NYC is THE hub for wealthy renters (meaning renters who make $150K and above), according to a study published recently by RENTCafé. According to U.S. Census data, together, the five boroughs have more top-earning renter households than San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Jose, and San Diego combined. Out of the total 212K renters, more than half (120K) chose Manhattan as their residence, while Brooklyn appears to be the second choice, with 52,000 high-income renter households.
In Manhattan, the cohort of wealthy renters increased by 86%, while wealthy homeowners by a mere 18%, over the last decade; and all this despite a staggering average market rate rent of $4,146/month. Which means that, at this point, the number of top-earning renters (120K) exceeds by far the number of top-earning homeowners (85K), and the gap only seems to be getting bigger.
Both Brooklyn and Queens saw an incredible rise in affluent renters in the last ten years. With over 52,000 high-income renter households, Brooklyn has more renters-by-choice than the entire city of Los Angeles. Affluent renters moving to this borough in such great numbers have caused a massive gentrification of the neighborhoods. To get a better idea about what massive means here, take into consideration that the number of renters from this segment has increased by 324% from 2005.
Queens saw the second highest influx of rich renters in the last decade. The number of affluent renters-by-choice in Queens has soared 247%, from 8,500 in 2005 to 29,500 in 2015. Although in this borough there are more than twice as many wealthy homeowners than wealthy renters, the biggest spike was registered in the number of affluent renters, which has soared 247% from 2005 (the number of homeowners increased only by 111%).
The Bronx has relatively few high-income renter households — about 8,900 — but, even here, they grew by 166% in the last decade. Staten Island recorded the same rate of growth in high-income renters in 10 years, but the total number of renter households with incomes over $150,000 here is only 1,400.
While it is true that NYC constantly tops the lists for the most expensive rents in the U.S., it is equally true that many of the people living here can definitely afford to do so. Almost 10% of all the NYC renters earn $150K and over. Manhattan has the largest share of affluent renters of all 5 boroughs — approximately 21%, followed by Brooklyn with about 8% of its renters.