As a rule, if you are living in Manhattan, it's not impossible, but it's very hard to find anything under $1,300 or $1400.
Rents aren't actually that much higher than last year. Average rents are up 3.62 percent from the same period last year. The average rent for a non-doorman studio is $2,077, while a doorman studio is $2,367 (last year: $1,958 and $2,337, respectively). A non-doorman one-bedroom is $2,713, while a doorman one-bedroom is $3,428 (last year: $2,590 and $3,276, respectively). It's cheaper to have a roommate, but not by much. A non-doorman two-bedroom is $3,680, while a doorman two-bedroom is $5,327 (last year: $3,590 and $5,197, respectively).
The market is almost back to normal," which means incentives are rarer. Don't expect, for instance, to be offered two months of free rent, a common practice in 2009. Also, don't expect to be allowed to put up a temporary wall. The service, which can save renters a bundle, is starting to be more closely scrutinized for legality. Now that landlords aren't so desperate, they're getting stricter about checking for permits.Renters need to get a permit. For years people didn't get permits because people were doing so many. But now, if they check, you could get fined or in trouble.
Because of the dearth of incentives, the buildings still offering them are getting special attention. The Financial District and Stuyvesant Town, where free rent deals still exist, are starting to look more attractive. If you're lucky you might be able to few other landlords are offering a month free.
So the bottomline is the market is getting better and mostlike renters need to pay a usual broker fee because most of the landlords are not paying any longer any kind of fee to the brokers to find a Ready, Willing and Able tenant.