It’s a relentless housing calculus in NYC. There’s not much land, there’s a growing population, 8.2 million and rising, and not enough rental porperties to go around. You see there’s a now a higher number of single people, almost half of New York’s population, yet most of those huge apartment buildings going up all over the place in Manhattan seem to be targetted towards either foreign buyers or people with big salaries. Yet the highest demand for housing is from single people on mid to lower wages.
NYC real estate people are quite open about the maladjustment in the housing market and up until now their strategy has been to suggest New Yorkers spread out, specifically to choose an apartment out of Manhattan. But now median rents in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens are all around $3,000 a month and while the Bronx and Staten Island are still lower they have areas that are catching up fast.
A recent survey of more affordable areas listed Inwood (Manhattan), St George (Staten Island), Riverdale (Bronx), Murray Hill (U.E.S), Bay Ridge (Brooklyn), Prospect Heights (Brooklyn), Long Island city (Queens), Jackson Heights (queens), riverdale (Bronx), and Greenpoint (Brooklyn) all areas distinguished by not being in the most populous parts of the City.
But finally developers are looking to address the relentless demand for cheaper 1 person rentals. The buzzword now is micro apartments, fitting more into less, see the video. It’s the obvious way to go, a solution adopted by other high denisty cities around the world. There’s one demonstration project underway but expect many more proposals to hit City Planners desks soon.
For now however the hunt for lower rentals continues and perhaps a few of those looking should think laterally and go to Jersey City. 5 mins from Lower Mnahattan by PATH train, closer to all the Midtown and Downtown Manhattan has to offer than any of the neighborhoods listed above as places to look for rentals. The rents are lower and the area is gentrifying fast in response to the large number of young professionals moving in.