 10% from a year ago.

Prices at upscale rental buildings like 45 Wall Street have come down significantly, discounted by 15 to 20% in recent weeks. At 20 Exchange Place, a conversion around the corner from the Stock Exchange, the management company is waiving the security deposit for tenants with good credit and others are offering perks including scrapping the broker's fee.

'We do see that certain neighborhoods in Manhattan may be a better deal than certain neighborhoods in the boroughs,' said Stephen Love, a broker at Ardor Realty.

Meanwhile in New York state prices have been stable for several months with real estate brokers insisting that they have now bottomed out.

Buyers waiting for the market to hit bottom may have already missed it, according tot the New York State Association of Realtors. 'Prices have been fairly stable for the past 12 months and are now expected to begin to climb slightly. The market typically gains momentum the spring and summer months,' it said.