Given that New York City is a place where making “just” $70 to 92k a year can qualify you for affordable housing—thanks, Upper West Side condo developers—it makes sense that homeownership rates here are low. Just how low, however, is a little jarring. According to a new study published by NYU’s Furman Center and Citi, only 42 percent of homes sold on the market in 2014 were affordable even to those making as much as $114,000 a year.
At lower income levels the numbers are even more abysmal. For those making $55,000 a year or less— that’s 51 percent of New Yorker (so, statistically speaking: you)— only nine percent of homes sold in New York City in 2014 were considered affordable. For the record, only 22 percent of people in New York made $114,000 a year or more in 2014. See? Now you can say, “Suck it” to your friends back in Iowa or wherever because not everyone in New York City is Jay Z.
According to the Furman Center’s senior policy fellow Mark Willis, who co-authored the study, the lack of affordable housing stock is the result of a both an increase in the cost of housing and a stagnation of incomes in New York since 1990.
“As a result, there are not enough homes available for purchase at prices affordable to the vast majority of New Yorkers,” Willis said in a press release.
Because of these factors, less than one third, or 31 percent, of all New Yorkers own their homes—versus the two thirds of Americans who own their homes. And we all know that with ownership comes power, right?
All in all, the study reads like a depressing reminder of why you’re going to be a renter for the rest of your life. Congratulations, your bleak predictions have turned out to be entirely correct.
The closest thing to silver linings in the study were statistics that showed 68 percent of households in Staten Island owned their own homes. Also, households earning $55,000 or less could afford about a quarter of the 2014 sales in Nassau County and close to half of the sales in Suffolk County that same year. In other words, wannabe homeowners, pick your poison: do you want your affordable Island to be Long or Staten?