2008_08_downarroiw.jpgCould it really be that Manhattan's obscene rents are becoming ever-so-slightly less obscene? That's the Observer's perception, and they've got market reports from the Real Estate Group New York [REGNY] indicating that rents on studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are lower this summer than last. According to REGNY, in June the average rent for a Manhattan two-bedroom apartment in a non-doorman building was $3,950, 6.5 percent less than in June 2007. All this has the COO of REGNY, Daniel Baum, wringing his hands: "We never have a weak August; it is supposed to be one of the strongest months of the year. It is not a good indicator that the market is down in the strongest season of the year."