CNN  — 

The average rent in Manhattan was $5,249 in November, up 19% from last year and the third-highest amount on record, according to a monthly report from brokerage firm Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.

The median cost of renting an apartment in Manhattan remained near record highs in November, at $4,095. That’s up from 18.7% a year ago and up 2.1% from October.

Affordability continues to be a challenge across the housing market, with spiking mortgage rates pushing homeownership out of reach for many people who are continuing to rent — and propelling strong demand for rentals.

The new monthly average for Manhattanites marks a 3.4% drop since October. But that doesn’t mean rents are significantly dropping any time soon.

“Rents aren’t rising like they were earlier this year, but they remain stuck at a high level,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel. “Since rents peaked at the end of summer, they have now drifted slightly lower, but are not falling significantly.”

There is a bit more breathing room in the rental market in Manhattan now than earlier this year.

November saw the most significant annual decline in new lease signings since the onset of the pandemic, according to the report, and the vacancy rate rose for the seventh consecutive month.

“We are seeing concessions rise slightly and bidding wars decline as the market stabilizes,” said Miller.

Concessions, or sweeteners from landlords like one month of rent free, were offered on 16% of new leases in November. In October the share was 13%, while a year ago more than a quarter of new leases had concessions.

“The economy, or employment, remains too strong to enable rents to drop significantly,” said Miller. “The only way we’ll see a significant improvement in affordability is to go into a recession, and who wants that?”