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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

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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