While over one in four Queens locals would call their neighborhood unaffordable, residents of the “World’s Borough” remain loyal to their hometown and would recommend it to a friend, a recent report found.
According to a “Housing and Moving Trends Report” released by StreetEasy, 29 percent of Queens residents believe their neighborhood is unaffordable, while 18 percent believe their house or apartment to be unaffordable — the highest percentage in the five boroughs.
A total 55 percent of Queens residents surveyed felt that New York City as a whole was unaffordable, which was also the highest out of the five boroughs.
StreetEasy attributed residents’ “negative perceptions” toward the city’s affordability to the high cost of homes on the marketplace. Median asking rents on real estate websites like StreetEasy are generally higher than median rents reported by the U.S. Census, which takes publicly subsidized homes and units subject to rent control into account.
In Queens, median market rent registers at $2,200 while median contract rent is $1,291. The differences are “likely to help fuel New Yorkers’ perceptions of an unaffordable city,” the report says. Still, the city has seen a “rapid rise” in home prices and rents over the last two decades, researchers noted.
In spite of feelings of unaffordability, StreetEasy found that Queens residents are more willing to recommend that a friend move to their own neighborhood than to any other New York City neighborhood: 56 percent would recommend living in their own neighborhood, while 48 percent of locals would recommend living in New York City in general.
On a citywide scale, nearly one in three New Yorkers exceeded their initial budget when purchasing or renting their current residence and homebuyers were more likely to overspend than renters. Still, renters are more likely to view cost of living in the city negatively, with 52 percent calling New York City unaffordable compared to 39 percent of homeowners.
While the report also found that New Yorkers move often — 59 percent of all New Yorkers under age 45 who rent or own a home say they plan to move in the next 12 months — they often stay loyal to their borough. Of those planning to move within the next 12 months, 71 percent said they would stay in their borough.
But Queens residents stay put more than the average New Yorker: 70 percent of Queens residents surveyed said they had no plans to move. This is the second-highest percentage, behind Staten Island. Moves are largely motivated by better deals or rent stability.
Affordability is relative, says StreetEasy, but New York City’s continued success depends on ensuring homeowners they will continue to be able to afford the area’s housing costs. While the city’s economic power makes it a draw — researchers reference e-commerce giant Amazon’s interest in the city for its new headquarters as one strong indicator — further growth is “dependent on demonstrating to current and future New Yorkers just how much there is to love in the city and assuring them that they will be able to continue to reap the benefits of living in such a dynamic place for years to come.”
For the survey, StreetEasy gathered information through an independent research firm from 1,000 “key household decision-makers” living in all five boroughs of New York City. View the full report here.