TimeOut Magazine recently published a report that came with a very well detailed diagram of average rent prices, borough to borough, neighborhood to neighborhood. The shock from seeing very imposing numbers floating above much sought after real estate locations can put any New Yorker, no matter how tough, into a spiral of melancholic proportions, equal only to something apocalyptic. The number: 3,100$ a month. For what?… A one bedroom…
If we save now, maybe the condo is still possible – but in what reality? I’ve been watching quite a lot of Rick and Morty lately, an adult cartoon whose forays into cosmic horror have left an impression. I imagine-like something out of Rick and Morty- a separate reality, apart from this one, where 9/11 never happened and the 2008 housing crash wasn’t real life but a smartly written film starring superstar actors and written by Aaron Sorkin; the smooth talking ivy league dialogue cascades out of characters mouths as Manhattan is destroyed by, by, by, something-something metaphor for financial doom – maybe a Godzilla type monster but dressed up in a suit and tie; and the briefcase, of course, by the side. Don’t forget its New York.
In current reality, there is a serious disparity in real estate prices and average wages. This goes for most major cities, but the fact remains: who can afford to live here?
Maybe you can head off to Texas, where a recent dip in oil prices has created a property buying free-for-all that has many ranchers enticed and putting out. Down there, as stated in a recent article on NY Times Financial Blog DealBook, wealth is measured in acres. If that is so, then how wealthy can someone be when they can only barely afford a one bedroom? And in NYC we measure with square feet… imagine if we used acres?
How much per year will this one bedroom cost you? Let’s do some math; okay, flip open the phone, pick the calculator, insert 3,100 and multiply by 12, don’t forget to double check – math is about precision, lets not forget – and you get: $37,200 a year. What’s median income in NYC? Go to google and type in “average median income NYC,” and you’ll be greeted by a nicely placed text box holding the following information: median household income is $50,711.
Current proposition: use around 70% of your yearly salary to get yourself a one-bedroom apartment, and hope, maybe pray, that the rent isn’t raised within your first year.
Second: live with a roommate.
Third: Go to Texas and buy some land, and a horse or two, and a ten-gallon hat, no, an assault rifle made out of plastic.
Fourth: Go make some more money.
Another question must be asked: with all this new construction, namely in Brooklyn – Downtown has been coined an “architectural hotbed”- who will be able to afford the new apartments?
Don’t forget Queens, the borough of dreams; and princesses. Also a hotbed.
But for who?