Photo: Robert Clark

Even despite a moderate annual increase in rent in May, New York City remains less affordable than most large US cities.

New York City median rental prices are nearly double the national average and even higher compared to similar cities, like Houston, TX. That’s according to a newly released report by the listing site ApartmentList.

Low supply of affordable units and high demand continues to be a significant challenge for NYC’s housing market.

“NYC has seen a significant number of new luxury units come online over in recent years. There’s some indication that the flattening rent growth in the city is being driven by an oversupply at this high-end of the market,” Chris Salviati, Housing Economist at ApartmentList, tells BuzzBuzzNews.

Over the past year, the median NYC rent rose 1 percent to $2,090 (for a one-bedroom unit) in May. That was up 0.9 percent from the previous month. May marked the third consecutive month of yearly rent increases following a recorded decline in February.

NYC’s annual rent growth beats the state average of 0.6 percent but is below the national average of 1.5 percent.

Rents have been on the rise over the last year not just in NYC but throughout the entire state. Of the 10 largest cities in New York State, eight have recorded increases in average rental prices.

Jersey City, NJ and White Plains, NY were the only two cities to record annual declines in average rents in May. (Despite Jersey City being a city in New Jersey, ApartmentList includes both Hoboken and Jersey City in its comparison of “New York” area cities.)

Aside from New York City, Hoboken has the highest average rent of New York’s major cities, where a one-bedroom apartment rents for $2,180 a month. Jersey City isn’t far behind, with one-bedroom rents averaging $1,580 per month.

Although NYC’s rents rose “marginally” over the last year, rents fell in many other comparable large cities, including Chicago, IL (0.8 percent) and Seattle, WA (0.8 percent).

Still, New Yorkers are apt to pay a lot more on average than renters elsewhere. For example, Houston, TX has a median price of $1,030 for a two-bedroom apartment. New Yorkers will pay more than double that for a two-bedroom, nearly $2,500 per month.

“Despite landlord incentives, affordability is still a major issue, and renters looking for units at lower price-points are still experiencing a lack of supply,” Salviati says.

Click here to read the entire report.

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