Cheapest Places to Live in New York City

Moving into the NYC area, or just moving between boroughs of NYC can be a huge transition. Regardless of where you are in the process – just starting to consider a move, actively looking for housing in a new borough, or getting ready to sign a new lease – the amount of confusing and conflicting information out there can be overwhelming.

To help you narrow down the perfect borough for your budget we have researched the median annual housing costs and median annual incomes for renters and homeowners in each of the 5 boroughs.

We think it’s important to note that each borough has a range of both low and high income apartments and real estate – “the median”, like an average, is just a measure of what to expect in the middle. With that in mind, for middle-class new yorkers, we hope that this article will give you a better general sense of what kind of housing costs you can expect in each borough and what kind of incomes your neighbors might have.

 

Renters:

Homeowners:

Median Annual Housing Cost:

$18,900 (~$1,575 per month)

$36,250 (~$3,020 per month)

Median Annual Income:

$62,173

$142,050

 

Of the 5 Boroughs, Manhattan has both the highest incomes and the highest housing costs. Homeowners in Manhattan are doing particularly well – making almost 130% more than renters do. However, despite this divide, renters still enjoy NYC’s lowest rent-to-income burden because Manhattan’s median income is so much higher than the NYC average.

If you’re considering moving to Manhattan you can expect to pay more for housing than you might in the other boroughs. If you work in Manhattan or have a good income that you can count on – this could be the borough for you!

Brooklyn:

 

Renters:

Homeowners:

Median Annual Housing Cost:

$15,100 (~$1,250 per month)

$31,900 (~$2,650 per month)

Median Annual Income:

$40,125

$83,700

 

Brooklyn is a very exciting place to live, one of the fastest growing boroughs. However, our findings show that the residents incomes haven’t really caught up with the growth.

Both renters and buyers earn less than the NYC median income despite facing higher respective housing costs. For homeowners, Brooklyn has the highest housing-cost-to-income burden. And the income burden for renters is quite high as well, with renters in Brooklyn earning an average of $20,000 dollars less per year than Manhattanites.

If you’re considering moving to Brooklyn, you can expect to pay a little less for housing than you would in Manhattan but more than you would in any of the other boroughs. That said, Brooklyn is a very exciting place and a short subway ride away from downtown Manhattan, so if you want to stay close to the action, this could be the borough for you.

Queens:

 

Renters:

Homeowners:

Median Annual Housing Cost:

$16,800 (~$1,400 per month)

$29,250 (~$2,400 per month)

Median Annual Income:

$46,550

$80,150

 

The costs of renting and owning in Queens are the closest to the citywide medians of all the boroughs, making Queens one of the top choices for middle-class New Yorkers. The median renter in Queens earns slightly more than the citywide median income but also faces slightly greater housing costs.

Queens is also the largest of the 5 boroughs, so if you’re considering a move to this area, you can expect to find a lot of options, including high, low, and mid-ranged housing.

Staten Island:

 

Renters:

Homeowners:

Median Annual Housing Cost:

$14,300 (~$1,200 per month)

$28,750 (~$2,400 per month)

Median Annual Income:

$46,550

$80,150

 

Renters in Staten Island have it tough, facing the second-lowest incomes in the city and scarce housing opportunities. On the other hand, homeowners on Staten Island have it quite good, enjoying some of the cities highest incomes and lowest costs for homeownership.

If you are looking for a place to rent, but have an income around or below the average here, this might not be the borough for you. However, if you’re looking to be a homeowner, this is the place to be.

 

The Bronx:

 

Renters:

Homeowners:

Median Annual Housing Cost:

$13,175 (~$1,100 per month)

$28,550 (~$2,375 per month)

Median Annual Income:

$29,300

$76,450

 

Renters and owners in the Bronx earn the least of any borough and also face the lowest absolute housing costs. However, they are still significantly burdened by them. The borough has the highest median-rent-to-income ratio in all of NYC, at 45%, meaning that the average earner in the median apartment pays a staggering 45% of their annual income in rent.

If you are considering a move to this borough, you can expect the lowest housing costs of any of the boroughs. However, if you don’t have a job, you may want to consider looking for work in a different borough, as you can also expect the lowest incomes in this borough.

We hope this article was helpful! And when you decide on the borough for you, let us know, so we can help you make you transition as smooth as possible.

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