The cost of housing continues to eat up a huge chunk of New Yorkers' income, a new report has found, with a full quarter of the city's tenants spending at least half of what they make on rent.
The report from the website Apartment List found that 54.1 percent of tenants in the city are "rent-burdened," meaning they spent at least 30 percent of their income on housing.
According to the report, New York is one of the least affordable cities in the country for renters. Surprisingly, it's not the least affordable. New York ranked 83rd in affordability among the 100 metropolitan areas surveyed. Rent burdens are worse in the Sunbelt cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Miami, which has the highest proportion of rent-burdened tenants in the country.
In the Northeast, New York is more rent-burdened than than Boston, D.C., and Philadelphia. It also has the highest percentage of renters of these four cities—66 percent, according to the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
Citywide, rent prices are sharply outpacing New Yorkers' incomes. According to the Apartment List report, median rent increased by 13.8 percent between 2005 and 2015, while median income increased by a mere 1.9 percent.
A similar report released earlier this year by the Furman Center shows that 55 percent of New Yorkers were rent-burdened in 2014, compared to 53 percent nationwide. Within the five boroughs, 30 percent of all tenants were severely burdened in 2014.
These figures vary significantly among and within boroughs and neighborhoods. In Manhattan, the median rent burden was 28 percent in 2014, meaning that half of all households spend more than 28 percent of their income on rent and the other half spend less. In the Bronx, that figure was 36 percent, meaning a little over half the households in the borough are rent-burdened.
The three most rent-burdened neighborhoods—University Heights/Fordham (46 percent), Borough Park (44 percent), and South Ozone Park/Howard Beach (41 percent)—are all outside of Manhattan. Meanwhile, in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, the median household spends 24 percent of their income on rent—the lowest percentage in the city.
Neighborhoods with higher median rents—and higher incomes—generally have a smaller share of rent-burdened tenants. The median rent in Park Slope/Carroll Gardens was $2,000 in 2014, while the median income among renters was $89,659. In University Heights/Fordham, where the median income was $20,440 a year, the median rent was $1,070.
The Furman Center's data suggests that as rent-stabilized units disappear from the market and more new developments pop up across the city, there will be fewer options for middle- and low-income New Yorkers.
Nationwide, 50.6 percent of tenants were rent-burdened in 2015, according to Apartment List's data.