While headlines about overall apartment prices tend to get most of the attention in the New York market, for many renters, there's a more pressing metric to consider: How much it'll cost you just to get a room to yourself. (After all, how many of us can afford to live without roommates in this city?)
And though shacking up with roomies will inevitably cost much less than renting a comparable place on your own, if recent data is any indication, the cost of a lone room in New York has gotten, well, a bit insane. Roommate matching site SpareRoom.com crunched the numbers from their site listings in the last quarter of 2015, and found that in some Manhattan neighborhoods, the cost of a room tops out and more than $2,000 per month. In fact, the overall average for a room in Manhattan clocked in at $1,493/month, compared to $1,066/month in Brooklyn, $927/month in Queens, and $810/month in the Bronx. (There wasn't enough data to collect for Staten Island.)
With the exception of the Long Island City in Queens and the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, all the city's most expensive neighborhoods to rent a room are, unsurprisingly, in Manhattan:
But maybe the more surprising numbers here are the percentages by which those prices jumped from the same time in 2014. In Manhattan, the average cost of a room rose by 7 percent during that one-year period, while in the Bronx, it went up by 3.4 percent, and in Brooklyn, just 1.1 percent. In Queens, however, the cost of a room jumped a whopping 13.4 percent in that time, per SpareRoom's data.
"Brooklyn and Manhattan may top the lists for most expensive rents, but Queens is definitely on the up," SpareRoom cofounder Matt Hutchinson tells us. Part of the reason this may be? Brooklyn's dizzying ascent. "It's starting to look like Brooklyn has up and come to the point where New Yorkers looking for affordable rooms are already priced out and looking for more affordable alternatives. As a result, rents in Queens are rising faster than anywhere else in the city." Translation: Everyone else realized that Queens was a relatively cheap alternative right around the same time you did, and as a result, demand—and prices—are going up, and fast.
Of course, Queens room prices are also likely skewed by high-priced options in Long Island City (the third most expensive neighborhood on the entire list, city-wide). In any case, if you and your roommates were hoping to decamp to Queens in search of more affordable digs, you might want to lock down that lease now, before prices climb any higher.
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