NYC is the 8th most affordable big city in America*

Citizens Budget Commission says low transportation costs balance out expensive housing. Sort of.

TRD New York /
Jan.January 14, 2020 11:15 AM
Due to relatively high income levels and low transportation costs, New York City is the eight most affordable of 20 major cities (Credit: iStock)

Thanks to relatively high incomes and low transportation costs, New York City is the eighth most affordable of 20 major cities, a study found (Credit: iStock)

UPDATE, Jan. 14, 2020, 2:33 pm: It may sound hard to believe, but New York is the eighth most affordable city of the 20 biggest cities in the U.S.

That’s in part because low transportation costs balance out high housing costs, according to a new study from the Citizens Budget Commission, a business-backed, fiscally conservative watchdog group, which used data from the 2016 census to measure “location affordability” based on housing costs, transportation costs and income.

Click to enlarge (Credit: Citizens Budget Commission)

Click to enlarge (Credit: Citizens Budget Commission)

The study found that housing costs in New York were the fifth most expensive, with the median household spending 30.8 percent of its income on housing. (A median household is defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a couple making the area’s median family household income and who have two children.) Transportation costs, on the other hand, were the lowest of the group — the median household spending was just $832 a month — while household income ranked eighth highest.

The study found that median households in 15 of the 20 cities spent more than 45 percent of their household income on housing and transportation costs. By this measurement, Chicago was the 10th most affordable, Los Angeles 12th and Miami 18th.

Only Washington, D.C., San Jose, San Francisco, Boston, and Minneapolis-St. Paul fell below the 45 percent level and could be considered “affordable,” by the study’s measurement, because they had relatively high household incomes.

In other words, despite placing eighth, New York isn’t really all that affordable. And despite New York’s relatively competitive position on the list, the study warned that it might not stay that way.

“High housing demand in relation to slow housing production and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fiscal and operational woes may increase costs and negatively affect New York City’s location affordability competitiveness,” the report said.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
356 Sackett Street (Google Maps, Elliman)

Brooklyn’s back: Luxury contract volume hits four-month high

Brooklyn’s back: Luxury contract volume hits four-month high
The Hillandale estate (Knight Frank)

260-acre Hillandale estate returns to market asking $49M

260-acre Hillandale estate returns to market asking $49M
394 Vanderbilt Avenue (Douglas Elliman)

As weather heats up, Brooklyn luxury market doesn’t

As weather heats up, Brooklyn luxury market doesn’t
The threat of eviction hangs heavily above immigrant families who have lost work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty)

Eviction bans don’t always protect the most vulnerable

Eviction bans don’t always protect the most vulnerable
Seth Campbell (iStock)

Keller Williams to cut ties with top franchise owner following sexual harassment allegations

Keller Williams to cut ties with top franchise owner following sexual harassment allegations
Ghost Towers

NYC’s ghost towers: How many Manhattan luxury condos are owned by people who don’t live there?

NYC’s ghost towers: How many Manhattan luxury condos are owned by people who don’t live there?
Manhattan homes flooded the market last week but buyers are nowhere to be found 

Manhattan homes for sale nearly doubled last week

Manhattan homes for sale nearly doubled last week
Competition for affordable housing in New York City is highest among those who need affordable housing most (Getty, iStock)

Poorest face worst odds in city’s housing lotteries

Poorest face worst odds in city’s housing lotteries
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...