Renting Versus Buying In Manhattan, or Picture Versus Thousand Words

We take a certain amount of pride here at the Luxury Rentals Manhattan blog in providing well-written posts on news and trends in Manhattan real estate, even if a strangely large amount of those posts winds up being about food for some reason. But we know when we're beat. This is one of those times. A recent study by real estate research clearing house Trulia revealed something that we at the LRM blog have written about previously -- namely, that it is exponentially wiser to rent a Manhattan apartment than it is to buy a Manhattan apartment, for a number of reasons. The Trulia report reveals that this remains true in New York City, and notably more true in New York City than anywhere else in the United States. Unfortunately for us, it does so in the handy, eye-catching graphic you see above, which illustrates the disparity in rent-to-buy price ratio in New York City and other United States real estate markets. You're looking at that image right now, aren't you? No, that's fine. It's a pretty great image. So great, in fact, that it more or less obviates the need for any words, per the usual one picture: 1000 words ratio. But let's press on, and provide a little more detail.

What's most striking about the Trulia report is that New York City's stunning rent-to-buy ratio -- per the study, it is 31 percent cheaper to rent than buy in New York City -- is that it stands in stark contrast to the rest of the United States. Which can be said about New York City in many areas, actually, but which is especially striking given that, with the struggles in the real estate market over the past several years, home values are at a low ebb throughout the nation, making buying an apartment an appealing proposition... in cities not named New York City. Well, a few others, too. "A nation of renters has emerged as more Americans rent by choice or due to unforeseen financial difficulties," Trulia notes in their press release. 'In contrast to this nationwide trend, is renting is only less expensive than buying in four of the cities included in this study – namely New York, Seattle, Kansas City and San Francisco.'"

The noteworthy thing, here, is just how much cheaper it is to rent than buy in New York City relative to other metropolitan areas. If the size of that red dot didn't do it for you, the color should -- red signifies a rent-to-buy ratio of at least 31% in favor of renting, and there's only one red dot on that illustration. Seattle, whose rent-to-buy ratio is the second highest in favor of renting, comes in at 24%, seven percent behind New York City's. Proof, if you needed it, that it's wiser to browse Manhattan luxury rental listings than pinch pennies in hope of locking down a seven-figure condominium. (The rise of new luxury rental listings that offer every bit as much as most Manhattan condos doesn't hurt either) That image, of course, is proof of something else -- a picture is still worth at least 1,000 words. Feel free to drink it in all you like. The Manhattan rental listings will still be here when you're ready to browse.