Is New York becoming more affordable?
The Big Apple is a dream destination for many Britons who long to move abroad, and recent figures have shown that the dream could be closer to becoming reality as houses prices and living costs in New York have fallen.
Renowned for its rich culture and art scene, as well as world-leading fashion designs and iconic landmarks, it’s not surprising New York is in demand among those wishing to relocate. And research has indicated the state may well be becoming more affordable to live in.
House prices decline
According to a recent report issued by S&P Dow Jones Indices, house prices have recently fallen by 0.5 per cent, which could make the area a more affordable location for property buyers. The findings highlight that property prices in the Big Apple at the end of last year were roughly level with their average rates in 2004.
However, some parts of the state are still extremely desirable, and you’ll often be charged a premium if you’re keen to live somewhere like Manhattan. An apartment in the city can cost around £1,800 a month, which is a third more than you’d pay for a flat in London.
Living costs drop
The recently-revealed figures are in line with the Lloyds TSB Cost of Living Index, which is a useful tool for informing potential expats about how expensive it is to live in a variety of destinations across the globe. The index shows New York to be more affordable now than it once was in terms of living costs. For example, you could bag yourself a pair of Levi jeans here for approximately £33 – half of what they’d cost in London.
Lloyds has ranked New York 39th out of 50 cities for its cost of living, with number 50 being the most affordable and number one being the most expensive place to live. New York was shown to be more affordable than the majority of other cities assessed, including Sydney, Moscow and Hong Kong, while London was ranked 26th in terms of affordability, making it generally more expensive than New York.
The ranking methodology takes into account various data and facts, as well as indices from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey and ECA International, and has shown that the Big Apple dropped 12 places in the year between 2010 and 2011, from 27th out of 50 for cost of living to 39 out of 50.
In terms of what will happen next, it is thought that prices in New York will recover, with experts suggesting that the state did not experience as severe market drops during the economic downturn as other areas, thus upwards progress is not as noticeable.
The most sought-after locations are still achieving top dollar for property, with apartments in Manhattan fetching an average of $1.4 million (£924,519) last year. There are still plenty of bargain properties to be found, but you’ll need to be quick as housing stock has dropped to levels not seen since 1999.
However, there are plans for concentrated building activity, with the government giving the go ahead for the highest number of house builds in February since June 2008. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you want to buy a property in New York, both you and the seller will need your own agents. You don’t need to pay commission directly to your agent as the seller’s commission is split with the sales agent instead.