13 mind-blowing facts that show just how expensive New York City really is

It takes a lot of money to live comfortably in New York City. f11photo/Shutterstock

New York City is known for its high prices and its wealthy residents, and that’s in large part due to the city’s booming job market.

New York City has the world’s largest urban economy, reported Steve Goldstein for MarketWatch, citing an Oxford Economics report. In 2018, the city saw its biggest economic boom in 70 years, according to Kirstan Conley for the New York Post. The securities, healthcare, technology, media and business, and tourism-related industries are fuelling job growth, she wrote.

As a result, New York City consistently ranks on top 10 lists as one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. Rents in the city are on their way to historic rates, and 1.5 million New Yorkers are living below the poverty level.

Here are 13 mind-blowing facts that show just how expensive New York City really is.

New York state as a whole is outrageously expensive, as evidenced by a new study from personal finance platform GoBankingRates. The study found that workers making the state’s median hourly wage of $US21.63 need to work an average of 76.16 hours a week to just to live comfortably.


To gather this info, GoBankingRates looked at the following factors in New York state: the median household income, which is $US62,765; the median hourly wage, which is $US21.63; and the average annual cost of living, which is $US42,828.30.

GoBankingRates found that the annual salary needed to live in the state comfortably is $US85,656.60 – assuming 50% is spent on necessary expenses, 30% is spent on nonessential items, and 20% is put into savings.

New York is continuously ranked as one of the most expensive states in America. In fact, in July, CNBC ranked New York as the third-most expensive state in the country, which is why it’s no suprise that it is also home to one of the country’s most expensive cities: New York City.

Keep reading for 13 telling facts and statistics that illuminate just expensive the city is.

1. Some NYC residents are shelling out millions to live in basements, where they can get more space for their money.


“As prices continue to decline in the luxury market, developers are keen on maximizing every square foot, including below-grade space, while buyers seek out bargains in a supply-heavy market,” reported Stefanos Chen for The New York Times.

One buyer told Chen she bought a 2,100-square-foot, two-bedroom underground duplex on the Upper West Side for $US2.3 million – twice the size of her place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The smaller apartment above her was listed for roughly $US1 million more, she said.

2. New York City is the world’s only city with more than 100 billionaires.


New York City has 105 billionaires, according to Wealth-X’s 2019 Billionaire Census report. That’s more billionaires than nearly every country in the world, besides the US, China, and Germany.

3. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New York City is $US3,500 — over two times the national median of $US1,480.


The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the US is $US1,480.

New York is the third-most expensive city in the world to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Battery Park City is the most expensive neighbourhood to rent in Manhattan, with an average rent of $US5,530.

The average New York rent is about 82% of the median American salary, Stephanie Taylor reported for Markets Insider.

4. The monthly cost to park a car long-term in New York City is over $US606 — more than the median rent in some US cities.


It costs $US606.37 a month to park a car long-term in New York City, according to SmartAsset, citing a report from Parkopedia.

That’s more than the median rent in many US cities, like San Joaquin, California ($US539), or Monte Vista, Colorado ($US561).

5. The average price of homes listed in Manhattan is nearly $US1.5 million — more than five times the typical national price of homes listed.


The national median price of homes listed is $US289,00o, according to Zillow.

6. To live comfortably as a homeowner in New York City, residents need to earn $US148,448. It takes the median US worker roughly three years to earn that much.


The median US worker earns $US46,696 annually, according to data by the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

To live comfortably as a renter in NYC, residents would need to earn at least $US128,552 a year, according to a GoBanking Rates study.

7. New York City has the most expensive home ever sold in the US, a $US238 million penthouse.


Billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin purchased the three-floor, 23,000-square-foot penthouse in a skyscraper at 220 Central Park South, reported Business Insider’s Katie Warren, citing The Wall Street Journal.

New York City penthouses are so expensive that they’re not selling – so real estate companies are splitting them into smaller, cheaper units to get them off the market, Warren reported.

8. New York City is home to one of the top five richest ZIP codes in the country —10007. The average income there is $US879,000.


The ZIP code is home to southern Tribeca, according to Bloomberg’s ranking of America’s richest ZIP codes. The average annual income in the ZIP code is $US879,000, according to 2016 tax returns.

According to Zillow, the median price of listed homes in the area is $US3.485 million. But new Tribeca developments are known for even pricier apartments – penthouses in 30 Park Place, which has Four Seasons private residences, are selling for about $US30 million.

9. A $US75,000 salary in New York City is equivalent to a $US195,362 salary in San Antonio, Texas.


Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback used Bankrate’s cost of living calculator to find what $US75,000 in Manhattan equals in some of the country’s biggest cities. Turns out, it’s even worth less than it is in notoriously expensive San Francisco: $US75,000 in Manhattan is equivalent to $US96,684 in San Francisco.

The purchasing power in New York City is 16% lower than the purchasing power in San Francisco, according to Investopedia.

10. A single person in New York City can expect to spend an annual total of $US51,323 on necessities — more than what the median US worker earns in one year.


That’s $US4,277 a month, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Costs in this calculation include housing, food, transportation, healthcare, other necessities, and taxes, not including savings or discretionary spending.

11. A family of four in New York City can expect to spend $US124,129 a year on necessities — that’s $US10,344 a month.


They should expect to spend the most on childcare – $US2,773 a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

12. Private preschools and kindergartens in New York City can cost up to $US50,000 a year — more than yearly tuition at some Ivy League universities.


Manhattan K-12 schools Horace Mann, Collegiate, and Trinity all have yearly tuition that exceeds $US50,000. That’s more than the yearly tuitions at Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton, which cost less than $US50,000 without room and board, reported Suzanne Woolley and Katya Kazakina for Bloomberg.

Hedge-fund managers, celebrities, and tech millionaires send their kids to Avenues: The World School, which costs $US56,400 a year, reported Business Insider’s Katie Warren.

13. The cost of living is so high that multimillionaire Wall Street bankers are fleeing the city for more affordable housing.


In 2016, New York lost $US8.4 billion because of residents – many of them wealthy bankers – moving to other states, John Aidan Byrne of the New York Post reported.

Rich millennials are also moving away from the city. According to a new SmartAsset study, New York is the No. 1 state rich millennials are moving from – and it’s likely partly due to expensive housing in the city.