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A Guide to Rentals in New York City
New York City is America’s most iconic and well-known city, with arguably the most recognizable skyline and landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Statue of Liberty.
New York City, the most populated city in the country at nearly 8.4 million (according to the latest U.S. Census in 2018), also dwarfs any other metropolitan area in the U.S. at just over 20 million.
The city physically spans 302.6 square miles, only ranking 24th in the country, well behind cities like Houston, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Phoenix. This accounts for its population density, which is the highest in the U.S.
The five boroughs of New York are Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Brooklyn and Queens are the city’s most populated boroughs but Manhattan is by far the most densely populated, having roughly two-thirds the number of residents of Brooklyn, but only one-third of its land area.
The is located downstate of New York State and experiences four seasons. High temperatures average 63 F in spring, 83 in summer, 65 in autumn, and 42 in winter. The average precipitation per year is 3.4 inches, generally fluctuating between 3-4 inches each month. May is on average the wettest month, while February is typically the driest.
New York City, NY Demographics
Tips for Renting in New York City
If you’re ready to rent in possibly the most exciting city in the country, there are a few things you’ll need to know that make getting an apartment in New York a pretty unique experience. Rental apartments make up roughly 67% of the real estate market in New York, making this by far the largest rental market in the country.
Like so many things in the city, the rental market is fast-paced and highly competitive, so you need to be prepared in order to grab the apartment you most want. Hiring a real estate agent can help you navigate the waters, but is by no means required. You expect an application process that includes a credit report and submission of proof of income along with other financial documents.
Applying for an apartment can feel a little bit like applying for a mortgage. In some cases, the requirements may be even more stringent.
Be prepared to put down a deposit if you love an apartment. During peak rental season (typically from May- September), competition can be stiff and a fellow renter may snatch up an apartment if you hesitate.
Despite the rigorous process, New York City affords its tenants many more rights than most other cities in the United States, so it’s important to read up on them. Many protections and anti-discrimination laws have been put in place to ensure fair opportunities for all, but it’s important to know what they are in order to protect yourself.
The Cost of Living in New York City, NY
How much will food run you on average in New York City? An inexpensive meal in New York can cost $24, while a meal for two for a mid-priced restaurant could be $100. Average grocery costs for a month per person is $475.68 a month which is $134.16 higher than the national average.
For a 915-square-foot apartment, New York City residents pay on average $135.54 for utilities which is less than the national average which sits at $159.67. These include electricity, heating/cooling, water, and garbage removal.
For most New Yorkers, mass transit is the main way to get around the city. An MTA fare is $2.75 per ride, but you can purchase a Metrocard for larger increments as well as a monthly pass for $127.
Average Rent in New York City, NY
|New York City, NY Average Rental Price||$4,037/mo|
Living in New York City
New York City is not only the largest city in the United States but also the mecca of many different industries in the country.
Famously, it is home to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, making it the financial and business center of the nation and one of the main financial hubs of the world.
It’s also a top destination for entertainment and the arts with its vibrant music scene, countless art galleries, and the Theater District (often referred to as "Broadway").
Furthermore, the "Big Apple" dominates when it comes to food and fashion. New York boasts the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the country and ranks internationally among the top three fashion industry destinations, along with Paris and Milan.
There is no shortage of attractions and activities that make New York City one of the most visited cities in the world.
As a result, the city is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country and the world, with the most different languages being spoken in the world in this one city alone. Over 48% of New York households speak a language other than English.
What New York has to offer is as diverse as its residents and tourists. However, what it is most famous for is its non-stop energy, being often referred to as "the city that never sleeps".
Like most large metropolitan cities around the world, New York City has a very high cost of living. It’s one of the most cities in the country, if not the most, and ranks among the world’s most expensive cities.
Affordability can become an issue depending on where you live in the city. New Yorkers use mass transit to commute to work far more than any other city in the U.S. About 45% of households own a car in the five boroughs, with only about 22% of Manhattan households owning a car.
36-45 minutes is spent on average commuting by public transportation to work by New York City residents. The MTA is by far the most widely utilized public transportation system in the whole country.
