Housing in New York after the pandemic: Mission impossible for renters

Renting an apartment in New York has always been a martial art. But since the end of the pandemic, it’s an almost impossible mission for many renters faced with an unprecedented surge in prices.

In the spring, when the leases are being renegotiated, Paula Sevilla, a young Spaniard, and her roommates were given an $800 monthly raise to stay in their Brooklyn apartment, the largest and trendiest in town. Then a feverish search for a new home begins: After two months of inspection (often windowless accommodations, bordering on the unsanitary), long lines and increasingly demanding application documents, they are chosen for a three-bedroom apartment for $3,000 a month.

“IIt happened to us that we lost an apartment because we applied four minutes late‘ the 26-year-old Spaniard, New Yorker by adoption, tells AFP. In a shopping market almost inaccessible to the middle class, finding that rare pearl to rent has always been a challenge in this mythical city, a global economic and cultural magnet but with glaring socio-economic disparities. After a small lull in 2021, at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic that brought the metropolis to its knees and forced tens of thousands of families to flee, rental prices rose 20.4% in the second quarter of this year, according to the real estate portal StreetEasy.

A salary of 40 times the rent

The landlords — sometimes mutual funds hidden behind real estate agents — demand an annual salary of 40 times the monthly rent, no debt, bank statements and near-perfect tax forms. Paula Sevilla earns $75,000 a year, slightly more than the average salary in New York. But not enough to rent alone. Tenants also sometimes have to pay commissions to brokers, which can be a month’s rent or even 15% of the annual cost.

Add to this an inflationary economic context, poor construction quality of buildings in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation, particularly in Brooklyn and Queens, and a chronic shortage of new housing in a megalopolis of 8.5 million people. . According to the Washington Up For Growth research center, 340,000 people were missing in the entire New York metropolitan area in 2019.

There is “too many customers and too few apartments“Simply summarized Miguel Urbina, a real estate agent. The City of New York — a left-leaning city — has been raising rents.stabilizedfor a million housing units and two million tenants, but the prices, which are subject to a democratic majority vote by the city council, are not blocked. Under far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio (2014-2021), “stabilized» up just 1.5% over a year. Under his successor on the right wing of the Democratic Party, African-American ex-cop Eric Adams, prices have risen at least for a decade (from +3.5% to +5% in June yoy).

” ALSO READ – In New York, French shoppers are returning in search of bargains

In Manhattan, a family spends 55% of their income on housing. The rate hits 60% in Brooklyn and 43% in popular Queens, according to data from StreetEasy, which denounced “a staggering financial drain.” The island of Manhattan, the financial lung of the United States, offers small apartments for an average of $5,000 a month, real estate agent Gea Elika tells AFP. There are also huge maisonettes with terraces around Central Park on the famous 5th Avenue that are available for…$140,000 a month.

Enough to push the middle class and younger generations into more deprived neighborhoods populated by African American, Hispanic and Asian communities, driving gentrification. And the prospects are bleak: the almost visibly changing Manhattan “skyline” is concentrating on the construction of high-rise office buildings and luxury apartments. And despite construction in Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey across the Hudson River, no one expects prices to slow.

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Kaddouri Ismail

I am Ismail from Morocco, I work as a blogger and online marketer. I am also the founder of the “Mofid” site, in which I constantly publish many important articles in the field of technology, taking advantage of more than 5 years of experience working in the field. I focus on publishing in a group of areas, the most important of which are programming, e-marketing, digital currencies and freelance work.

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