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Queens remains NYC’s affordable ‘haven’ for middle-income residents: report

Photo via Creative Commons

When considering home affordability in the five boroughs, Queens comes out on top for middle-class New Yorkers, according to a new report.

Analysts at real estate site StreetEasy determined that the cost of renting or owning a home in the “World’s Borough” is closest to the citywide medians of any borough, “making good on Queens’ reputation as the place of choice for middle-class New Yorkers.”

In Queens, renters face an average $16,812 annual housing cost and while earning an average $46,549 a year — slightly more than the citywide median income for renters yet also facing slightly higher housing costs. This amounts to a 36 percent cost-to-income ratio.

Homeowners in the borough had a marginally higher cost-to-income ratio at 37 percent. Annual housing costs average $29,256 while homeowners bring in an average annual income of $80,144. They earn less than the citywide median for homeowners, but also see lower housing costs, according to the site.

Renters in the Bronx face the highest cost-to-income burden in the city, while homeowners in Brooklyn face the greatest strain.

While Queens faces a lower cost-to-income burden than most of the city, it is still not considered budget-friendly by U.S. Census standards, which defines “affordable” as a household with a rent-to-income ratio of 30 percent or lower.

Even so, substantial number of Queens residents perceive their neighborhood to be overly expensive. A StreetEasy report released earlier this year found that 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.

Still, the report also found, Queens residents are more willing to recommend that a friend move to their own neighborhood than to any other New York City neighborhood. Queens residents also stay put more than the average New Yorker: 70 percent of residents surveyed said they had no plans to move.

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