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The Price of Being a Millennial in NYC

It’s a well-known fact that the cost of living in New York City is one of the highests in the nation. Over the past decade, the cost of living and rent prices have gone up significantly in the city. Although a costly place to live, NYC offers an abundance of career opportunities and metropolitan advantages–which is most appealing to millennials.

Creating a life for themselves in NYC has millennials spending much more than what they can afford. A recent report by StreetEasy, which survey 1,000 renters in NYC, confirms that millennials are much more likely to live outside of their means when it comes to housing in the city. The housing market in NYC is expensive and according to Grant Long, “…despite facing rising housing costs and budgeting constraints, aspirations of owning a home remain high in the city, particularly among millennials.”

All five boroughs–Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island–reported that housing in the city is more than often unaffordable. According to the stats collected by StreetEasy, each generation approaches the situation differently. The New York Business Journal states, “45% [of millennials] say they chose a more expensive home than they’d planned, compared to 30% of ‘Generation Xers’ — those born from the early 1960s to late 1970s — and 19% of baby boomers.” The majority of the older generation seem to know how to realistically budget their cost of living more effectively than millennials.

Although the housing prices of the city continue to rise, about 34% of millennials are hoping to purchase a home sooner rather than later. According to the report, the majority of renters living in NYC find housing to be very unaffordable. Perhaps owning a home is more appealing since 39% of homeowners find housing more affordable, having more freedom to buy and sell. But even owning a home does not shield residents against the struggle of rising housing prices in the city.

Other stats from StreetEasy report that “New Yorkers pay 1.3 times more for housing than average Americans”. In order to stay in the city and find decent housing, about one third of those surveyed reported spending more than their initial budget. To no surprise, 46% say that housing in the city is unaffordable–which one third say the high cost of living is their biggest reason to move.

Even with the cost of living so high, generation after generation come to New York City, hoping to capture the life and opportunities only the five boroughs can offer–no matter what the price.

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