Fresh Meadows is the most expensive neighborhood for renters in Queens, according to a new study from StreetEasy, a real estate website. The study, which examined incomes compared to rent rates in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queen, found that the income required to live in New York City apartments exceeds what most New Yorkers earn.
The data compared the income recommended for the median market-rate New York City apartment in the third quarter of 2017 with the median household income in each borough based on the latest census report.
Landlords in New York City usually follow the 30 percent/40 times-the-rent rule, where they require that tenants earn at least 40 times the monthly rent of an apartment, so paying rent takes up no more than 30 percent of their annual income.
Following that model, the study revealed that there is not a single neighborhood in Queens that is truly “affordable” for a renter where the borough-wide median income is $62,207.
The study found that the least expensive neighborhood in Queens was North Corona, with a median asking rent of $1,650 and a recommended household income of $66,000, only 6 percent above the Queens median income of $62,207.
Close behind was Briarwood with a median asking rent price of $1,725 on a $69,000 recommended income, 10.9 percent above the borough’s median income, and Bellerose with a median asking rent of $1,755. on $69,000 recommended income, 11.7 percent above the borough’s median income.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was eastern Queens, where it cost the most to rent Fresh Meadows, where the median asking rent was $2,750 with a recommended household income of $110,000, 77 percent greater than the boroughwide median income. Whitestone’s median asking rent was $2,695 with a recommended income of $107,8000, 73.3 percent above the Queens median income. Little Neck’s median rent was $2,575 with a recommended income of $103,000, 65.5 percent above the Queens median income.
According to streetEasy, despite the wide gap between income and rent prices, most New Yorkers do not pay market-rate rents, because they either live in rent-regulated apartments, affordable housing, or public housing.
New Yorkers also use roommates to help split high rents, allowing them to live in apartments they could not afford on their own or have leases set at older rates.
The study said that comparing market-rate rents with boroughwide incomes is not a perfect match, but it gives insight into the current struggle for affordability in the city rental market by showing what a household must earn to rent a market-rate apartment in a given neighborhood.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart