Living in a spacious apartment with no roommates in Midtown Manhattan is one of the hallmarks of feeling like you’ve made it in New York City. But that era is over for many as skyrocketing rents and wages failing to outpace inflation have sparked a housing affordability crisis.
Bloomberg cites a New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development report that found only 23% of full-time workers in the city can afford median rent.
The city’s report used the median asking rent of $2.75k for vacant and available units in 2021, and 2020 salary data showed that only 23% of full-time workers in New York made over $100k.
If renters followed the 30% rule, a popular standard for budgeting rent that says a maximum of 30% of your monthly income before taxes should be spent on rent, then those making over $100k could afford the 2021 median rent was only 23% of all workers.
Affordability worsened this year as appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate revealed median rents in May topped $4,000 for the first time.
Matthew Murphy, the executive director of the NYU Furman Center, said the “incredibly tight rental market” and robust demand have pushed rent prices sky-high, adding: “The inventory and supply has not kept up with intense demand.”
Compound the affordability crisis in the rental market with soaring food and energy costs, and many New Yorkers are struggling to survive in the worst inflationary period in four decades.
The dream of living in a spacious apartment alone in Midtown is over, as some New Yorkers might have to find roommates to help pay rent.