For most New Yorkers, being rent burdened is a reality of life, so the thought of owning a house in the city seems like an entirely alien concept. A new study by StreetEasy however is asking us to challenge that perception, and they’re now presenting us with some of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn to buy homes.
The basic premise of the study is looking at which neighborhoods it makes more sense to buy in versus rent if you plan to stay in that particular neighborhood long enough. To that end, StreetEasy has created a metric called, “Tipping Point” which approximates the number of years it would take for the cost of owning a home to equal renting one in the same neighborhood
In Manhattan overall the tipping point is 9.2 years, so on average you’d have to have lived in the borough for at least that much time to make it worth your while to buy a home as opposed to renting one. In Brooklyn, it’s a lot less at 3.6 years. But looking just at the boroughs overall can be a bit deceptive.
While the tipping point in Brooklyn overall is much shorter, Manhattan is still home to the neighborhood with the shortest tipping point, and that’s Inwood at 1.6 years. The median asking rent in this neighborhood stands at $1,800 and the median sales price is $453,000.
In Manhattan, Inwood is followed by Morningside Heights with a tipping point of 3.5 years (median rent is $3,250 and median sales price is $717,500), and Central Harlem with a tipping point of 3.8 years (median rent is $2,200, and median sales price is $532,500).
Unsurprisingly all the neighborhoods in Manhattan with a favorable tipping point are located in Upper Manhattan. At the other end of the spectrum, the Financial District and parts of Lower Manhattan have a tipping point of 19 years.
In Brooklyn however, you don’t have to go to the neighborhoods on the outer reaches to find favorable tipping points, even trendier neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn and Prospect Heights make it to the top 7 neighborhoods in the borough.
Topping them all in the borough however is Fort Greene. The tipping point here is at 2.6 years with the median rent at about $2,995, and a median sales price of $682,720. Fort Greene is followed by Sunset Park and Kensington with tipping points of 2.8 years and 3.2 years respectively.
To get a detailed look at how StreetEasy crunched these numbers and deduced the tipping points for each neighborhood head on over to their tipping point methodology section.