Cheap apartments in NYC: Where to find affordable studios and 1BRs

We compare the average monthly rent in the five boroughs and name affordable hoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn to help you find cheap apartments. Edited by Sarah Bruning

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This town can suck you dry. Don’t believe us? Then check out how NYC stacks up in terms of monthly rent against other major cities. Then dry your eyes, we don’t live anywhere else for a reason—we’re tough, we’re achievers, we’re doers. So do something about your cost of living and discover where cheap apartments are clustered. See how the average monthly rent compares across boroughs, or, if you’re tied to living solo in Manhattan or Brooklyn, find out the most affordable neighborhoods for studios and 1BRs in these prime real estate markets.

RECOMMENDED: Find out where to live in NYC

  • Source: rent.com

    Average monthly rent in each borough

    Brooklyn: Studio: $2,390; 1BR: $2,958; 2BR: $3,880

    The Bronx: Studio: Info N/A; 1BR: $1,458; 2BR: $2,100

    Manhattan: Studio: $2,467; 1BR: $3,201; 2BR: $4,830

    Queens: Studio: $1,909; 1BR: $2,649; 2BR: $3,539

    Staten Island: Studio: $838; 1BR: $1,088; 2BR: $1,907

  • Source: rent.com

    How does NYC stack up against other major cities?

    A recent study by the Council for Community and Economic Research revealed that Brooklyn is the second-most-expensive place to live in the entire United States (unsurprisingly, only Manhattan trumped it). The stat hasn’t scared us into defecting from the five boroughs, but it did make us wonder just how much apartments are going for in other big urban centers. We decided to compare the average cost of the coveted one-bedroom across America, and here’s what we found:

    New York City boroughs: $3,145
    Atlanta and vicinity: $2,147
    Boston and vicinity: $1,963
    Los Angeles and vicinity: $1,924
    Washington, D.C., and vicinity: $1,918
    Miami and vicinity: $1,450
    Philadelphia and vicinity: $1,309
    National average: $1,306
    Chicago and vicinity: $1,282
    Dallas–Fort Worth and vicinity: $1,057
    Houston and vicinity: $932

  • If you want to live in a Manhattan 1BR…

    Try: Washington Heights ($1,475), Harlem ($1,668), Lower East Side ($2,227), Morningside Heights ($2,270), Upper East Side ($2,416)

    Avoid: Soho-Tribeca ($3,894), Chelsea ($3,372), Midtown West ($3,362), Gramercy-Flatiron ($3,307)

  • If you want to live in a Manhattan studio…

    Try: Washington Heights ($1,128), Harlem ($1,295), Morningside Heights ($1,619), Upper East Side ($1,706), Upper West Side ($1,794)

    Avoid: Financial District ($2,504), Soho-Tribeca ($2,500), West Village ($2,415), Chelsea ($2,328)

  • Source: mns.com

    If you want to live in a Brooklyn 1BR…

    Try: Bay Ridge ($1,386), Bedford-Stuyvesant ($1,510), Prospect Lefferts Gardens ($1,581), Crown Heights ($1,751), Bushwick ($1,800)

    Avoid: Dumbo ($3,684), Williamsburg ($3,231), Brooklyn Heights ($3,152), Fort Greene ($2,753), Greenpoint ($2,657)
     

  • Source: mns.com

    If you want to live in a Brooklyn studio…

    Try: Bay Ridge ($1,075), Bedford-Stuyvesant ($1,138), Prospect Lefferts Gardens ($1,238), Crown Heights ($1,441), Clinton Hill ($1,623)

    Avoid: Dumbo ($3,188), Williamsburg ($2,892), Greenpoint ($2,335), Fort Greene ($2,230), Boerum Hill ($2,165)

Source: rent.com

Average monthly rent in each borough

Brooklyn: Studio: $2,390; 1BR: $2,958; 2BR: $3,880

The Bronx: Studio: Info N/A; 1BR: $1,458; 2BR: $2,100

Manhattan: Studio: $2,467; 1BR: $3,201; 2BR: $4,830

Queens: Studio: $1,909; 1BR: $2,649; 2BR: $3,539

Staten Island: Studio: $838; 1BR: $1,088; 2BR: $1,907


Users say

10 comments
E. R.
E. R.