Things to do in New York City
There’s never a dull moment in New York City. Not only is this a city of non-stop entertainment, with it’s music venues, clubs, theaters, and parks, but there is plenty to divert your attention. Just make a day of galleries, museums, and landmark attractions.
In the area of live entertainment, the city’s residents enjoy no shortage of world-renown venues like Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Broadway theatres, Madison Square Garden, and Barclay’s Center just to name a few.
Nature-oriented attractions are also in plenty in this extremely urban environment. Central Park, while a main showcase is by means the only great park New York has to offer. With over 30,000 acres of parks, gardens, and beaches within city limits, green space accounts for 14% of New York.
Residents enjoy visiting Prospect Park, Riverside Park, Empire State Park, the Highline, and Battery Park alongside many extras like the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Central Park Zoo, and much more.
New York is also home to the world’s greatest museums such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim. There are far too many to name, and all worth visiting many times over.
Not only do art lovers enjoy the city’s museums, but also the hundreds of art galleries that exist across the five boroughs. At the center lies the highly influential Chelsea Art District, but many other neighborhoods and the outer boroughs harbor their own thriving art scenes.
Famous landmarks include the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty.
Day-long excursions worth taking are trips to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Governor’s Island, once a historic military base, now open to the public.
Sports lovers will find their place in the city with famous sporting venues like Yankee Stadium, CitiField, Barclay’s Center, and Madison Square Garden. New York boasts two baseball teams, two football teams, two basketball teams, and one hockey team (NY Islanders also play at Barclay’s Center).
Nonstop fun continues with countless music venues and music festivals, and summer concert series in places like Central Park and Randall’s Island.
When it’s time to eat, you’ll enjoy the countless options at your fingertips. Having a diverse population means having your pick of numerous different cuisines.
This is also the city of five-star chefs and world-famous restaurants such as Per Se, Le Bernardin, Momofuku, and Peter Luger’s Steakhouse.
Employment and Economy in New York City
New York City’s economy is the largest one in the U.S. and has a larger economy than many countries.
With a population of over 8 million, many of whom relocated from other parts of the country and the world to “make it in New York”, there is a lot of talent to harness and healthy competition in the workforce.
Wall Street is synonymous with the city itself, so it’s no surprise that financial services is the top producing industry in New York, the vast majority of the industry and workforce based in downtown Manhattan.
New York serves as a hub for the New York Stock Exchange and some of the largest banks and investment firms in the world.
The other thriving and important economic engines of the city are healthcare, retail, and believe it or not manufacturing. Many New Yorkers are employed as professional and technical service workers, such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, scientists, architects, researchers, designers, and mechanics.
Another big player in New York’s economy is clearly tourism, as one of the top tourist destinations in the country as well as globally. In 2018 alone, New York welcomed over 65 million tourists. It is the fourth largest job sector in the city, generating tens of billions of dollars. New York City’s top employers include the City of New York and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup lead the stats as far as the largest private employers go.
New York City, NY Households
|Total Number of Households||3,154,103|
|Average People Per Household||2.62|
|Median Household Income||$60,762|
Education in New York City
The New York City Department of Education oversees the largest public school district in the United States. With over 1 million students being served and an annual budget of over $24 billion.
Spending nearly $20,000 per student each year, New York City spends almost double the national average per student.
Students are taught across 1,700 schools, in addition to a number of charter schools funded by the city.
The city also offers the opportunity to attend some of the most academically rigorous and prestigious schools in the country such as Hunter College High School, LaGuardia High School (for arts), along with eight other specialized high schools that require a test for admissions. The city has a number of other excellent elite schools in its public school system. Private schools are also in abundance for residents who choose a private education for their children. Families have choices from over 200 schools providing some of the best private education, however, face a more selective admissions process. New York City private school admission rates are lower than the national average at just 59% compared to 86%.
New York City also serves as home to a large number of universities such as the CUNY system, which include City College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, John Jay College just to name a few. There are numerous private universities as well as New York University, Columbia University, Fordham University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Pratt University.
New York City, NY Education Statistics
|High School Diploma||24%|