Brooklyn vs Manhattan: Which is Cheaper?
Moving guides - December 3, 2019
Historically, Brooklyn was seen as a cheaper alternative to Manhattan living. Brooklyn had the reputation of the more affordable, more spacious and less hectic borough. But in recent years, Brooklyn has become rather popular, shifting its position as the affordable alternative to the hot destination. Some people have even moved from Brooklyn back into Manhattan to save money. So, what are prices in the two boroughs like these days– is Brooklyn cheaper than Manhattan? Who wins in this Brooklyn vs Manhattan Rent battle?
According to Streeteasy, in the past year, rents in Brooklyn grew faster than rents in Queens and Manhattan. Within Brooklyn, rents in Williamsburg and other areas of North Brooklyn grew the fastest. This rent growth follows the MTA announcement that the L train would remain in service, after it was reported that the L train needed to shutdown for some time. Meanwhile, despite Manhattan once being the hottest borough, Manhattan had the slowest rent growths of the 3 boroughs.
While many neighborhoods in Brooklyn have maintained their old-school vibes and cheaper-than-Manhattan rents, other neighborhoods have experienced rapid changes, transitioning into meccas for youth and glass-lined shopping areas. Through zoning laws and redevelopment, a mix of good PR and the rise of trendy shops, some neighborhoods in Brooklyn have actually surpassed the cost of rents in Manhattan.
Check out Zumper’s map of 1-bedroom rent prices in Manhattan
Rents in Manhattan:
According to Zumper, the most expensive area for 1 bedroom apartments in Manhattan is in Chelsea. Meanwhile, the cheapest area for renting a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan was in Washington Heights/Inwood. Meanwhile, Rents in the Northern Manhattan area hover in the $2000 a month range.
Rents in Brooklyn:
However, many neighborhoods in Brooklyn are not far off from Manhattan pricing. 1 Bedroom Apartments in Williamsburg, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Downtown Brooklyn all have median rents surpassing $3,000. Neighborhoods like Clinton Hill are now more expensive than the Upper East side.
The most expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn is DUMBO, with median rents nearing $4,000 a month. Areas in Brooklyn further from the Northern Brooklyn, hover in the mid $2000s, while areas closer to East New York, remains in the $1500 to sub-$2000 price range.
Check out Zumper’s map of 1-bedroom rent prices in Brooklyn
So, Who wins in this Brooklyn vs Manhattan Rent battle?
In terms of the cost of living, Brooklyn remains 9.77% lower than Manhattan. Currently, the cost of living (without rent) for a single person in Brooklyn is around $1,111 per month while in Manhattan, this number is slightly higher, at $1,242. Nonetheless, with rent costs converging throughout the two boroughs, Brooklyn may not necessarily be cheaper than Manhattan anymore.
That being said, aside from rent prices, Manhattan and Brooklyn offer vastly different lifestyles and amenities. On top of your rent budget, you may want to consider what pace of life you’d like and how each borough can offer you that. Manhattan is far more concentrated and busy than Brooklyn. So, even if moving to Brooklyn may not be significantly cheaper anymore, life in Brooklyn may be more suitable for you!