Despite Deep Rent Cuts, Essential Workers Are Mostly Left Out
“Yes, prices are going down, but they’re not going from $ 3,000 to $ 1,400,” she said. Prices in the luxury market were soft, such as the Upper West Side one-bedroom apartment she rented for $ 4,350 in October, including landlord concessions, down from $ 6,000.
There is also a mismatch in inventory. Most of Manhattan’s affordable apartments were studios, Ms. Wu said, while about half of essential workers have at least one child.
There can also be disparities between many types of essential workers. A factory worker, earning $ 60,000 per year, can spend $ 1,500 dollars a month in rent using a 30-percent-income formula, and can find more than 30,000 apartments in New York City that can keep their budget on StreetEasy Fit. The average health care worker, who makes about $ 52,000 a year, can pay $ 1,300 per month using the same formula, but their options shrink to just under 4,100 apartments. The grocery clerk, which can make less than $ 31,000 with a rental budget of $ 775 per month, will find almost no market-rate listings in that range.
Of course, many New Yorkers spend more on rent than they can comfortably afford. In 2018, the latest year figures were available, with New York University renting burden at about 53 percent, meaning they spent more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent, according to the New York University Furman Center.
Ms Wu said that renters can come up with some hope in the hope that the rent will remain soft in the coming months. Even as leasing activity improves, inventory is still near-record levels, due to high unemployment and outbound migration.
“There is no plateau in sight,” he said.