How much do you need to earn to afford a two-bedroom in NYC?

July 26, 2019

Via Pexels

Manhattan requires the second-highest income in the country to afford an average two-bedroom apartment. A new report from SmartAsset analyzed how much a household needs to make in order to afford rent in the 25 largest cities in the United States. In Manhattan, New Yorkers would need to earn an annual salary of at least $162,857 to afford the average two-bedroom rent in the borough, currently around $3,800 per month.

The income needed to pay rent in the largest U.S. cities; via SmartAsset

The main findings in the report show that in the country’s most expensive cities, earning the median income is not enough to avoid being “cost-burdened,” making it more difficult to afford other necessities like food and medical care. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a household should not spend more than 30 percent of its income on housing costs.

If 50 percent of a household’s income is spent on rent, it falls under the severely cost-burdened category, according to HUD. While some have argued this measurement simplifies how affordable housing is defined, the number continues to be widely used today to determine who is cost-burdened.

In its report, SmartData set a 28 percent rent-to-income ratio to create its rankings. The group found that a household in Manhattan, and not taking into account the outer boroughs, would have to earn at least $162,857 per year to pay rent that hits 28 percent or less of their income. The problem, however, is that the median household income in the borough is roughly half of that amount, at $85,071 per year.

New York falls second to San Francisco, where an average two-bedroom apartment goes for a staggering $4,593 per month. Residents in the Bay Area need to make at least $196,843 per year to avoid being cost-burdened. Despite raking in the highest median household income on the list at $110,816, San Francisco residents still fail to meet this threshold.

See how much a household would need to make in order to afford rent in the 25 largest cities here.


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