“Creative” People Lower Rents

NYC rents

Talk to a native Brooklynite and chances are they’ll start bemoaning the pretentious faux-artists moving into the borough and driving up all the rents. But it’s not the artists, or the bloggers or the graphic designers or the actors, who push up rents. “Rents [in Manhattan] have been flat or falling for months,” the Wall Street Journal reports, and you know who they say is to blame? Creative workers—”artists, designers, young people in the city’s burgeoning technology sector and other industries.” Apparently—I hope you’re sitting down—they make less money than bankers, and while the number of private-sector jobs rose in 2012, they weren’t in high-compensation industries like financial services. In 2006, 60 percent of new renters were bankers; now it’s 40 percent, and these young creative turks account for almost 30 percent. “Despite strong demand for apartments,” the paper reports, “the trend of lower-paid workers is capping rent increases, setting a limit on how high rents can do… now and possibly for years to come.” Hooray! Right?

The Journal seems to think—I hope you’re sitting down—this is bad for the city economy. Also, the paper reports that landlords generally desire tenants whose gross income is 40 times their monthly rent. Which, at today’s prices, means us young journalists couldn’t afford to live anywhere.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart


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