The (Manhattan) Rent is (Seriously) Too Damn High

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Ah, the Manhattan real estate market. That one barrier holding you back from the Big Apple's charm while simultaneously making you go absolutely insane. This collection of brokerages and hidden fees turns this anxiety-driven urban playground into a rental nightmare, forcing inhabitants to search for their humble abode on the other side of the East River. And with good riddance.

Over this past weekend, the NYTimes reported that, according to numbers from the brokerage firm CitiHabitats, Manhattan is costing more than it ever has, passing the 2007 housing bubble threshold. To stay in an apartment on this lonely island, a person has to dish out, on average, $3,418 a month. If we do the math, that is $41,016 a year; or, in other words, run... as fast as you can.

You might be saying, "Well I live in a studio and don't pay that much." That is true, which is why the number is the average. With that being said, here is a snippet from the article to get a sense of what we're all paying:

"Rental averages are up in every category, with one-bedrooms rising the most, by 6.5 percent over the past year, to $2,747, according to the Citi Habitats report. Studios rose 3.6 percent, to $1,953; two-bedrooms climbed by 6.1 percent, to $3,865; and three-bedrooms rose 4 percent, to $5,107."

But what could possibly be causing these prices to skyrocket? The answer to that eternal question is (not really) simple: a "tight credit market" is keeping us all hostage to fatter rent checks rather than full-lease buys. Yes, that "tight credit market" that we never really know about or ever see yet our financial lives are held victim to its horrible sway.

Now, one could jump ship and head to Crown Heights or Astoria or Park Slope or Long Island City or a handful of other neighborhoods that offer much more bang for the buck. But Manhattan is still Manhattan; this dream-like Eden where its do-or-die, go-big-or-go-home (to Brooklyn) and a dog-eat-dog world. This explains why, for the people who still live on it, no one is leaving: the vacancy rate has been floating around 1 percent for the past few years.

Welcome to the biggest conundrum in all of New York City.

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10 comments
Serviced Apartments Singapore
Serviced Apartments Singapore

This achievement will not affluence anyone who wants to move into or aural Manhattan now aback appoint counterbalanced apartments are rarely vacated, but still. The bigotry created by appoint acclimation is that these academy rents subsidized the alleged few who are appoint controlled or stabilized

UVP
UVP

The US has drained most of its cities of any life, culture, or interest, and Manhattan remains one of the few places where you can walk and take public transportation pretty much anywhere. There are people who flock to Manhattan because of work and opportunity of course, but a lot go there, and stay there, because it's one of the only places in the States that offers what most European capitals, not to mention cities, offer. 

Manhattan is so bursting with people who want to live there that logic would decree building dozens, hundreds more Manahattans or mini-Manhattans across the country to fill demand, but instead we just keep building sprawl. Even when people try to design and build something liveable they get it all wrong, too sterilized and boring. 

Guest
Guest

It's a bit absurd that there is still low income/government housing on the island of Manhattan.  Why do these leeches get to live in the most desirable location on the planet for practically nothing, while I bust my ass working to afford to live with 3 roommates in deep Queens?   

Another_guest
Another_guest

Dear Guest,

You are obviously extremely lazy yourself, for you are too poor to afford your own apartment in Queens.

Best,The Logical Extension of Your Absurd Reasoning

Guest
Guest

You're missing the point.  The point is that people who wish to reside in government-subsidized housing shouldn't be allowed to do so in the most desirable and highly-demanded part of the country.  Rather, government housing should be in a less desirable location, deep in the outer boroughs.  It's simple economics.  

Kaylen Thorpe
Kaylen Thorpe like.author.displayName 1 Like

You do realize that most of these projects were built in the 1950s? In areas that WERE POOR??

Was it right for some rich assholes to buy up Stuyvesant Town and privatize it? Force all those families out, just so they can move in some white people with fatter paychecks. It isn't any different than me coming to your suburban little neighborhood, buying all the houses, jacking the rent up, and making it so expensive that you can't live there any more.

Yeah, its economics. Doesn't make it right.Kicking people out of their homes, isn't right. If you think that gentrification is a legitimate reason to do so.... go fuck yourself.

You are the epitome of arrogance.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

The inequity created by rent regulation is that these higher rents subsidized the chosen few who are rent controlled or stabilized.  Owners have no choice but to try to get higher rents to cover increased costs because the chosen don't pay their fair share.

Kaylen Thorpe
Kaylen Thorpe like.author.displayName 1 Like

Those people would cost society significantly more by being homeless and on the street. 

Every one of my friends and acquaintances who live in the hood, work. And so do their families. Just because they live in the 'hood doesn't mean they work any less than you. Quite the contrary - in NYC, the less productivity and responsibility you have, the more you get paid. "Fair share"? Rich people in this town wouldn't be rich, if the 99% didn't buy their shit. And they can thank government services like mail, public education, infrastructure and consistent utility service for providing a stable environment for business growth.I know plenty of people who have brilliant ideas and want to start a business around it. But they can't, because the rich people are being so goddamn stingy!

The mentality you have, like most rich people, is ME, ME, ME. Little wonder that study after study has proven that "less-well-off" people are more altruistic.

So if you want to talk about fair share - let's go.

reader
reader

I read that article and you neglect to mention one key fact: That average rent figure doesn't include rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments. This fact won't comfort anyone who wants to move into or within Manhattan now since rent stabilized apartments are rarely vacated, but still.

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