You Probably Can’t Afford to Live in Manhattan

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Bloomberg can afford it. Photo: Mario Tama

After a few years of economic chaos resulted in rent prices falling or holding steady, the average Manhattan rent in 2011 went up to $3,309 — just $1 less than the pre-recession record set in 2007. The $263 jump from 2010 is an 8.6 percent increase, with higher rents practically pointing and laughing at you from neighborhoods like Chelsea, the Upper West Side, and Midtown East, including an even steeper increase for homes with two or three bedrooms. Vacancies, on the other hand, are down to .96 percent from the previous year's rate of 1.16 percent, so stalking the old man with the rent-controlled place is almost definitely worth the time and effort.