6 Min to Read

Top 10 Most Expensive and Cheapest Neighborhoods to Rent in Queens 2021

Ruth Shin

Ruth Shin

Queens hails as the largest borough and has the most neighborhoods out of any in New York City. Find out which neighborhoods made the top five most expensive and top five most affordable neighborhoods.

Queens is the second most populated borough out of the five in New York City, right behind Manhattan, having over 2.2 million residents.

While not carrying the same hip cache that Brooklyn has, Queens is obviously a top choice for much of the city's residents.

Not only are the areas close to Manhattan a top choice for renters (especially for reasonable prices), but Queens offers a lot of choices for anyone looking to own a home in a safe and diverse community.

There's a neighborhood for every taste.

It is important to note, however, although there are many neighborhoods with rental apartments and houses, Queens is also dominated by even more neighborhoods where the real estate market is mainly homeownership.

Queens is fairly affordable to buy a home in comparison to the majority of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Median Monthly Rent in Queens
Apartment SizeOne-bedroomTwo-Bedroom
Median monthly rent$1,880$2,510
Average income needed$75,200$100,400

The Most Expensive Queens Neighborhoods

Generally, Queens is considered a relatively affordable borough with many family-friendly neighborhoods.

However, the areas generally near Manhattan tend to be pricier and you may be surprised at how high the rent can go.

5. Ridgewood- Median Rent $2,539

Ridgewood, Queens is probably seen as a top alternative to those priced out of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Seen as Bushwick's quaint neighbor, the two neighborhoods actually run seamlessly, almost as one continuous neighborhood.

Conveniently the same train that runs through Bushwick, the M line, also runs through Ridgewood.

Ridgewood is a well-priced alternative for Brooklynites who might want more space in a quiet neighborhood but still enjoy the same types of bars and coffeeshops they might in Brooklyn.

It's completely understandable how this neighborhood has made it to the top five most expensive neighborhoods in Queens.

Median Monthly Rent$2,255$2,470
Average Income Needed$90,200$98,800

4. Elmhurst- Median Rent $2,542

Elmhurst is a little known neighborhood in central Queens, south of Jackson Heights.

It's a large neighborhood with residential sections but is probably better known for the Queens Center Mall, a massive shopping complex with nearly 200 stores.

It's also ethnically diverse and very populated.

The fact that four trains cut through the neighborhood and that Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.), the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (B.Q.E.), and Queens Blvd also run through make it a convenient location for commuters to live in.

It's also home to good public and charters schools making it a great option for families.

Median Monthly Rent$2,065$2,550
Average Income Needed$82,600$102,000

3. Astoria- Median Rent $2,641

Astoria Queens

Astoria has a lot to offer the New Yorker looking for fairly affordable housing but not sacrificing energy, an easy commute, and neighborhood culture and R and R.

Astoria is home to many different restaurants and businesses, as well as the Noguchi Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and Astoria Park.

While rents have gone up in this area since the 90s, it's been overshadowed by the prices and real estate development in Long Island City and various Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Although on our top five most expensive list, Astoria remains a reasonably affordable area compared to neighborhoods in Brooklyn and much of Manhattan.

Median Monthly Rent$2,190$2,565
Average Income Needed$87,600$102,600

2. Forest Hills- Median Rent $2,710

Forest Hills is another large neighborhood located in central Queens.

It's one of the most popular neighborhoods for families with children because of the family-friendly vibe and the good schools.

Like Elmurst, the E and M train lines run through the neighborhood, making another great neighborhood to commute to the city by mass transit.

However, unlike Elmhurst, Forest Hills has access to much green space as it abuts Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the fourth largest park in New York City.

Median Monthly Rent$2,220$2,550
Average Income Needed$88,800$102,000

1. Long Island City- Median Rent $3,669

Long Island City

In the late 90s and early 2000s when more and more people started moving into industrial areas of the five boroughs like DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Red Hook, Long Island City became Queens hottest spot to be.

Today, a portion of the neighborhood remains industrial but development has soared in the area in the last 20 years or so.

Queens got its first residential skyscrapers when real estate developers realized they had a potential goldmine with LIC. LIC is alive with life, tons of new businesses, restaurants and a waterfront park area.

All the new luxury developments and large companies moving to Long Island City means asking rent prices are much steeper than the rest of the borough.

Median Monthy Income$2,935$4,025
Average Income Needed$117,400$161,000

Honorable Mentions for Expensive Neighborhoods in Queens

There is an obvious absence of Sunnyside on this top five list. It's grown in popularity as many New Yorkers have seen it as a viable and cheaper alternative to Astoria, Long Island City, and even Brooklyn.

