We recently did a round-up of the 50 most expensive streets and neighborhoods for homebuyers in New York City right now. The results were somewhat unsurprising, given that home prices in the city are notoriously high nowadays. Central Park South, part of the exclusive Billionaires’ Row, came out on top as the priciest street of all. The median sale price for a home in this luxury enclave is a whopping $9.8 million, which means that it’s definitely out of reach for most homebuyers.
Many other streets lining Central Park or Upper Manhattan command sky-high home prices, and Manhattan and Brooklyn both tend to be much pricier than the other boroughs. This means that the average homebuyer will be looking for alternatives - and we’ve got 50 of them.
We've compiled a follow-up list of the 50 most affordable streets and neighborhoods in New York City, for those looking to settle down in the Big Apple without having to sacrifice life and limb or save up for decades.
Below you’ll find a list of the 50 most affordable residential streets in New York City, based on the median sale price recorded from January through September 2019. While the contenders at the bottom of the list might not seem very affordable, they are still a lot less expensive than the streets featured in our previous ranking. Scroll down further, and you’ll also find a list of the 50 most affordable neighborhoods, to give you the full picture and a better idea of where to find decent home prices in NYC in 2019.
The Bronx is Home to the 3 Most Affordable NYC Streets
As it turns out, the most affordable street in New York City at the moment is Unionport Road in the Bronx, where the median sale price is $170,000. This Parkchester street might not be as glamorous as Park Avenue, but what you get is proximity to the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, and Yankee Stadium. You won’t be too far from Manhattan, either, if you’re planning on commuting to work.
The second and third most affordable streets in NYC are located in the same area of Parkchester, namely Metropolitan Avenue and Metropolitan Oval. On Metropolitan Avenue, homes are selling for a median of $173,5000, while on the Metropolitan Oval, they command $180,000. Surrounding the Bronx Unionport Parkchester Park, these streets offer proximity to retail options like Macy’s, Marshall’s, or Rainbow, to dining at Starbucks, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Applebees, and also offer access to public transportation. The 6 line of the New York City Subway is easily accessible, as are local buses and the Cross-Bronx Expressway.
West 107th Street is Manhattan’s Most Affordable
The most affordable residential street in Manhattan in 2019 is West 107th Street, on the Upper West Side. The median home price here was $204,765 based on sales closed so far this year, making it the fourth most affordable street in the city.
West 107th Avenue stretches from the west side of Central Park to Riverside Drive, and it’s primarily a residential street, though it also houses churches, schools, shops, as well as seniors centers and homeless shelters. It’s part of an area previously known as the Bloomingdale District, which has historically housed low-income renters and experienced troubles with crime throughout the decades. However, the neighborhood began to reinvent itself after the creation of the Manhattan Valley Development Corporation, which sought to lower the crime rate in the area and preserve and renovate the pre-war buildings lining the streets.
Today, this profoundly diverse area is a bit of a hidden gem in Manhattan. Its proximity to Central Park and its historic brownstones make it an appealing destination for young homebuyers. Fun fact, former U.S. President Barack Obama used to rent a place in Manhattan Valley back in the 1980s, at 142 West 109th Street. Despite its increasing popularity, home prices in the area remain well below those found in neighboring districts; the question is, for how long?
The Most Affordable Neighborhoods in NYC
If you're on a tight budget, check out the below list of the 50 Cheapest NYC neighborhoods.
Parkchester, The Bronx is NYC’s Most Affordable Neighborhood
Zooming out to the neighborhood level, we find Parkchester at the top of our list. The Bronx neighborhood is the most affordable in NYC in 2019, with a median home price of $180,000. Homebuyers seem very keen on settling down here: 233 sales closed in the area through September, for a total of nearly $52 million. Check out the full list of neighborhoods below, and keep reading for some interesting tidbits:
The Parkchester housing development was initially developed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which was also responsible for Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and Riverton Houses in Manhattan. In Parkchester, a group of over 100 buildings was planned, catering to middle-class, first-time home-buying families. The development was meant to house 12,000 families and provide easy access to amenities like public transportation, nearby schools, retail, and medical centers. The community was initially developed as rentals in the early 1940s and converted to condominiums in 1974.
Parkchester was designed by a team of architects that included Richmond H. Shreve, who designed the Empire State Building, in a red brick and terracotta style. The apartments are quite small in size, mostly one-bedrooms with a living room and a kitchen, but the amenities are more than plenty. The community, to this day, stands out for its lush landscaping, featuring an oval park, the Fountain at Metropolitan Oval, and plenty of flower gardens.
The community entered a period of decline during the 1960s, and in 1974 it was converted to condominiums, according to The Cooperator. Developer Harry Helmsley took it upon himself to breathe new life into the neighborhood and use upgrades and renovations to attract buyers. However, this operation proved to be a lot more complicated than what he had expected (he had only dealt with commercial office buildings before buying Parkchester), and the real turnaround didn’t happen until the late 1990s. That’s when the Community Preservation Corporation purchased the properties from Helmsley for a mere $4.5 million and began a massive, multi-million-dollar renovation effort.
After many years of work and upgrades, their effort seems to have paid out. Parkchester is an attractive, affordable destination for first-time homebuyers and families looking for a good location and reasonable prices. Nowadays, more and more people are being priced out of Manhattan, and even Brooklyn, and they’re looking for alternatives. Most of them will find that Parkchester is a great option and just 45 minutes from Midtown Manhattan.
The second most affordable neighborhood in NYC is Hammels in Queens, where 23 home sales closed through September for a total of $8 million. The median sale price for dwellings in this area of Rockaway Beach closed the first fall month at $275,000. Located west of Averne and east of Seaside, the neighborhood is home to several public housing projects, including The Hammel Houses, which was built back in 1954. This 14-building housing community reportedly accommodates close to 2,000 residents.
New Brighton completes the top 3 of NYC's most affordable neighborhoods.
Located on Staten Island’s north shore, it boasts a median sale price of $350,000 and is home to landmarks like Snug Harbor and the W.S. Pendleton Houses. While it doesn’t offer the most manageable commute to Manhattan or glamorous shopping or entertainment attractions, this small community does offer affordable prices and is a good option for families or first-time homebuyers.
Brownsville, East New York, and Canarsie are the Cheapest Neighborhoods in Brooklyn
Brownsville is the most affordable neighborhood in Brooklyn and the 24th most affordable in the city with a median sales price of $475,000. East New York and Canarsie also border Brownsville, as all 3 neighborhoods are located in the easternmost part of the borough. Median home prices in East New York and Canarsie were $499,000 and $560,000 respectively.
What are the Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Manhattan?
While no Manhattan neighborhoods made our list of the cheapest neighborhoods in NYC, we're sure some of you want to know where you'll find the cheapest real estate in Manhattan. As you might expect, it's in the Northernmost corner of the borough. Inwood is the most affordable neighborhood in Manhattan. Neighboring Washington Heights is another affordable neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the Tudor City microneighborhood is another one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Manhattan.
We used Rolling Sales data from the NYC DOF and ACRIS NYC to extract all residential transactions closed from January through September 2019. We've taken into account condos, co-ops, single- and two-family homes.
We included buildings with the following classes: A3, A4, A5, A7, A9, B1, B2, B3, B9, R1, R2, R3, R4, R6, R7, R8, R9, according to NYC building classifications.
We only considered streets that recorded 20 or more home sales in the specified timeframe.
All deals with undisclosed dollar amounts were excluded from our analysis.