New York City is now bigger than ever. No, really. In the past few months, reports have been released which show that America’s largest city has now surpassed a population of more than 8.5 million. Despite the infamy surrounding rising rents and digs from competing cities regarding a comparatively and arguably lower quality of living, people from all over the country and the world are flocking to the Big Apple, with hopes of making their mark on the city, or simply with the desire to live in the world’s most diverse, unique and extraordinary metropolis.
Leading this growth was the city’s largest borough (by land size) Queens. Just last year, almost 17,000 people moved into one of its dozens of historical neighborhoods–largely due to its diversity in housing options, from the standard apartment to the single-family, detached homes (the borough even has some mansions). Yet, it wasn’t alone. Naturally, Brooklyn, historically the most popular borough, and certainly still the city’s most populous, welcomed a few newcomers as well. To the surprise of many, though, it was the northernmost borough, the Bronx, which saw the fastest growth, and added 13,000 people to its already dense area.
With so many new residents, there is an increased focused on property development for housing, right? Well, yes, but while New York City is certainly seeing its share of new housing–including luxury apartments and affordable units for lower income residents–like every other major city experiencing a surge of newer, younger crowds, there still aren’t enough units to meet demand. Subsequently, rents are still shockingly high and vacancies for the good stuff are rare.
In fact, according to Quartz magazine, rental vacancies have reached a 30 year low. Further highlighting this issue, an article released last June remarked that were were no available apartments in Manhattan–the rate of vacancy in the borough was just 1.07. Responding to this dilemma, our overflowing city approved almost 2,000 new buildings with 56,528 residential units. A 20% increase from the year prior.
This trend is only expected to increase. Though new developments will allow some to branch out from a shared room with three others in the basement of someone’s 1-bedroom apartment, there is no guarantee that things will be easier for New Yorkers anytime soon. Especially as others see the city as an opportunity to flourish personally and professionally.