What comes to mind when you think of New York City… Pizza?
The Empire State Building? Jay Z?
New York City is easily one of the most iconic cities in the world, and not without reason. Many cities have a lot of tall skyscrapers, but not as many can boast such historical and cultural relevance. Apart from being famous for its amazing food, cultural attractions, and memorable movie locations. New York has some of the most high-end apartments and properties in the world.
But what are the Most Expensive Neighborhoods in New York City, and what is it like to live there?
Well, let’s take a bite out of the Big Apple and see how it tastes to reside in some of its most expensive neighborhoods. These neighborhoods don’t just offer nice abodes but an array of other extras that set them apart. Providing you have the money, living in these neighborhoods will ensure you will never be short of upmarket shops, trendy restaurants, or cultural galleries.
And if you’re starting a family, you will also have access to some of the best schools in the world.
- So, What Type of People Live Here?
- The Most Expensive Neighborhoods in New York City
- Top 10 Most Expensive New York Neighborhoods (Statistics taken from Property Shark, 2020)
- Want to Know How New York Compares to Other Rich Towns and Cities?
- Final Thoughts
So, What Type of People Live Here?
And what are the costs associated with renting various types of apartments and homes? New York does offer an unparalleled standard of living if you can afford it. But does what these neighborhoods offer to justify their expense? I will let you be the judge of that.
But first, let’s get something out of the way… Remember those fictional characters from the TV sitcom ‘Friends’? Well, they likely wouldn’t be able to afford to live in most of the neighborhoods we’re about to view. Actually, they wouldn’t have been able to afford to rent the properties they had on the show either (not with the salaries their jobs paid).
So, welcome to the real-world people. Let’s see how much the best of the best sets one back in…
The Most Expensive Neighborhoods in New York City
1 Tribeca (Home of Celebrities)
If it’s good enough for Robert De Nero to live in, it’s good enough for us. However, you would likely need a higher paid position than a taxi driver to have a chance of living a standard home in Tribeca. One square foot of property of a Tribeca apartment alone will set you back $2,000 (with the average home costing a cool four million US). To put this into perspective, as a taxi driver, you would need to save 70 years of income to afford a median-priced property here.
Yet, some of the newest property development here has raised a few eyebrows. One example being 56 Leonard. A building that has been dubbed by many as “The Jenga Building” due to its quirky and unusual design, moving away from traditional New York architecture. This is sometimes difficult for traditionalists to adapt to, and in the end, it just goes to show Tribeca is a changing neighborhood.
Tribeca offers an array of dining options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to trendy eateries and cafes. On top of this, it is also home to other popular cultural events, such as The Tribeca Film Festival.
This independent film festival was founded by De Niro and other celebrities in 2002 to help revitalize lower Manhattan after the 9/11 tragedy. Now in its twenty-second year, it attracts visitors worldwide. And as every good attendee of the Festival knows, the building made famous by Ghostbusters is smack dab right in the middle of Tribeca too. Pretty cool, right?
Okay, every neighborhood in Manhattan is upscale… but this is really upscale. So upscale, in fact, that stores like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada have set up their flagship stores here. SoHo (which is short for “South of Houston Street“) is famous for its historic cast-iron architecture, luxury boutiques, and fashionable residents. Compared to Tribeca, this area attracts more of a mix of creatives, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who appreciate a more artistic vibe, as well as exclusive shopping options.
The neighborhood has a good mix of historic architecture to complement the modern design. For example, you can rent or purchase loft-style apartments and converted warehouses if that’s your bag.
- A studio apartment: $3,000 to $4,000 per month
- A one-bedroom apartment: $4,000 to $5,500 per month
- A two-bedroom apartment: $5,500 to $8,000 per month
- Townhouses / luxury condos: $12,000 to $35,000 per month
The real estate in SoHo is some of the most expensive in the city, with the average price per square foot for an apartment coming in at around $1,600. The median home price in SoHo is $4.4 million (and it’s not unusual for some properties to sell for as much as $25 million). Despite the high cost of living, many people are attracted to SoHo because of its more communal vibe.
3 Greenwich Village
Also known as “The Village.” A lot of Greenwich Village’s charm can be attributed to the historic townhouses and pre-war buildings (including the famous ‘Friends’ apartment building that was used for transitions between scenes in the show).
This, combined with its vibrant arts scene, music venues, and bookstores, draw in creative celebrities such as the late Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan. One such bookstore (‘Three Lives & Company’) had local residents in a panic when it closed for a month for reconstruction work.
