A new analysis from an online real estate database company, StreetEasy, finds that Downtown exerts a gravitational tug on young professionals who live alone, and who pay a hefty “singles tax” as a result.
The study by Nancy Wu, an economic data analyst for StreetEasy, indicates that singles living by themselves tend to reside in areas with a higher-than-usual percentage of studios and one-bedroom apartments.
Two Downtown districts fit this profile: the Financial District (where 73 percent of all apartments are either studios or one-bedrooms) and Battery Park City (where 62 percent of units fall into these categories).
But these adjacent communities are a study in contrasts when tabulated as residential districts for singles. In the Financial District, more than 40 percent of residents are singles living alone. In Battery Park City, which is much more known as a neighborhood of families, only 23 percent of residents are solitary bachelors or bachelorettes. In a related indicator, the median age for all residents in the Financial District is 33, while that figure rises to 37 for Battery Park City.
In Tribeca, where the median age is 35 and 47 percent of all apartments are either studios or one bedrooms, 30 percent of all residents are single residing by themselves, according to the StreetEasy study. And in the Civic Center neighborhood, where only 13 percent of apartments are studios or one bedrooms, the median age rises to 49 and the shares of solitary singles drops to 30 percent of local residents.
But everybody in this cohort appears to be paying a hefty premium for the privilege of coming home to an empty apartment. Throughout the five boroughs, New York singles residing alone pay an average of $14,370 more per year for their dwellings. In Manhattan, this differential rises to $16,500. (This “singles tax” was calculated by multiplying median rents in each neighborhood by 12 months, to determine the annual amount that one person would pay in a specific community, and then dividing in half to calculate the additional amount singles pay as a result of not splitting that rent with a domestic partner.)
The study used neighborhood demographics and income data from the 2013-2017 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, along with information about median rents and apartment inventory’s from StreetEasy’s proprietary database. To view StreetEasy’s analysis, please browse: streeteasy.com/blog/neighborhoods-singles-nyc/
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