The disparity between neighborhood rents and area median income makes New York one of the least affordable cities in the country, and the widening gap between those two numbers is not on course to correct itself any time soon.
More than half of New Yorkers are already rent burdened, meaning they devote more than 30 percent of their income to rent, a recent study found. Listings site RentHop dug a little deeper to determine which of the city’s neighborhoods are most affordable and least affordable in relation to their median household incomes.
RentHop used info from its April, May, and June reports to determine the median two-bedroom rental price in 139 New York neighborhoods, and pulled census stats to determine the median household income of each neighborhood included in the study.
To qualify as the “most affordable” in this study means that the median rent for a two-bedroom is the most proportionate to its area median. At that, the Upper East Side is the city’s most affordable neighborhood. With an area median household income of $155,213 and a median two-bedroom rent of $3,555, only 27.48 percent of income is required for rent.
The second most affordable neighborhood in comparison to its area median household income is Great Kills, Staten Island ($88,868, $2,050) followed by Whitestone, Queens ($80,546, $1,950) and New Dorp-Midland Beach, Staten Island ($78,100, $1,900).
On the other end of the spectrum, the city’s most unaffordable neighborhood is Queensbridge-Ravenswood-Long Island City where the median household income is $28,378 and the median two-bedroom rent is $3,300—meaning 139.54 percent of a household’s median income is devoted to rent.
The second-least affordable neighborhood in comparison to its area median household income is South Williamburg ($21,502, $2,499) followed by the Lower East Side ($31,237, $2,499) and Mott Haven-Port Morris in The Bronx ($20,334, $2,200).
The least affordable neighborhoods are those experiencing an influx of costly new development—see such developments in Long Island City, Lower East Side, and the South Bronx—that has caused the median rent to skyrocket.
The numbers RentHop used don’t take into account variances like the use of guarantors, roommates, or money not earned through income. For example, the median two-bedroom rent for all of New York in the time frame studied is $3,500, requiring a household income of $140,000 to comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment. The median income for the city, RentHop notes, is $55,752, meaning a renter of that income would devote 75.3 percent of their salary to rent. Having a roommate would significantly offset that cost. So, buddy up, everyone?