two fare zone
April 19, 2017 11:03 AM   Subscribe

"New York’s MTA subway system is an essential part of many New Yorkers’ lives [...] RentHop’s data scientists love maps and rental data, so they’ve mapped out rental prices by subway stop to assist in your apartment hunting endeavors [...] This year, we’ve seen rents dropping across most of Manhattan Island while prices in the outer boroughs and Upper Manhattan rise due to what appears to be a migration in search of bigger apartments and/or cheaper rents."

"YoY" stands for "year over year" (2016-2017 in this case)
posted by griphus (17 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This is brilliant. I wish I could find rent maps like this for every community. I particularly find the "one stop drop" list intriguing. The speculation on the reasons is informative as well. Mostly I'm just glad I don't need to pay those rents!
posted by meinvt at 11:39 AM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Something something just run to the next stop and save money on rent and exercise. {/hamburger}

[Thin excuse to post a video from 2014 that I just saw]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know this was absolutely the intention of their content marketing strategy but has anyone in NYC successfully used Renthop to find a place? I don't think I've ever met another human being in the city who actually used one of these "we DISRUPT the crazy NYC apartment hunt" -type start-ups... streeteasy and Craigslist still appear to be the gold standard.
posted by windbox at 11:46 AM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Rents may have "dropped" in Manhattan, but the outer boroughs are still cheaper than the Manhattan prices.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:42 PM on April 19, 2017

*looks at map*

*looks at bank balance*

*checks email for lease renewal notice and doesn't see it*

*staring intensifies*
posted by thecaddy at 12:45 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

2500 to live in Ft Greene? Not too shabby.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:52 PM on April 19, 2017

In other words, if I want to stay in NYC, I need to find a mid-six-figure income quickly, or get 5 roommates (which at my age is just a really dreadful prospect after living for 20+ years of my adult life with roommates), or hold on to this rent-stabilized place with all my might, since I can't afford the market rent in my neighborhood. In the Northeast Bronx. On a salary that would allow me to buy a house in other parts of the country (where, of course, I wouldn't be able to find a job that pays my current middle-class-everywhere-else-but-New-York-and-SF/LA salary).

Goddamn it, I grew up poor in a crowded flat in a shitty Midwestern city. I've been to different places down South and I hated it. I'm scared that moving to the Southwest would just make me one more person ruining its ecosystem and depleting its water table. I'm not keen on SF/LA, even if had the money to go there. What's the point of all this if one has to live somewhere one doesn't like just to survive? The area I live in now is verging on Westchester County as it is. I moved to NYC for a reason, and it's still the only place where I want to live.

Yes, yes, I know, privilege, choices, yadda yadda yadda. Let me be upset for a minute that at some point I know I'll have to move away, because I won't ever be rich, and in short enough order, I won't be able to afford to stay in this city unless I find roommates or get into a solid relationship (and there have been no gentlemen callers). I certainly won't be able to afford to stay here in a place of my own, which would be my preference. I'm well aware that poor people like me aren't allowed to have any preferences for their living situation in this country, because I didn't choose to be rich.

That all said, windbox, I actually got my current place though a listing on the Naked Apartments website 4 years ago and lucked out that it was rent-stabilized.
posted by droplet at 4:11 PM on April 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

?? How does anyone afford to live in Manhattan who is not like, the heiress to an oil fortune.
posted by bracems at 4:56 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

A. You have a lot of roommates. B. See A.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:31 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Not that I feel like defending NYC rents, but these are medians, meaning half the rents fall below and half above the number given. (On a fairly restricted dataset, too, as RentHop is hardly comprehensive.) I just signed a renewal lease on an apartment at $200/mo. less than the figure given for my subway stop. It's not fancy, but it's not dilapidated, either.
posted by praemunire at 5:57 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

The short answer to housing prices in NYC is that jobs in Manhattan are very, very well paid and there are lots of them. Companies don't have their "back office" support functions in Manhattan and have a much lower ratio of support / clerical staff than they used to. EVERY Class A office building in Manhattan will have 10+ people making $10 million or more a year, 100+ people making $1 million or more a year, and 1000+ people making $200k or more a year. And an atypical building, like 200 West Street or 9 West 57th ... increase all of that by a factor of 5 or 10.
posted by MattD at 7:22 PM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Well, also, much NYC real estate (like much London and SF real estate) has as its primary function the storage of wealth rather than the housing of people, since the former use is more profitable than the latter.

