width=398As New York's unemployment exceeded 9 per cent and landlords made fewer rent concessions, Manhattan's apartment vacancy has risen in August for the first time in nine months, Bloomberg quoted broker CitiHabitats.

Rental vacancies rose to 1.1 percent from 0.88 percent in July. The rate, which had declined each month since November, is the highest since April, when it was 1.23 percent.

In an interview with Bloomberg, CitiHabitats President Gary Malin said There is conflicting news out there on the economy. Every day you hear something different.

The brokerage bases its estimates on vacancies at more than 300 bellwether buildings across 11 Manhattan neighborhoods, covering about 52,000 apartments, said Daniel Charles, a spokesman for CitiHabitats.

Properties with and without doormen were taken into account, he said.

Rents at Manhattan studio and one-bedroom apartments were little changed from July, averaging $1,821 and $2,487 in August. Two-bedroom rents climbed 1 percent to $3,450, and three-bedroom rents fell 1 percent to $4,590, according to the report.

CitiHabitats based its rental estimate report on more than 1,400 lease deals the company handled in August, Malin said.