Despite recent developments with Mayor de Blasio's affordable housing plans, there is still an ever-widening gap between what New Yorkers can afford and what is available out there. Now a new report reinforces just how much NYers are burdened by the real estate market.
Street Easy released a report on rent affordability in NYC in 2016, and found that the average NYer will spend approximately two-thirds of their household income on rent. Using the median rent-to-income ratio (which measures the share of income spent on rent), they found that renters will use 65.1 percent of their income on rent in 2016, an increase from 59.8 percent in 2015. Breaking it down by borough, Brooklyn remains the least-affordable neighborhood (65.4 percent of income on rent), followed by the Bronx (54.1 percent).
Housing costs for Queens renters increased the most, from 43.5 percent in 2015 to 51.6 percent in 2016. Surprisingly, Manhattan is the only borough where the rent-to-income ratio is expected to basically stay even or dip a little down, from 49.5 percent in 2015 to 49.1 percent in 2016. Staten Island is the only borough that could be considered affordable for renters, with a 27.9 rent-to-income ratio, and now they're 100% Ninja Burglar-free.
Some more interesting conclusions from the report: areas in East Brooklyn, Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx are facing the highest rent-to-income ratios. And Chinatown, Little Italy, Manhattanville, Mott Haven, and North New York all have median rent-to-income ratios greater than 100 percent.
"With a rental vacancy rate below 3.5 percent, the supply of rental housing across the city is extremely low, which places upward pressure on prices and even more competition among renters," said StreetEasy data scientist Alan Lightfeldt. "There’s policy momentum in place here, but addressing the supply side is only half the battle. No other factor is more fundamental to the city’s growing rent burden than lagging income growth. Until income growth catches up with rent growth, the rent affordability problem will loom large on New York households."
You can read the full report here, and you can fiddle with the rent burden map below to see where the worst income-to-rent ratios are.