Can you afford to live in a two-bedroom apartment in Queens without spending most of your paycheck?

Map courtesy of RentHop

A new report by RentHop, a real estate search engine, analyzed median rents of two-bedroom apartments in 139 New York City neighborhoods and found that only nine were considered affordable.

The report compared the median rent of a two-bedroom apartment and the median income data for every neighborhood to determine what areas are deemed affordable.

It is recommended that one should not spend more than 30 percent of his or her paycheck on rent. For the purposes of this study, neighborhoods were considered affordable if median asking rents could be afforded with 35 percent of a person’s median income.

RentHop added an additional five percent to account for income growth that has taken place since the latest Census was released. Data from the city’s American Community Survey was also used.

Two Queens neighborhoods made the top of the most affordable and least affordable lists. Not surprisingly, the Queensbridge-Ravenswood-Long Island City area topped the least affordable list.

Median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $3,300 but the median household income is $28,378, which means that a person must spend 139.5 percent of his or her income for rent.

“Spending 139.5 percent of your income on rent is not just absurd, it’s mathematically impossible,” the report concluded.

Whitestone, where the household median income is $80,546, is one of the city’s most affordable neighborhoods. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,950 so a potential tenant would spend 29 percent of his or her paycheck on rent.

Four other Queens neighborhoods made the most affordable list including Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Douglaston and Middle Village. The median income in these neighborhoods is higher than the rest of the city — $55,752, making the percentage of income required for rent less than 35 percent.

After Long Island City, Jamaica is the next least affordable neighborhood in Queens. The median household income is $39,763 while the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,562. To rent an apartment in the area, one would have to spend 77.3 percent of his or her check.

The Hunters Point-Sunnyside-West Maspeth area followed by Flushing and Rego Park are also deemed unaffordable. Of the 40 Queens neighborhoods listed in the study, only five are considered affordable.

Overall, New York City has less affordable apartments than other major U.S. cities, including Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, which has the highest percentage of affordable neighborhoods of the five included in the study.

The report concluded that developers who are building many of the apartment listings on RentHop are catering to people who are willing to pay more to live in the city.

“Looking at our hundreds of thousands of apartment listings we certainly notice a trend: most apartments are being built and advertised to the higher end of the market, leaving a majority of people left wondering how and where they’ll live,” said RentHop Data Scientist Shane Leese, in the report. “We encourage you to entertain all options when finding a new apartment, including having as many income-earners in the household as possible and looking at apartments with more bedrooms to bring down the average cost per bedroom.”

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