Even absent the upward pressure from real estate as wealth storage, the most profitable pattern for development in places with jobs that pay money involves keeping working-class and middle-class housing stock as limited (and therefore expensive) as possible while providing an oversupply of catastrophically expensive housing for the rich. This tendency can only be combatted by providing competition in the working/middle class housing markets, either in the form of extensive public housing priced at below market rate, or else in the form of extensive tolerated squatting.

We have this fantasy that the market will in all cases tend to produce non-miserable results. Urban housing is one case where the market (absent downward pressure from non-market housing) is particularly incentivized to really put the squeeze on the working classes.

tl;dr: It sucks for the likes of us because the market isn't incentivized to care about our preferences.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:58 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

okay, there's a third option, but it's super wonky:

As I understand it, one of the main mechanisms by which the market coordinates to prop up the profitability of urban housing through systematically undersupplying it for the working- and middle-classes is the global lending market. Building housing in dense urban areas requires scads of capital; the lenders from whom one can get that sort of capital will tend to only lend to developers in markets that are particularly profitable, because they've become places where housing is used to store wealth and/or because they've become places where working- and middle-class housing has been radically undersupplied and therefore radically profitable. Once the bleeding edge of undersupply has been taken off — but just the bleeding edge; housing is still undersupplied — lenders switch to lending to developments in more-undersupplied cities.

The way to get around this (other than building public housing or encouraging squatting) is through establishing a public bank tasked with lending to affordable housing developments; a sort of "seize the means of finance" strategy. There's a nascent movement for establishing a Public Bank of Oakland that could eventually be used for this sort of scheme, and I believe there's organizing going on for something similar up in Seattle. It's a good time for public bank projects here on the West Coast, since there's a lot of unfilled demand for lending for weed-related businesses; regular banks won't touch 'em because federal law, but lending to them is very profitable, and those profits can be plowed into things like housing schemes.

IMO establishing public municipal banks is a really good idea — the only problem with it is that it's hugely, hugely wonky, and takes like two long paragraphs to explain how it's even connected to the housing market at all, and I'm not sure I've even gotten the details right.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:20 PM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

The way to get around this (other than building public housing or encouraging squatting) is through establishing a public bank tasked with lending to affordable housing developments

Genuine question: what advantages does this have over just building public housing?
posted by zymil at 2:56 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

computech_apolloniajames: "A. You have a lot of roommates. B. See A."

In a one-bedroom apartment? I grew up in Jersey and always thought that I'd be in NYC when I was an adult but now as an actual adult, I can't imagine how anyone does it. The prices just make my eyes cross.
posted by octothorpe at 7:27 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

A living room is just a bedroom the law does not let you publicly advertise or rent as such.
posted by griphus at 7:55 AM on April 20, 2017

> Genuine question: what advantages does this have over just building public housing?

Reasons I could pretend to be able to explain but can't actually explain. I think the broad strokes not-an-explanation is that it's easier to make a public bank self-sustaining than it is to do the same with public housing. Like, a public bank allows the city to recapture the money that would have otherwise been going to conventional lenders; this money can be devoted to lending for projects that are profitable, but not profitable enough for the market, and ultimately hooking into this profit stream and using it to lower the cost of affordable housing development may be more efficient at lowering the price of housing than just building conventional public housing developments.

Really, though, what needs to happen is something like a diversity of tactics (incendiary phrase used deliberately) for lowering the cost of housing; establishing public banks that lend with an eye toward the public good, creating more public housing, plus direct-actioney stuff like normalizing squatting.

The big problem that's right there on the surface is that lowering the cost of housing means lowering the price of housing, which means that homeowners are incentivized to undermine any scheme that could break the market's near-monopoly on housing. Because electoral politics almost everywhere requires catering to the homeowning classes, we can't count on elected officials to take the lead on chasing the market out of housing.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:04 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older "why did I ever build this"   |   Little boxes / on the game sprite / little boxes /... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments