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New York is now the most expensive place to live in the U.S.

The bragging rights no one wanted.

Written by
André Wheeler
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You’re not imagining it—New York really has become more expensive to live in America, a new study has found. 

The early onset of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a host of dire predictions about the future of New York and its real estate market. The cost of living in the city was expected to dramatically nosedive. But, in a slightly surprising development, a new study reveals New York has actually dethroned tech-hub San Francisco as the most expensive place to live this year.

The average price of a one-bedroom in New York is $2,810, just marginally more than San Francisco’s average of $2,800. The findings are included in a national rent report from real estate website Zumper. 

This past summer has seen rents rise above pre-COVID levels for a number of high-demand neighborhoods in New York City. According to a StreetEasy market report release earlier this summer, Manhattan’s rent, which saw the most dramatic drop during Covid, has seen an increase by $60, to $2,860, while Brooklyn and Queens rents saw increases by $49 and $50, to $2,449 and $2,100, respectively. 

San Francisco, on the other hand, has suffered a major population decline (1.7% to be exact) throughout the Covid pandemic that it has not fully bounced back from, preventing rents from returning or rising above pre-Covid levels. 

The development is confounding some housing experts—considering tens of thousands of tenants are still struggling to pay rent and rent relief has not been distributed to a significant number of applicants, a delay Governor Katchy Hochul recently pledged to correct.

According to Nancy Wu, an economist at StreetEasy who spoke with Gothamist, the rise in rent prices is likely not a reflection of an economy rebounding, but more so landlords attempting to “make up for time and money lost during the pandemic’s lull by raising prices and erasing discounts.” 

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