Lest you think you're the only one leaving tear stains on your rent checks, a new housing report says that NYC rents have increased faster than inflation, with median rents shooting up 3.4 percent over a three year period.
The Times reported on the Census Bureau's Housing and Vacancy survey today, which covered tenant and housing information from 2011 to 2014. According to the report, inflation-adjusted median rents shot up 3.4 percent, to $1,200/month from 2011 to 2014; with utilities, that increase clocks in at 4.3 percent, to $1,325/month.
But while rents have spiked, incomes have remained primarily stagnant, with median household incomes rising only 1.1 percent from 2010 to 2013. Tenants in market-rate apartments have had better luck, with an average household increase of 7.7 percent in that time period, but things are far worse for rent-stabilized tenants, who now spend an average of 33.1 percent of their incomes on rent. For comparison's sake, renters need to spend 30 percent or less on their housing in order to fall under the "affordable housing" threshold.
This isn't new news—back in April, the City Comptroller's office released a report noting that households earning under $40K "literally may not be able to find an apartment they can afford," thanks to this city's dearth of affordable housing. Currently, median household income is $41,500 a year, according to the census report—median market rate rents are $1,500 a month, and median rent-stabilized rents are $1200 a month.
The good news is that new housing developments have contributed to a big increase in market rate apartment availability, which has helped mitigate the rent spike, though housing stock increases still aren't outpacing the city's population growth. And though rent-stabilized tenants are still struggling, 2014 saw the addition of about 9,200 more such units, which is welcome data considering those units were previously decreasing in number.
Still, finding affordable housing in this city is incredibly challenging, and the report found that about 56 percent of city renters were spending about a third of their income on rent and utilities, which is well above that 30 percent line. Continue sobbing on the 1st of the month, and don't even think about moving to Queens.