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Mapping Where New Grads Can (Barely) Afford to Rent in NYC

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The Class of 2015 may graduate to the most robust job market in quite some time, but that doesn't mean they're going to be raking in the big bucks they expect—at least at first. Add that to the fact that the New York City rental market is incredibly unfriendly and wildly expensive right now, and it makes the thought of moving to the city more than a little daunting.

So the number-crunching real estate gurus over at StreetEasy have put together an interactive map that shows recent college graduates (and, perhaps, their worried parents) which neighborhoods have the most apartments they can afford. Just select your major (from fine arts to business), how many roommates you'd be willing to shack up with, and what percentage of your income you'd like to spend on rent ("while still putting money towards student loan repayment, taxes, and the hefty living expenses in NYC"), and StreetEasy's nifty map highlights the areas with the most options in your price range.

To start with, here are the starting salarties StreetEasy used for the different majors in their calculation:

As would be expected, those who are graduating from a more professionally-geared major (like business), and hence have a higher starting salary, have more options when it comes to rental availability. Of course, a willingness to live with more people and to devote more of your income towards rent opens up the opportunities, too. So tool around with the map, and see some more analysis below.

From StreetEasy's analysis of their findings, which recommends that cash-strapped graduates focus their rental search on Northern Queens, the South Bronx, and East Brooklyn:

Our findings suggest that to afford rent in New York, recent college grads will likely need to move into areas far removed from Manhattan and double up—or even triple up—on roommates. A few neighborhoods in particular jump out as grad-friendly, including: Crown Heights (Brooklyn), Astoria (Queens), Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn) and Bushwick (Brooklyn). In each of these markets, rental inventory is high and asking rents are low relative to the rest of the city. StreetEasy also has a tool that helps see the discrepancies between majors (and their corresponding salaries) and the number of rentals that would be palatable for recent grads in those fields. For example, if you're dead-set on living alone, and "only" want to spend 30 percent of income on rent, then options are much more limited.

If you are willing to have two roommates, and still only limit yourself to spending a prudent 30 percent of your income on rent, then the options open up. Still, those in majors like education may find their apartment-hunt quite a bit harder.

If you want to have two roommates and shell out 50 percent of your income towards rent, then it almost seems like New York isn't a hard place to live—almost.

Good luck, recent graduates. And brace.
· StreetEasy [official]
· Major Discrepancies: Where New College Grads Can Afford to Rent in NYC [SE Blog]
· Cool Map Thing archive [Curbed]
· All Rental Market Report coverage [Curbed]