Most surveyed NYers consider apartments a deal

New Yorkers are not removing their rose-tinted glasses at the front door.

A recent survey of 1,000 New Yorkers found 46 percent view the city as unaffordable, but only 26 percent believe their neighborhood is too pricey and just 16 percent identify their home as uneconomical, according to StreetEasy. The real estate listings company highlighted this perception gap in an analysis of the survey slated to be released Tuesday.

“What this research is telling us is everyone thinks they have a deal,” said Grant Long, chief economist at StreetEasy. “People like to think they have good deals. It lets them think they’re being sensible about their budget, that they’re doing better than the people they see around them.”

The survey, which the market research firm YouGov issued in November to 1,000 people representative of the city’s demographics, showed more than half of respondents cited cost as one of the most important factors to consider when weighing a move outside the city. But just 17 percent of those considering moving within a year said they were open to leaving the five boroughs.

Long said New Yorkers’ faith in their own residential findings may stem from the skewed picture of what is on the market. Most listings shared by StreetEasy and its competitors include many newer residences, which tend to be more expensive, Long said. And the number of new buildings opening has forced many of these developments to use rental concessions to woo residents.

“Just the sheer logistics of new inventory coming on the market is going to make up a disproportionately large part of what is available,” Long said.

Beyond what makes it onto listings, the city’s residential offerings include public housing, rent regulated apartments and other units that drive down median rents. For example, the most recent American Community Survey data shows the median rent paid by Manhattan households in 2016 was $1,488, while the median asking rent for Manhattan apartments on StreetEasy was $3,193 that year.

“The cheaper inventory, while a large part of the New York City inventory, is a small part of what is actually available at any given time,” Long said.


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