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Perhaps it’s not surprising that New York City is home to the second highest average rent in the US, just behind San Francisco in the overall numbers. The rents have gone up at a less steep rate for one-bedroom apartments in recent months, but they are still headed upwards overall. The good news for renters is that there are still places that are less expensive if you take the time to look for them and perhaps are willing to make some compromises.

The overall median rent for New York City is $3,200 for a one-bedroom apartment. This follows only San Francisco which has an average rental rate of $3,460. For comparison purposes, the city of Boston is well behind at $2,230 followed by San Jose at $2,220. Of course, there are areas of NYC where the rent is the highest and growing steadily, so you should be aware of these places as well.

Highest & Lowest Rent in Brooklyn

It’s probably not surprise that DUMBO, located on the northwest corner of Brooklyn along the shoreline is still the most expensive place to rent a one-bedroom apartment at $3,899. Not far behind is Vinegar Hill which is next to DUMBO at $3,650. Further back on the list is Brooklyn Heights at $3,100 and then Williamsburg which comes in at $3,000 even.

If you are looking for the best deal in all of Brooklyn, then you will need to go east into the interior of the borough and find Brownsville which offers one-bedroom apartments at a mere $1,420 on average which is quite modest compared to much of NYC in general. Slightly higher are the one-bedroom apartments in East Flatbush at $1,500 followed by Sunset Park at $1,600 showing that the southern part of Brooklyn is the place to go if you are looking for cheaper rental rates.

Highest & Lowest Rent in Manhattan

The two neighborhoods that have the highest rent for one-bedroom apartments in Manhattan are Nomad and Tribeca, which is arguably no surprise. You can expect to pay on average $4,500 per month in either area which is quite steep. Not too far behind are Greenwich Village which clocks in at $3,900, Gramercy Park and West Village which average just below $3,900.

If you want to live in Manhattan and pay the lowest average rent, Washington Heights is the place to go as they average a mere $1,850 for a one-bedroom apartment. Not far behind is Central Harlem which offers an average rent of $2,090 with West Harlem just slightly above at $2,100. Despite its reputation, East Harlem is about $80 more expensive than West Harlem which may catch some people by surprise considering all the press that it has received in recent months.

A little research followed by searching can find you the lower priced apartments in NYC. While it does take some effort, it will be worth it as you can save hundreds of dollars per month simply by choosing the neighborhoods that are not in such demand.

Thanks to the concentration of people earning a high income, many of the services and products in New York City are cheaper than what you would find in many other parts of the country. The concentration of people earning good income leads to competition which keeps prices low.

The one exception is housing and the high rent that NYC residents pay is a reminder that not everything in the city is cheap. Today, everyone who rents in NYC is paying on average more than almost anywhere else in the nation and it keeps getting more expensive. There are several reasons for this phenomenon and it is the combination of circumstances that keeps allows for high rent to be maintained.

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Falling Crime Rate

Improved Amenities & Services

Job Opportunities

These are the basic reasons that New York City has become a more popular place to live over the past two decades. The crime rate has essentially been cut in half, this has led to an explosion of businesses offering more items and better services. And, that has led to more job opportunities in the city. However, these are not the only reasons why the high rent exists.

Lack of Supply

Arguably the most basic reason is that housing simply has not kept up with demand. With the influx of new residents, there are simply not enough apartments, condos and homes that are available. The combination of being on an island and the tough building codes and regulations have made new housing construction difficult. The result is that there are simply more people looking for places to rent than places that are available.

More Seasonal Homes

One interesting reason why rent has gone up is the strong increase in seasonal or occasional use homes, which has skyrocketed from less than 1 percent to nearly 2 percent. That may not seem like much at first, but it represents homes that are not being sold, but instead rented for seasonal or occasional use which has left fewer homes available for year-round rental.

Attractive Living Conditions

Despite the high rent, there are many who are still moving to NYC because of the concentration of attractive amenities such as the many restaurants, theaters, nightclubs, and bars that make it a great place to live. For those who earn a high-income, New York City is a very attractive place to live with little concern about the rental conditions. However, for those who do not earn a big salary, being close to the many amenities the city offers is no substitute for the price they must pay for renting.

New York City is not alone when it comes to limited housing and rising rents as places like San Francisco are seeing the same conditions. The relatively high pay for many jobs has helped to alleviate some of the high rent issues in NYC, but not all of them. The struggle to get new housing built combined with fewer current spaces on the market means that rent will keep rising for the foreseeable future.

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