Rent or buy? It takes 6 years to recoup cost of purchasing a home in NYC

Carnegie Hill
Carnegie Hill

The old calculus of buying versus renting hinges on a host of personal factors, not least of which is the investment cost. In New York City, an average home buyer needs to spend 6.1 years in a chosen dwelling to recoup the cost of purchasing that unit, according to new figures from Zillow. 

Depending on how long a resident wants to live in a given home, that time investment could tip the scales toward one option or the other. Of course, the break-even point varies widely across neighborhoods.

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The three neighborhoods with the lengthiest time investments are Manhattan’s Carnegie Hill and the West Village and Brooklyn’s Manhattan Beach. Average residents need to stay in their purchased homes for 11.9 years, 10.6 years and 10.2 years, respectively, to break even.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Parkchester section of the Bronx ranks as the neighborhood with the shortest break-even point — 2.5 years — followed closely by the Bronx’s Melrose and Belmont, which have respective break-even times of 3.2 and 3.4 years.

Meanwhile, for both the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side, the time is just shy of 9 years. In the hot Chelsea market, it would take 6.7 years to recoup the costs. —Zachary Kussin