Hi, I'm not sure how you guys changed my rating, so I'll just repost what I already wrote and make sure it shows as a one-star rating. This has to be one of the most useless articles I have ever come across. I especially enjoyed reading the sentence: "So do something about your cost of living and discover where cheap apartments are clustered." This article, which is supposed to be about finding cheap rents, only 1. suggests that NY residents do what actual New Yorkers (both native and those new to the city) have been trying to do for decades and 2. proposes absolutely nothing that is unique, novel or generally useful. For years I've suspected that your magazine only catered to elitist sycophants who pride themselves in being able to boast about the frivolity of various fads as if it were something to be proud of. It's as disappointing as it is humbling to be proven right by this article...your lack of touch with most New Yorkers is truly breathtaking. It should be know that I actually would've created an account just to make this comment. Time Out editors: I hate you all.

lynn
lynn

Useless article no doubt written by someone with theiir hand in the R.E. industry (and in whose interest it is therefore, to state overinflated prices as 'the norm' or 'average'). An average STUDIO in Manh is almost $2500? That's bull. And I love how the article only names affordable hoods in Manh. and Bk. What about all of SI, Bx, Qns and Jersey....most all of whiich is affordable in comparison? Manh and (Northwestern) Bk are not the end all be all...unless of course you are a transplant.

YORKIE
YORKIE

search on TRULIA .COM THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF YOU'LL FIND THE REAL PRICES OF LIVING IN NYC ITS A LOT CHEAPER THAN WHAT THEY'RE SHOWING HERE

YORKIE
YORKIE

search on TRULIA .COM THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF YOU'LL FIND THE REAL PRICES OF LIVING IN NYC ITS A LOT CHEAPER THAN WHAT THEY'RE SHOWING HERE

YORKIE
YORKIE

search on TRULIA .COM THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF YOULL FIND THE REAL PRICES OF LIVING IN NYC ITS A LOT CHEAPER THAN WHAT THEY'RE SHOWING HERE

NEWYAWKER
NEWYAWKER

i LIVE IN THE BRONX AND I LIVE IN A 2 BEDROOM WITH FULL A KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM APT FOR 1400 AROUND ARTHUR AVENUE ITS A REALLY NICE NEIGHBORHOOD YOU CAN ALSO FIND 1 BED ROOM APT FOR 800- 1000 DOLLARS

Erik R.
Erik R.

This has to be one of the most useless articles I have ever come across. I especially enjoyed reading the sentence: "So do something about your cost of living and discover where cheap apartments are clustered." This article, which is supposed to be about finding cheap rents, only 1. suggests that NY residents do what actual New Yorkers (both native and those new to the city) have been trying to do for decades and 2. proposes absolutely nothing that is unique, novel or generally useful. For years I've suspected that your magazine only catered to elitist sycophants who pride themselves in being able to boast about the frivolity of various fads as if it were something to be proud of. It's as disappointing as it is humbling to be proven right by this article...your lack of touch with most New Yorkers is truly breathtaking. It should be know that I actually would've created an account just to make this comment. Time Out editors: I hate you all.

LES
LES

Mary Ann - Harlem, Craigslist, or don't live here

John
John

This isn't a great guide, because it's going to take into consideration very high end properties that most working new yorkers would never live in. In my experiences, a decent studio is 1300-2000, a 1br is 1500-2000, and a 2br can range anywhere from 2100-3500. It all depends on where you want to live and what you want. A nice studio on the upper east side can run you 1400. If we throw penthouse suites into the mean than it's going to skew the statistics.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

How can you say that these apartments are cheap when the list rents of over $ 2000 per month. That would mean I would have pay over $ 24,000 a year in rent. I cannot afford that when i only make $ 25,300 per year after taxes. Will you tell me what I and poeple like me are to do about renting an apartment in New York? Answer this if you can?