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Got a diploma and a job in NYC? This tool will help you find an apartment you can afford.

Rents in New York City are rising, but new college grads may be surprised by the affordable apartments and neighborhoods they’ll find this summer. A new StreetEasy data tool reveals hidden pockets of apartments that are affordable to new grads earning a wide range of incomes — some even in highly desirable neighborhoods.

New grads earning $30,000 per year will find plenty of accessible apartments in areas with lots of other young people, such as Bushwick and Crown Heights in Brooklyn; Ridgewood in Queens; and Hamilton Heights in Manhattan.

New grads earning at the higher end of the spectrum, $60,000 and above, may find affordable pads in perennially desirable Manhattan neighborhoods like Chelsea and the West Village — as long as they’re willing to live with roommates.

To help college grads find a great apartment they can afford, StreetEasy created an interactive tool that maps the number of apartments affordable on a given annual income. We assumed a person would spend no more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent, a common threshold for affordability. And we looked at prices per bedroom, to account for new grads living with roommates.

Instead of dividing the city up into neighborhoods, this new map uses hexes, each one equivalent to about four blocks. By highlighting inventory using hexes rather than neighborhoods, the tool shows the number of affordable listings at a more granular level, revealing pockets of affordability in otherwise pricey neighborhoods. So even if a neighborhood’s median rent is high, new grads can easily pinpoint where more affordable apartments can be found within it.

We use data from the summer of 2018 to reflect the full range of rental options that a recent college grad would likely encounter over a summer. Based on current trends, we expect to see at least as much rental inventory at these price points in the current summer.

Move the slider across the salary range to see areas with the highest concentration of rentals affordable on a housing budget of 30 percent of gross income.

Map: The NYC Apartments Affordable at Various Annual Incomes

(Data visualization by Paul Buffa)

Average-Earning Grads Will Have More Than 20,000 Options

The median income for New York-area early-career college graduates is $47,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the summer of 2018, there were more than 20,000 rentals on StreetEasy available to the typical-earning new grad spending less than a third of their income on rent. All in all, about 21 percent of all inventory on the market would be accessible to such a renter.

Graduates earning at this level may find some of the most options in Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and Williamsburg, all of which have among the highest share of young people in the borough. Last summer, these neighborhoods collectively had nearly 10,000 rentals available at $1,189 per month or less per bedroom, making them accessible to recent graduates earning $47,540 per year.

Interested in other areas? Astoria in Queens, and the Upper East Side and Harlem in Manhattan, all provide a commute to Midtown of under 30 minutes while offering considerable swaths of affordable apartments.

And while much of Lower Manhattan might seem out of reach, StreetEasy’s block-by-block analysis has uncovered some budget-friendly patches within it. The East Village, Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Gramercy Park all have 2- and 3-bedroom options accessible to recent graduates making the median salary and living with roommates.

Grads Making $60K Can Live Just About Anywhere — Even Chelsea

The number of options accessible to recent grads doubles from $40,000 to $50,000, making this step up in income the most impactful for a new grad. The rental options increase by another nearly 50 percent for those making $60,000 per year. In fact, at a $60,000 annual salary — which permits a housing budget of $1,500 per month — most neighborhoods in the city become accessible when living with roommates. Above $60,000, the share of additional inventory accessible per $10,000 earned increases more slowly.

This may be good news for grads who studied fields like engineering, economics, computer science, math, pharmacy, and finance. All these fields earn a median starting income of at least $60,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And at this income, even neighborhoods like SoHo, the West Village and Chelsea — some of the most desirable in New York City — become affordable to new arrivals with diplomas and job offers in hand.

How We Did It

StreetEasy looked at rental inventory from the summer of 2018 to see the full range of options available over an entire summer, and to avoid other seasonal trends skewing the data. Rental inventory has increased each summer, year over year, so we expect summer 2019 to offer similar or more options as summer 2018. The inventory was plotted over hexes, the equivalent of roughly four blocks, to create a more granular visualization of the concentration of inventory accessible to recent graduates earning a range of incomes. Our definition of affordability assumes a person spending no more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and looks at price per bedroom. For instance, if a 2-bedroom apartment was renting for $2,000 per month, our analysis would consider it affordable to a new grad with a $1,000 monthly housing budget.

Hunting for your first — or next — place in New York City? Whether you’re looking to rent or to buy, search NYC apartments on StreetEasy.