Neighborhood Intel

Map: Hell's Kitchen tops the most expensive zip codes in NYC

By Virginia K. Smith | March 8, 2016 - 12:59PM 

So much for finding a cozy little artist's pad near the Theater District: Apartment search site RENTCafé recently ranked the 20 most expensive zip codes in the country, and a full 15 of them turned out to be in Manhattan, with 10036 (Hell's Kitchen) leading the pack with a median rent of $4,720. 

The West Village came in a close second (median rent: $4,650), with other high-priced areas like Battery Park City, Lenox Hill, and Chelsea making the list as well. Tribeca was conspicuously absent, as the available sample size of 88 apartments was deemed too small to provide definitive data. (Beverly Hills was excluded from the list for this reason, as well.) However, if the Lower Manhattan neighborhood had made the cut, it would have landed on top, with a mind-boggling median rent of $12,780. If you're wondering how Hell's Kitchen beat out some of the city's most notoriously high-priced neighborhoods, it very well may be due to the sample size of the study. RENTCafé looked at median rents for all apartment sizes, and found that 10036 had a higher ratio of large apartments than many quaint, expensive downtown areas, which likely pushed up its median rent numbers.

Elsewhere, all the other highest-priced zip codes were in California, with one in Santa Monica, three in San Francisco, and one in Tiburon, a wealthy town in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. 

Though the rent being too damn high isn't exactly news to New Yorkers, given all the hype about San Francisco's rampant rising prices, NYC's total dominance came as a bit of a dispiriting surprise.

"Our study confirms that, when it comes to extreme wealth, San Francisco is still no match for NYC," RENTCafé Communications Specialist Georgiana Mihaila tells us via email. "Despite the fulminant rise of Silicon Valley and the tech industry, Manhattan is still a leading financial center and a top destination for financiers, fund managers, fashion and media moguls, to name just a few (basically, the people willing to pay a $4,000+ rent in exchange for a Central Park view)."

Sounds about right. Mihaila notes that this trend holds true in the sales market, as well. "Despite the fact that San Francisco median sale prices have surpassed NYC’s, the sheer volume is the one that makes the difference: with slightly over 100 homes priced over $3 million sold last year, San Francisco’s luxury home market is overshadowed by New York’s, where well over 600 homes were sold for more than $3 million." That in mind, maybe it's time to tap the brakes on our San Francisco real estate schadenfreude.

In any case, we've compiled NYC's 15 priciest zips into map below—play around with it and see if your home turf received this most dubious of honors:


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