New York Daily News | October 6, 2022
Rents are up, pay is down and New Yorkers are being left out in the cold.
That’s the grim assessment of a new report that says the gap between wages and housing costs across the city is the widest since 2008.
Rent growth outpaced wage growth by 23% across the five boroughs in August after adjusting for inflation, according to real estate website StreetEasy.com — the widest gap since the financial crisis 14 years ago.
“Many New Yorkers have had to stretch their budget to afford rent unless they make other compromises such as adding roommates or looking to more affordable neighborhoods,” the study said.
The report did give renters a silver lining. According to researchers, New York City’s rental market is rebalancing, although still highly competitive.
Asking rents are still rising, but at a rate that appears to be slowing.
Moreover, rental concessions have started to pick up, and the share of listings offering price cuts is rising.
Still, the gap has been a challenge for New Yorkers, especially essential workers.
Affordable housing advocates said the report echoed their push for reasonable rents.
“Nearly half of the city’s essential workers earn enough to afford just 10% of the rental inventory that was available this past summer,” said Judith Goldiner, attorney-in-charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society.
“It is unconscionable that these workers, many of whom provided essential services throughout the pandemic, must now face increased housing instability after putting their own lives at risk to keep New York City running.”
Inflation, excluding housing costs, in the metro area was up 8.9% over the last year in August, after peaking at 9.6% in June, the highest level since 1981.
In the same time period, New York City residents’ wages fell 9.1% in the last year.