Living in the East Village

East Village apartmentA popular area for the past 50 years or so, especially for young crowds, the East Village is touted as one of the more accessible neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan.

Its reputation as the early hub for punk music and the current artistic vibe in this neighborhood has people willing to pay Manhattan rents to live here.

Here are some data points on housing in the East Village:

  • Home prices decreased by more than 30% year-over-year in March and April; the median price in April was $767K
  • The median rent in March and April reached $3,450, slightly more than on the Upper East Side
  • 82% of all housing units built in the East Village are rentals, a far higher percentage than the one for all of Manhattan (67%)
  • The smallest home in the neighborhood spans only 250 square feet, yet sold for $500K back in 2006

The East Village is known for unusual boutiques, small family restaurants and a great bar scene. So, students and young professionals feel at home here – actually, half of the population is younger than 34 years old. A third is made up of family households and there are still many die-hard fans of the neighborhood that have stayed here for decades.

East Village Renting is the norm in this neighborhood. There are 33,240 housing units in the East Village – 82% of the available housing stock is rentals. As more and more people turn to renting, either by choice or forced by the high costs associated with home ownership, rental apartments in the area are in high demand. The rapid changes in the market and a local culture of transient living constantly bring new faces to the neighborhood, contributing to residents’ feelings of being taken over by outsiders.

Being priced out of the rental market is a legitimate concern in the East Village. The average one-bedroom flat rented for $3K in April, and half of all size apartments cost more than $3,450 per month. In fact, the median rent just topped that of the Upper East Side! If you take a look at the impact on household budgets, it means that the median household is looking at spending at least $40K per year on housing, if they’re lucky. The good news is that, at this rate, rents are rising more slowly than in most of Manhattan.

Across all types of properties, condos, co-ops and townhouses, the market has been particularly favorable for East Village buyers lately. March and April saw prices fallen by more than 30% compared to spring of 2015. The median home sold for about $770K in April, whereas the median home price for all of Manhattan was a little over $1M. New developments going up in the neighborhood are bringing in the wind of change, and with it, higher prices – $2-$3M per unit – and a whole new class of buyers.

East Village has a casual and quirky vibe, which is exactly what has kept young people coming in for decades. Historical veneer and new century design, luxury condos and shoe-box rentals coexist just fine in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Manhattan. When it comes to the cost of living, however, the neighborhood is catching up to other Lower Manhattan areas. Most rentals are expensive but buying a home here is still cheaper than in many other Manhattan neighborhoods.



Sources: Propertyshark, Citihabitats, Yardi Matrix.