There are aspects of Sunnyside that read as a typical Queens neighborhood but it certainly has its own unique enclaves, such as Sunnyside Gardens which feels much more rustic.

It's also a very short commute to the city. Prices have risen over the past ten years, however, it's still a bargain compared to the likes of LIC.

The Cheapest Neighborhoods in Queens

5. Jackson Heights- Median Rent $2,246

Jackson Heights, like many Queens neighborhoods, is a great place to go to if you want to experience authentic ethnic cuisine.

It's home to some of the city's best Indian, Latin, and Asian restaurants. Groceries and restaurants reflect the diversity of this neighborhood.

It neighbors the more expensive Elmhurst but its lower rental prices might be reflective of the fact that it's harder to commute from Jackson Heights.

It's also one of the rare neighborhoods that's devoid of any major parks and lacks green space, in general.

Median Monthly Rent$1,805$2,455
Average Income Needed$72,200$98,200

4. Woodside- Median Rent $2,241

Woodside is adjacent to two popular Queens neighborhoods--Astoria and Sunnyside.

However, the asking rent price is much lower in Woodside.

This neighborhood is a great bargain, considering the commute to the city is not that long and it's actually home to some of the best authentic ethnic cuisine restaurants in the city, like neighborhood Jackson Heights.

There's nothing fancy about this neighborhood, and other than some bordering cemeteries, there's very green space, which might account for the good value in housing.

There are few standalone houses as the majority of Woodside consists of apartment buildings and attached and multi-family homes.

Median Monthly Rent$1,715$2,115
Average Income Needed$68,600$84,600

3. Rego Park- Median Rent $2,235

Rego Park is a small and little-known neighborhood in Queens wedged between the more popular neighborhoods of Elmhurst and Forest Hills.

Rego Park is made up predominantly of apartment buildings, although there are areas with some detached and attached houses.

Like many Queens neighborhoods, Rego Park is diverse with a sizable ethnic enclave where immigrants hail from Russia, Central Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, South America, South Asia, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe.

It's also home to a huge shopping mall complex--Rego Center, and not far from Elmhurst's Queens Center Mall.

The E, M, and R train lines run through the neighborhood, making it possible to commute to Manhattan within a longer but reasonable time of about 45-50 minutes to Midtown.

Median Monthly Rent$2,195$2,560
Average Income Needed$87,800$102,400

2. Flushing- Median Rent $2,182

Flushing is one of the most recognizable names of Queens. It's best known for its diverse population, and for having its own sizable Chinatown.

It's also home to Queens College's campus and even has its own downtown area.

There are very few in New York City that haven't heard of Main Street, Flushing, one the of the busiest streets in Queens and the last stop on the 7 train where droves of commuters empty out of the train.

In Flushing you'll find some of the city's best Chinese restaurants, with cuisines from various regions.

Flushing also offers a mix of apartment housing as well as multi-family homes.

Median Monthly Rent$1,830$3,310
Average Income Needed$74,000$132,400

1. Murray Hill- Median Rent $2,064

Not to be mistaken with Murray Hill in Manhattan, this Murray Hill is in Queens.

It's often thought of a neighborhood that's an extension of Flushing and East Flushing. Like its neighbors, Murray Hill has a sizable Asian population, most notably Korean and Chinese.

Housing styles are similar to Flushing with even lower asking prices.

Commuting from this neighborhood may be difficult as mass transit does not run this far, with the exception of the Long Island Railroad.

Median Monthly Rent$1,845$2,125
Average Income Needed$73,800$85,000

Honorable Mentions of Inexpensive Neighborhoods in Queens

There are potentially many more neighborhoods in Queens where you can land a steal as far as rental prices go. Neighborhoods farther out are going to have better deals, like Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and Kew Gardens.

While some of them have a high number of rentals, generally the close to Long Island you get, the more homeowneship in the neighborhoods.

Hence, not only does it become much harder to commute from but apartments and houses for rent can be harder to find.

Try the PropertyNest rent affordability calculator and find out what salary you should be making to rent in your desired Queens neighborhood.

Our Methodology

Median rent was aggregated directly from PropertyNest's proprietary data from listing directly advertised or syndicated to the site. The data was collected over one calendar year to reflect seasonal changes.

Some neighborhoods may have been excluded due to scarcity of rental data. Rent prices are based on advertised asking rent prices and may not accurately reflect the final rent on signed leases.