Real estate survey: Average monthly rent in Manhattan reaches $5,588 - a record high
One thing most New Yorkers say they can agree on is that the cost of living in the city is high. Experts say that’s because of two factors: housing and stagnant wages.
“I love New York, but I’m not going to struggle because I want to live in New York,” said William Guichon, a Manhattan resident.
Guichon, 20, like many, is caught in a situation where he wants to move out of his parents' apartment but can't afford to.
“It's even difficult trying to explain why it's difficult because it is a spider web of problems. Securing employment, sustaining it and dealing with costly security deposits,” said Guichon.
J.W. Mason, an associate professor of economics at John Jay College, explained that the cost of living in the city continues to rise largely because of housing.
“If you look at our peer cities like Chicago, rents are up 15%, Philadelphia rents are up 10% or so, [Los Angeles] rents up 15%, New York with its 25% increase over the last two years is a real outlier,” said Mason
According to a recent July report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, the average monthly rent in Manhattan was $5,588, a record high.
“Unless we have a much weaker economy, we’re not going to see rents fall in a significant way,” said Jonathan Miller, president/CEO of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers.
Professor Mason says wages across the country have gone up about 18% since 2020 while in New York it’s at 8%. He says two critical components are solutions to this crisis: the lack of housing construction and effective rent regulation.
“For the past 25 years, New York has grown by about a million people, but we’re only building 10,000 or maybe 15,000 new units of housing a year. It’s not enough. And what’s even worse, the housing that does get built tends to be at the high end,” said Mason.
"Every elected official in the city hears the same thing – housing, housing, housing. The demand isn't being met," said Mayor Eric Adams at a news conference this month.
Adams announced new city plans to convert underutilized office space into affordable housing units, removing barriers with zoning regulations.
“136 million square feet of office space. That is roughly the size of the entire city of Philadelphia. That’s how much real estate we’re talking will allow us to create 20,000 new homes enough for 40,000 New Yorkers,'' said Adams.
“I honestly see myself going overseas in the next four or five years because it's terrible,” said Guichon.
For Guichon moving out of the city entirely was the only option he could see, unless plans like the mayor’s increase in affordable housing becomes more than a promise on paper but a reality for struggling New Yorkers like him.