One out of every two people thinks NYC is unaffordable. But most New Yorkers still want to stay
New Yorkers are a unique group even in a global view, and the economic engine of New York City is one of America’s greatest assets. Nearly 9 percent of all goods and services produced in the United States are made in the New York metro area, the largest percentage of any US metro area.
It’s still growing, by an ever-increasing rate. Since the end of the last recession, New York’s private sector has created an average of 23,500 new jobs a quarter and grown 2.7 percent a year, faster than the national rate of 2.0 percent.
The residents of New York City — more than 8 million people — play a crucial role in driving the nation’s economic growth. But housing them comes with a challenge. To get a more complete picture of how New Yorkers fare in such a dynamic but geographically constrained metropolis, 1,000 residents across all five boroughs were surveyed about their experience in the city, what they care about most in a home, and their perceptions on livability and affordability.
The high cost of housing means that New Yorkers go to unique lengths to afford to live in the city. They are more likely to rent apartments and to take on roommates than the average residents of other major American cities, including Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
New Yorkers tend to be higher earners than their counterparts across the country. Many New Yorkers are rich, relative to the rest of the country and pay a high premium to live in or around the city.
Yet, despite the high cost of housing, the survey shows that many New Yorkers, whether renters or buyers, enjoy living in this vast metropolis — more than half of them say they’d recommend living in the city to a friend.
This leads to the so-called NYC affordability paradox: many New Yorkers, renters and owners alike, perceive the city as unaffordable, but a far smaller portion of them will say that they have trouble affording their own home. Renters’ perception of living in an unaffordable city is likely driven in part by the high cost of homes on the market, as well as New Yorkers’ belief that they’re getting a good deal on their home