Annual Report Describes State of NYC Renters and Their Homes
The NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy recently published its annual State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods report. The report provides a compendium of 2016 data and analysis about New York City’s housing, land use, demographics, and quality of life for each borough and the city’s 59 community districts.
Demographically, the report finds that citywide, the share of the population aged 65 or older grew from 11.7 percent to 13.2 percent between 2000 and 2015. The senior share of the population grew most dramatically in Manhattan and Staten Island. And a larger share of New Yorkers were employed in 2015 than in 2005, before the recession. The share of working age New Yorkers who were unemployed in 2015 was down 2.2 percentage points from 2010 and 0.4 percentage points from pre-recession figures in 2005. Citywide, median household income increased 5 percent between 2014 and 2015, the largest year-over-year increase in a decade.
The report also reported a number of finding on NYC renters:
Renter household income. Citywide, real median renter household income increased 5 percent between 2014 and 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, median renter household income increased in four of the five boroughs. Staten Island, the borough with the lowest renter household share (31.1 percent), experienced the largest year-over-year increase in median renter household income, at 14.7 percent, followed by increases of 5.9 percent in Brooklyn, 5.5 percent in Queens, and 4.5 percent in the Bronx. During the same time period, median renter household income in Manhattan remained flat.
In addition, median household income of renters rose faster than median rent in 2015, for the first time in three years. Over the last decade, increases in rents outpaced increases in incomes in New York City. Between 2005 and 2015, median gross rent increased 18.3 percent, while median household income for renters increased just 6.6 percent. Though median income of renters rose faster than median rent in 2015, by 4.8 percent and 3.1 percent respectively, median income of renters has not recovered to its pre-recession level, while rents have continued an upward trajectory even through the recession.
Gross rents. The report found that between 2005 and 2015, Manhattan experienced the largest increase in median gross rent, at 27.9 percent, followed by Brooklyn (20.5 percent), the Bronx (16.2 percent), and Queens (15.2 percent). Although median gross rent increased in Staten Island by only 1.7 percent over the same period, the borough experienced a 5 percent year-over-year increase in median gross rent in 2015, as did Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn (3.9 percent), Queens (3.7 percent), and the Bronx (3.4 percent).
Asking rents. The median asking rent might better reflect prices for those newly seeking rental housing on the private market than median gross rent, because median gross rent includes tenants living in rent-stabilized or subsidized units that restrict rent increases. In 2016, median asking rent, rent for units being advertised for lease, in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan were double the median asking rent in most Bronx neighborhoods. The citywide median asking rent in 2016 was $2,795. All seven community districts with median asking rents of $1,500 or less were located in the Bronx. Community districts in lower and midtown Manhattan, Greenpoint/Williamsburg, and Fort Greene/Brooklyn Heights all had median asking rents of more than $3,000.
Vacancy rate. The report finds the vacancy rate for rental housing units in New York City remains low. The city’s overall rental housing vacancy rate remained very low in 2015 although it increased slightly between 2014 and 2015, reaching 3.5 percent. The 2015 rental vacancy rate was just under the decade-long average of 3.7 percent since 2005 and about one percentage point lower than the peak rental vacancy rate in 2010.
Violations. The report says the citywide housing code violation rate increased between 2015 and 2016. There were 236 housing code violations per 1,000 privately owned rental units in New York City in 2016, up about 3 percent over 2015, the report said. Also, the city issued about 49 serious housing code violations per 1,000 privately owned rental units in 2016, up 2.5 percent since 2015.