SoHo is also home to New York University, whose students and academics enjoy taking walks around some of the fantastic landmarks, such as Washington Square Park (the park where George Washington was inaugurated in 1789).
All this combined makes real estate in Greenwich Village some of the most expensive in the city, with the median home price at about $4.4 million. In terms of renting, Townhouses, and luxury condos range in price ($10,000 to $50,000 per month and beyond). But, despite its cost, it does boast a more laid-back, diverse atmosphere, and sense of community in comparison to certain other high-end areas.
In a city that never sleeps, Greenwich Village can counteract the intensity of its hustle and bustle with a more relaxing and homely atmosphere. How could you put a price on that?
4 Upper East Side
Located in the heart of Manhattan, this neighborhood was home to the Rockefellers. It is also popular due to its low crime rates, picturesque streets lined with Honey Locust trees, and its Neo-Gothic and Neo-Federal architecture.
If you’re a movie buff, you’d probably notice that many of the scenes from Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada were filmed here.
It is also somewhat of a cultural hub…
For those who want to live a sophisticated lifestyle, this is the place to do so. The area is popular with established professionals and socialites who want to stay in the loop. It is much easier to mingle with like-minded creative and philosophical minds as it is home to many prestigious cultural institutions, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the famous Frick Collection.
Residents can also feel comfortable knowing many of the buildings in the Upper East Side are protected by historic landmark status. Meaning the character of the neighborhood will be preserved for future generations to experience it in the same way the current generation can.
Typical prices here…
- A studio apartment: $2,200 to $3,500 per month
- A one-bedroom apartment: $3,000 to $4,500 per month
- A two-bedroom apartment: $4,500 to $7,500
5 Central Park South
Located in Midtown Manhattan. Living in Central Park South is as much of a symbol of status as anything else. You probably already know it for its high-rise, luxury apartment buildings and its closeness to the city’s top cultural attractions, such as the Museum of Modern Art, which was home to one of Monet’s ‘Water Lillies’ paintings (until it was destroyed by an air conditioning fire in 1959).
To be able to say you own property in Central Park South is a statement, as apartments here cost millions. Although not officially the most expensive area (that is attributed to Tribeca). The median home price in Central Park South is nearly $7 million, with some properties selling for as much as $50 million. It’s also the home of the famous Millionaires Row.
Enough said? Not quite…
In the last two decades, property developers have really splashed out on high-end construction. One notable example is the infamous 432 Park Avenue. An apartment that boasts views of central park and the city higher than every other building around it (and is notably one of the highest residential skyscrapers on the planet today). In fact, if you ignore the antenna as a measure of height, it is technically higher than One Trade Centre, with the top floor penthouse currently on the market for $169 million.
The construction of this ultra-exclusive residence was only made possible by buying up and demolishing the previous one, the $418 million residence that stood before it (The Drake Hotel – built in 1920 and demolished in 2007). Due to the limited available land space, the structure was designed with a 15:1 height-to-width ratio, stretching architectural design to its limits.
New ventures like this don’t come without a downside, as many residents have recently criticized the buildings’ ambitious structure and constructional soundness.
It seems these are the risks of modern architecture that push the envelope.
Top 10 Most Expensive New York Neighborhoods (Statistics taken from Property Shark, 2020)
1 Tribeca – Median sale price: $3,875,000
2 Hudson Yards / Chelsea / Flatiron District – Median sale price: $2,225,000
3 SoHo – Median sale price: $2,132,500
4 Greenwich Village / West Village – Median sale price: $1,880,000
5 NoMad / Gramercy Park – Median sale price: $1,702,500
6 Central Park South / Columbus Circle – Median sale price: $1,660,000
7 Garment District – Median sale price: $1,600,000
8 Financial District – Median sale price: $1,392,500
9 Nolita / Bowery – Median sale price: $1,385,000
10 Upper West Side – Median sale price: $1,362,500
Want to Know How New York Compares to Other Rich Towns and Cities?
Well, check out our thoughts on the Richest Towns in New Jersey, the Richest Cities in California, the Richest Cities in Florida, the 10 Richest Cities in Texas, or the Richest Towns in Massachusetts in 2023.
New York neighborhoods are expensive for good reason. Life is short, and if you can afford the best of the best, why wouldn’t you live in one of these areas?
Everyone knows the feeling of walking into the perfect property. But, what neighborhood you choose is yet another decision. And with so many options, that’s probably the trickier part. If you haven’t yet, my suggestion is to get a flight out and see some of these neighborhoods for yourself. Even if you came to New York just to view its properties alone, you’re guaranteed to have an eye-opening experience of envy.
Do you want to be a part of it? Of course, you do!