How Much Does It Cost to Own a Studio in NYC? (May 2024)

Welcome back to “How Much Does It Cost to Own”!

Each month, we’ll be looking at different sized apartments to get a sense of what the “median” apartment in either Manhattan or Brooklyn currently costs. This series should give you an idea of whether or not you’re in the “ballpark” for the kind of apartment you might want! 

Keep in mind that these figures represent the median for all building types. So coops, condos, walkups, elevators, doorman and non-doorman, amenities, low amenities – they’re all looped in together. 

So let’s loop back to studios!

Infographic showing the median price, average monthlies, monthly average, and total monthly cost for owning a studio apartment in Manhattan during the month of May 2024
Infographic showing the median price, average monthlies, monthly average, and total monthly cost for owning a studio apartment in Brooklyn during the month of May 2024

Now let’s get a visual on how median price and total monthly costs have shifted over time. 

Infographic showing the total monthly price changes over time for owning a studio apartment in Manhattan.
Infographic showing the total monthly price changes over time for owning a studio apartment in Brooklyn.

What’s Going on with the Numbers

The cost of ownership for studios in Manhattan stayed fairly steady compared to January. 

This was thanks to a decline in asking prices which offset an increase in interest rates. And it was also due to relatively stable monthly carrying costs 

The cost of ownership in Brooklyn, meanwhile, has shot up. This isn’t because studio prices actually increased. It’s because there’s a higher number of listings in more expensive areas compared to January when we last looked at the numbers. And we’re also seeing the impact of higher interest rates. The year started off at lower levels because of optimism about rate cuts. But we’re now halfway through the year with not much clarity of when (or if) those cuts will happen. So that’s keeping rates elevated. 

Rent vs Buy

Renting currently beats out owning in Manhattan. But if you can find a building with low carrying costs (ideally around $700 to $800 per month or lower), then the scales tip in favor of owning. There’s currently a solid number of studio sales listings, which means it won’t be hard to come by lower cost buildings (link to Dropbox list of median studios?) 

In Brooklyn, despite the increase in ownership costs, ownership still makes sense if you’ve got your down payment. The cost of renting was virtually exactly the same as owning at $3,288 for the month of April. 

Rents continue to increase on an annual basis and aren’t expected to slow down given we’re on the cusp of prime rental season. So if you’re looking at a renewal later in the summer, it might be worth your while to start looking at sales listings to see if purchasing might make more sense for you. 

Thinking about seeing what’s out there for sale? If you want to see some specific listings in an area or talk about your possible home search, get in touch! You can contact me here!

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