How long do you need to live in a home for buying (vs. renting) to make sense? You will be surprised.

How long do you need to live in a home for buying (vs. renting) to make sense? You will be surprised.

It’s more expensive now than ever to buy (and rent) property in New York City, but new and surprising analysis shows that owning is worth it in most neighborhoods after a rather short amount of time. StreetEasy has evaluated the tipping point, or the median number of years it would take for the costs of renting a home to equal or exceed the costs of owning a comparable home in the same area, for 300 neighborhoods throughout the city, and found that in 59 percent of them it becomes financially advantageous for New Yorkers to buy rather than rent if they plan on staying put for five years.

In Manhattan, that number balloons to 7.4 years owing in part to neighborhoods like Carnegie Hill, Little Italy, Nolita, and Soho where it takes a whopping 31 years for that metric to tip in favor of the buyer, owing to high rents and sales prices and high median down payments. But in West Harlem, that number becomes a mere 1.2 years, which is amongst the lowest of any neighborhood throughout New York City. It’s joined by Roosevelt Island, where it takes 1.4 years for that metric to tip in favor of the buyer.

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