New Yorkers need patience to break-even on home purchase

by Steve Randall23 Jun 2017
It’s taking longer for New Yorkers to break even on a home purchase compared to the cost of renting.

That’s because mortgage rates and home prices are increasing while rents are softening and the StreetEasy Tipping Point Index shows that in Q1 2017 it took a year longer to break even than it did a year earlier.

Across the whole city it would take a median 5.6 years of renting a home before its costs would exceed that of buying a comparable home in the same area.

The citywide median is skewed by Manhattan with a ‘tipping point’ of 7.7 years, up 1.5 years in a year; while in Brooklyn it is 4.9 years, in Queens it’s 2.7 years, and in the Bronx it’s just 1.4 years.

There is also huge disparity between some neighborhoods. In Brooklyn’s Fort Greene for example, break-even is reached in under five years but in Boerum Hill it is likely that a buyer would have paid off their 30-year mortgage before reaching the tipping point!

"Affordability remains a challenge for New Yorkers, but for those who have saved up for a down payment, our data shows that in some neighborhoods buying can quickly become more financially attractive than renting," said StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long.

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