Fast Facts About The New York Real Estate Market


What comes to mind when you think of the real estate market in New York?

For most people, the first thing that would spring to mind is “expensive”. Even if you have never set foot in New York — or even in the entire United States — you probably know that New York real estate is incredibly expensive.

If you actually live in the city, you will likely have found this to your cost— quite literally. However, aside from the overwhelming expense, how much do you really know about this huge market in one of America’s biggest and best cities? If you want to find out more, we’ve put together a few facts and figures about the realities of big city living— and some of them are sure to surprise you…

New York isn’t full

The number of vacant rental units in New York may surprise you; the Wall Street Journal puts the total number at around 79,000. Given how hard it can be to find a suitable apartment in the city, that’s an incredibly high number— until you factor in…

The cost of some vacant spaces is extremely high

The same study found that there’s a good reason the number of vacant rental units is so high: the cost. Just over 36,000 of the vacant spaces have a rental cost of over $2,000 per month.

To put that into perspective, that’s $24,000 per year on rent. Let’s say that someone earns the median annual income in Manhattan, which is just over $66,000; they would be paying over a third of their wages on rent. That’s before you factor in bills, commuting costs, and other financial essentials. Someone in such a circumstance would find themselves short on cash regularly, and likely unable to enjoy the spoils of living in the city. Given the basic financial facts, it’s easy to see why the vacancy rate for $2,000+ per month rental units is over 7%.

In comparison…

There is some good news, though: half of the rents on the vacant units are under $2,000. This is reflected in the figures, too. For units with rents of between $1,000 and $1,499 per month, the vacancy rate is just 2.52%. This is easy to understand, of course; anyone earning the median salary and only paying $1,000 per month in rent would find their budget would balance nicely, and they’d be able to peruse an event calendar for New York safe in the knowledge they will be able to enjoy the best the city has to offer.

The real cost of Monica’s apartment

When people are pointing out inaccuracies in the TV show Friends, they love to mention the fact that Monica’s apartment would have been way out of her price bracket. This is despite the fact the show actually addressed this (it was her grandmother’s lease and is still rent controlled); time and again, it’s brought up. Perhaps that’s because even with an in-show explanation, it’s still hard to believe a frequently-underemployed chef would be living in an apartment that’s been estimated to be worth £3.5 million.

In conclusion

Hopefully you enjoyed this snapshot of the realities of the New York real estate market!

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