In most areas of the country, real estate is all about location, location, location. When you’re talking about NYC, it’s affordability, affordability, affordability.

That was the overarching topic that resonated with our readers this past year as we looked at which StreetEasy Blog articles attracted the most attention over 2015. Without a doubt, affordability is on everyone’s minds and for good reason: The city is becoming a challenging place to make ends meet. But, it wasn’t a one-trick pony type of year either; other interesting posts crept into the conversation, too.

Take a look at the most popular articles from 2015:

1. Major Discrepancies: Where New College Grads Can Afford to Rent in NYC

The good news is NYC has lots of jobs for new college grads. The bad news: The rents are damn high. This post examines affordable neighborhoods based on the expected starting salary of college majors. Warning to teachers: It’s not good.

College grads (Source: Jacob via Flickr Creative Commons)

What better place to get away than a Williamsburg rooftop? (Source: Jacob via Flickr Creative Commons)

2. The High Burden of Low Wages: How Renting Affordably in NYC is Impossible on Minimum Wage

This post examined affordability for minimum wage earners ($8.75 per hour) and sadly, the research showed there are no NYC neighborhoods for minimum wage earners to live in which median asking rent could be paid affordably. Read more.

high burden of low wages

3. Bright Lights, Big Rent Burden: Understanding New York City’s Rent Affordability Problem

This finding will make you gasp and here’s why: As a classic rule of thumb, a rent-to-income ratio of 30 percent or lower is considered “affordable.” That means you should only spend up to 30 percent of your income on rent. However, our research team discovered that New Yorkers pay nearly 60 percent of their income on rent. Ka-ching. Read more.
mapping rent affordability
4. Decoding NYC’s Best Time to Sell and Power Phrases for a Fast Home Sale 
Want to know the best time to sell your home in New York city and the best “power words” to help move your apartment along? So did everyone else! Read more.

when to list your home


5. NYC’s Fastest-Selling Neighborhoods

In which NYC neighborhoods did homes for sale move the fastest? Which neighborhoods moved the slowest? Our findings showed that homes moved the fastest in Brooklyn Heights and the slowest, in the Staten Island neighborhood of North Shore. Read more.

fastest selling neighborhoods

The East Village is among the fastest-selling neighborhoods in NYC.

6. How to Find a Rent-Stabilized Apartment 

This is the million-dollar question: How the heck DO you find a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC? For one thing, it’s not for lack of inventory (there are reportedly 1 million rent-stabilized units in NYC). The reason they are hard to find is because once a renter lands one, they are unlikely to get out. And, they are not advertised that freely. Read more.

stabilized apartment

This Yorkville studio is cute and stabilized!

7. Q&A Train: Is Harlem Safe for Me?

This question was initially posed in the StreetEasy Discussion section many moons ago, but it got us thinking, “Is there any validity to it?” We decided that while Harlem had a bad rap in the past, you can apply this question to just about any neighborhood in NYC. It’s a matter of being safe anywhere, right? Read more.

is harlem safe

Harriet Tubman Statue at the intersection of Frederick Douglass Boulevard, St. Nicholas Avenue and 122nd Street.

8. Price Gap Separating Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens Getting Smaller

It used to be that the rent’s too high, so let’s move to Brooklyn. Now, the rent in Brooklyn is nudging closer to Manhattan’s and the rent in Queens in getting closer to Brooklyn’s. Where can one live affordably in NYC? Good question. Read more.

Mind the gap

9. StreetEasy Unveils First-Ever Advertising Campaign 

We had fun with this advertising campaign and we think you enjoyed it, too. The campaign was called, “Live As You Please,” which centered on how New Yorkers face some of the toughest living situations. The illustrations presented an array of tongue-in-cheek challenges of NYC living. Read more.

streeteasy ad campaign

10. StreetEasy Predicts 2016 New York City Housing Market Trends

And last, but not least, the 10th-most popular post is one that looks ahead to 2016 and it’s filled with something that everyone loves — predictions! What will the median sales price be? How about the hottest markets for buyers and renters? And will this crazy market finally cool off? Read more.

nyc's hottest real estate markets