I’m making six figures and I still can’t afford NYC: Apple suffers brain drain as young and educated flee

Last May, Charlotte, 31, and her husband packed up their one-bedroom apartment on Christopher Street after learning the rent would likely skyrocket from $5,000 per month to $7,000. The couple loved living in the West Village, but homeownership was out of reach, even with her job in finance and him being in tech.

They were both working from home, so they could live anywhere. It was time, they decided, to leave New York.

“We considered Bronxville, and surrounding neighborhoods [in Westchester], but for what we wanted we would have had to spend well over $1.8 [million],” Charlotte, who makes more than $200,000 annually and declined to give her last name, told The Post.

Longtime New Yorkers who can work remotely are moving away in search of more affordable housing and a higher quality of life — even when they seemingly make good money. A recent study conducted by financial tech company SmartAsset found that New York had the largest net outflow of young professionals under 35 making more than $100,000 of any other major city. Between 2019 and 2020, some 15,788 of these so-called “rich young professionals” left the five boroughs.

New Yorkers earning $100,000 or more are leaving in droves.
New Yorkers earning $100,000 or more are leaving in droves.
Charlotte, 31, a New York native, and her husband, moved out of their West Village apartment rental last year and purchased a home in the suburbs outside of Boston.
Charlotte, 31, a New York native, and her husband moved out of their West Village rental last year and purchased a home in the suburbs outside of Boston.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“New York City for decades has attracted young people willing to pay a significant premium just to live and work in New York, but at the same time, it drew a huge wedge in a lot of people’s finances,” George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com, told The Post. “Fifteen years ago, $100,000 would buy you a lot more than today because of inflation.”

Indeed, according to a Douglas Elliman market report, one needs to make close to $160,000 to afford the average rent across the five boroughs these days.

Charlotte and her husband found that their money went a lot further in Massachusetts. They relocated to a Boston suburb where they could afford to purchase a four-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot home.

“Our mortgage payments, taxes and home maintenance costs are around $1,500 more per month than our [old] rent,” she said.

For Tyler, a 31-year-old who works in software, cheaper transportation — not just housing — motivated him to motor out of New York and park in Denver in early 2020.

With hundreds saved on commuter costs, Tyler said he has discretionary income to invest in his favorite outdoor hobbies like skiing and hiking.
With hundreds saved on commuter costs, Tyler said he has discretionary income to invest in his favorite outdoor hobbies like skiing and hiking.
Courtesy of Tyler
Tyler jumped on the chance to move cross country to Denver in early 2020 when he got a job opportunity working remote and saving hundreds on his apartment, parking and commuter costs.
Tyler jumped at the chance to move cross-country to Denver in early 2020 when he got a job opportunity that would let him work remotely, subsequently saving hundreds on his apartment, parking and commuter costs.
Getty Images

Instead of paying $110 per month for a Metrocard and $275 for parking, he now has a free space included with his large apartment. The lower cost of living has allowed him more time and more money for hobbies such as skiing and hiking and investing in a mountain house with friends.

“I took this job in Denver because I knew I could apply [what I learned] working around the best and the brightest in New York to a market that is less saturated, while not dealing with the rat race that people experience every day in New York,” said Tyler, who declined to give his last name. “My paycheck now goes much farther.”

Leisure activities were also a motivator for Michael, a 35-year-old New York native, to leave the Empire State. In April, he and his wife left Brooklyn for Boca Raton, Florida, and its ample golf courses and pickleball and tennis courts. Having such amenities close to his home — which also happens to be affordable — has been a game-changer.

Being in Florida and having these things easily available all year has dramatically improved my quality of life,” said the accountant. “It’s a seven-hour commitment to play golf if you live in New York.”

NEW YORK POST https://nypost.com/2022/10/12/wealthy-young-professionals-fleeing-new-york-city/

 

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