Some New York City Housing and Economic Stats

New York is a city of renters.  Of the 3,463,870 housing units recorded in the City as of 2016, approximately 63% or 2.2 million are rentals.

The most popular housing size by number of bedrooms are 2-bedroom units.  There are 1.1 million such units, which represents 32% of the housing stock.  Studios have the fewest units, slightly under three hundred thousand or roughly 9% of the market.  One bedroom or three plus bedrooms each number slightly over one million units each, representing between 29% to 30% of the housing stock.

Brooklyn leads with the most housing units, topping 1 million homes.  Manhattan and Queens are 2nd and 3rd, with roughly 875K and 850K units, respectively.  Staten Island has the fewest units, slightly below 180K.  The Bronx is the fourth largest of the five boroughs in terms of housing units with about 525K.

Census data or housing surveys typically group building size by number of housing units.

Per NYU Furman Center, the distribution in New York City is as follows:


Building Type Number of Units Percentage Share of Units
1-Unit 555,910 16.0%
2 to 9 units 1,018,718 29.4%
10 to 49 units 783,925 22.6%
50+ units 1,099,128 31.7%
Other (mobile, RV, boat) 6,189 0.2%
Total 3,463,870 100.0%

The rent control guidelines apply to those buildings that have 6 or more units.  The New York City Small Home Owners Association (NYCSHA) represents small property owners that own structures with 1-5 units Excluding setting rental rates, these units are nevertheless impacted by the rent guidelines governing apartments.   While different surveys provide slightly differing data, our research indicate that structures with 4 or fewer rental units are distributed by borough as follows:

With 75% of its structure fitting this category, Staten Island has the highest proportion of units this size.  Queens is 5% above and Brooklyn is 5% below half of their buildings being so sized.  One out of four units in the Bronx have fewer than 5 units.  Manhattan has the lowest such proportion with 14% or about 80K units of this size.

Most of New York City housing stock was built prior to 2000.  Approximately 8% of the housing stock was built since the new millennium.  However, since that time, the number of jobs has increased 16% and the number of adults in the City 11%.  In short, the rate of growth for housing supply has been outstripped by housing demand.  Median monthly rents have risen by $300 compared to median income increasing by $145 per month.  Increased rents potentially offer increased returns but also increased occurrences of overcrowding, default, service-demands and regulation.

As small homeowners, residents, and small business owners, there are many issues that have to be properly assessed, carefully navigated, and adequately addressed to reduce risks and assure the proper representation of our interests.  Join NYCSHA as there is strength in numbers and to stay ahead of instead of being overwhelmed by issues.

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