NYC Manhattan skyline

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While a new study just published by the UK-based home selling site Nested doesn’t rank New York City as the most expensive US city for renters, it managed to only come up a few dollars short of the top spot. Globally, four of the top 10 cities with the most expensive rents were in the US, including New York City.

Nested launched the study hoping to gain more insight into the costs of renting for both a single person, and for families, as well as determine which cities are becoming increasingly less affordable for both groups of renters.

The site used specs based on “standard” data for the size recommendations of living space, 420 square feet for one person and 797 square feet for a family of four. It then compared data for 15 UK cities and 72 cities worldwide. And, based on the results, researchers at Nested determined the minimum gross salary needed to support both an individual and a family of four in these cities.

While a mere $0.20 per square foot kept New York City from the top spot, it wasn’t surprising that San Francisco took the top honor as the most expensive city for renters in the US. At an average rental price of $4.95 per square foot, single renters in San Francisco will pay on average $2,077.96 per month in rent, while the average monthly cost for families comes out to $3,942.82. The average annual income a single person needs to earn in order to rent in San Francisco is nearly $86,000. Meanwhile, families of four will need to bring home just over $163,000 per year to be able to afford to rent in the city. And while San Francisco remains a hotbed for tech, the city has struggled with limited supply and very high demand.

New York City renters meanwhile pay $4.75 per square foot on average, according to Nested. This adds up to $1,994 per month for singles and $3,783.51 for families. Single renters will need to take home nearly $83,000 annually, compared to the nearly $157,000 families will need to rent in New York City.

But these estimates are not a good indication of the New York City rental market, says rental consultant Nancy Packes. The smallest New York City studios average about 400 square feet, which is less than the standard used by Nested for the comparison.

Packes told the Wall Street Journal that apartments in many area of New York City are renting for considerably higher. For example, the median rent for a studio apartment in Manhattan is around $3,000 per month, compared to $2,700 in new Brooklyn rentals.

In fact, according to the online rental listing site Zumper, a one bedroom apartment in New York City costs a median of $2,910 in January. New York City also trailed San Francisco on Zumper’s most recent monthly compilation of the most expensive median one-bedroom rents in the country.

Other US cities studied for the Nested report were Boston, MA, Washington, DC, Seattle, WA, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX and Detroit, MI.

Globally, San Francisco was still the reigning king, followed by New York City. Hong Kong rounded out the global top three, followed by Dubai, Singapore, Washington, DC, Geneva and Los Angeles.

Click here to read the entire report.

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