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Renters In New York City Are Shelling Out To Live Alone

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(Illustration by The Real Deal; Getty)

New York renters are fed up with their roommates and are paying more and more to live without them.

Demand for studio and one-bedroom apartments has outpaced demand for larger apartments, with asking rents jumping 18% to $3,000 last month, according to a StreetEasy report.

The cost of living alone concerns not only money, but also the choice of apartment.

StreetEasy economist Kenny Lee said: “Compared to January 2021 … renters have less than half the options when looking for their space.”

With rents hitting all-time highs this summer and falling only marginally since, there has been little need for solitude during such a difficult time for tenants. According to StreetEasy, there won’t be a sharp drop in prices this winter. This is partly due to an increase in single-person renters and demand from buyers who have been pushed down from the buy-and-sell market by higher interest rates.

Usually when prices go up, tenants come together to split the cost. However, due to Covid-19, not so much.

The cost of independence can range from $15,000 to $20,300 per year, depending on how many roommates the tenant has.

Coldwell Banker Warburg broker Adjina Dekidjiev has noticed this trend.

“I also see people wanting to live alone and looking for bigger apartments,” she said. I’m trying to get a bigger, better apartment with more amenities.”

Tenants are demanding more space to work more comfortably at home, Dekidjiev said, sacrificing other activities such as travel for better apartments, especially those with gyms and roof decks. I am buying an apartment in a building.

“They are changing their lifestyle,” she said. “They’re doing other things less.”

There are bright spots for tenants. According to StreetEasy, rent prices are coming down. In October, the share of discounted listings citywide rose to 18.5%, the highest since the height of the pandemic.

“We emphasize that renters should still expect bumpy roads due to the limited inventory of rental units,” Lee said.

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