A report by RentHop, an apartment listings website, shows that the Lower East Side is the third least affordable neighborhood in New York City.
The report was prepared by comparing median income in various neighborhoods with median prices of 2-bedroom apartments. NYC brokers and building owners tend to use the following formula in evaluating whether you can afford an apartment: your annual household income should be 40 times your monthly rent.
According to RentHop, the median price of a Lower east Side 2-bedroom is $3495/month, meaning you need to earn almost $140,000/year to qualify. Meanwhile the median household income is only $31,273. Only Queensbridge-Ravenswood-Long Island City and East Williamsburg were deemed to be less affordable than the Lower East Side.
RentHop suggests that the neighborhoods at the top of the list all have one thing in common: they are communities which have seen a big influx of new/renovated market rate apartments, while the local demographics have stayed pretty much the same. It should be noted that the survey defines the Lower East Side as the area below East Houston Street, as well as Alphabet City (east of Avenue B).
In Chinatown, the median rent for a 2-bedroom is $3391/month, while the median income is $35,908. In the East Village (west of Avenue B), the median 2-bedroom runs $3750, while the annual household income is $72,665.
The most recent report from the Furman Center at NYU found that the median rent in Community District 3 (Lower East Side, Chinatown, East Village) is $1,090. This is, of course, due to significant amount of rent regulated housing.