New Yorkers spend nearly 60 per cent of income on rent: Study

The New York skyline as seen from the Staten Island ferry on Feb 19, 2015. Rent will gobble up nearly 60 per cent of New Yorkers' income in 2015 with the median cost of an apartment to rise to US$2,700 (S$3,680) a month, a real-estate website sa
The New York skyline as seen from the Staten Island ferry on Feb 19, 2015. Rent will gobble up nearly 60 per cent of New Yorkers' income in 2015 with the median cost of an apartment to rise to US$2,700 (S$3,680) a month, a real-estate website said. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Rent will gobble up nearly 60 per cent of New Yorkers' income in 2015 with the median cost of an apartment to rise to US$2,700 (S$3,680) a month, a real-estate website said.

Rent prices in the city grew at nearly twice the pace of income between 2000 and 2013, estimated StreetEasy, meaning that rent has taken up an increasingly larger share of New Yorkers' incomes.

The website estimated that the median asking rent in New York is expected to reach US$2,700 in 2015, amounting to a staggering 58.4 per cent of median income in the city.

Brooklyn was the borough with the greatest rent burden and where a typical new renter will spend 60 per cent of their income on rent in 2015.

That was followed by 52 per cent in the Bronx, 49 per cent in Manhattan, 41 per cent in Queens and 30 per cent on Staten Island, the website said.

In some neighbourhoods the rent-to-income ratio is predicted to be even higher: a staggering 107 per cent in Manhattan's Chinatown with a median rent of US$2,485 and 86 per cent in Williamsburg, the uber cool part of Brooklyn with spectacular views across the river to Manhattan.

There, the median price of an apartment is estimated at US$3,229 for 2015.

Renters feel the tightest squeeze in areas of relatively low income. Rent in the five most expensive markets, including Tribeca and Central Park, accounted for less than half of median income.

StreetEasy blamed a lack of housing supply, with limited and expensive development opportunities, for the crisis as well as stagnant incomes.

Competition for apartments is tough in New York and landlords often insist on proof that tenants earn around 45 times a year the monthly rent.

At the top end of the market, such as desirable property around Central Park, rents can rise in excess of US$100,000 a month.