InflationReal EstateInvestingCompensationCareersStudent Loans and Debt

Renting in Manhattan is a nightmare right now: The average apartment eats up nearly 90% of the average salary

July 14, 2022, 7:13 PM UTC
Renting in Manhattan will eat up much of the average N.Y.C. dweller's salary.
Kolderal—Getty Images

NYC is back, and so are the prices.

As inflation hits every portion of the monthly budget, the average monthly cost of renting an apartment in Manhattan skyrocketed to a record high of $5,058 in June, finds a new report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. It’s the first time the monthly average Manhattan rent has exceeded $5,000.

That means it costs $60,696 a year to rent the average Manhattan apartment—88% of the average $69,127 NYC salary.

Getting a slice of the Big Apple became more pricey over the past year, fueled by the wealthy flocking back to the city and workers heading back into the office and crowding Midtown Manhattan. In June 2021, the average rental in Manhattan cost more than $1,000 less, at $3,922 a month. 

As the NYC rental market became even more high-pressure than usual, videos and accounts of heated bidding wars and endless lines for overpriced but coveted studios have gone viral.

Nearly a quarter of new lease signings were the result of a bidding war, per the report. Brooklyn is not much better, with 16% of new lease signings coming from bidding wars. It’s partly a consequence of the housing shortage, which has left urbanites unable to afford a house stuck vying for their next rental apartment.

Simply meeting the requirement for signing a lease in the city is already hard enough, making the apartment hunt stressful financially and mentally.

Typically, New Yorkers need to earn 40 times the monthly rent annually, a rule that continues to gatekeep many from even renting property in the city. Taking that into account means you need to make an annual salary of $159,800 to rent a one-bedroom in Manhattan these days, Fortune’s Trey Williams reported.

Pandemic deals are a thing of the past with the bounce-back in demand. “There’s no real letup in the market,” Ben Gernandt, Compass real estate broker, told Williams. “It’s been a real landlord’s market since at least fall of last year.”

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.