Neighborhoods
New York City (NYC) is the most populous city in the United States as well as the 25th largest city in terms of land area. As of the 2011 census, the current population stands at about 8.25 million, which represents a 3-percent increase from 2000. While the population rose only slightly in the last decade, many locals and newcomers have been forced to relocate outside of Manhattan in the outer boroughs due to a dramatic hike in real estate costs. With that said, the population is still expected to continue growing; experts predict an increase of 1.1 million residents, or 13.9 percent, by 2030.

The city is divided into five boroughs that coincide with the city’s five counties—four of which are ranked within the nation’s Top 25 most populous counties. Kings County, more commonly referred to as Brooklyn, is the eighth most populous county in the United States with around 2.5 million residents. Queens follows closely behind as the 10th most densely populated county while New York and Bronx Counties rank in the upper 20s based on population. On a broader level, the New York Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population is the United States’ largest, estimated at 19 million people in 6,720 square miles. Alone, New York City accounts for about 40 percent of the MSA’s population.

NYC offers a vast selection of both multifamily and single-family residential housing. Most first-time apartment and house hunters are often shocked at how little they get for their money in the Big Apple—the overall cost of living here is more than double the national average. The average residence occupancy is 91.5 percent.

Furthermore, approximately 67.4 percent of NYC housing units are leased to renters, compared to the 32 percent of households being renter occupied on a national level. The city’s rental rates are difficult to average when taking into account variations between the five boroughs. For the most part, prime real estate is located in Manhattan while people tend to find some cheaper housing options when expanding their search to the outer boroughs.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, homebuyers paid a median price of $394,700 for a house in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island Metropolitan Area in the third quarter of 2012, an increase of nearly 1.3 percent compared to the median in 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau reported 32.6 percent of owners with mortgages versus the 67.4 percent of owners without mortgages. The city’s median household income remains around $51,270.

COMMUNITY COMPOSITION
The average household size in New York City (NYC) is 2.67 people. The percentage of family households is 60.4 percent while married-couple families occupy only 36.2 percent of these households. Of the population aged 25 years and older, 79.3 percent earned a high school degree or higher, 33.7 percent earned a bachelors degree or higher and 13.8 percent earned a graduate or professional degree. The median age for residents in greater NYC is 35.4 years, which is slightly under the nation’s median age.

According to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, white Americans comprise 44.3 percent of NYC’s population, of which 33.5 percent were non-Hispanic. African Americans comprise 25.2 percent, of which 23.1 percent were non-Hispanic. American Indians comprise 0.4 percent, of which 0.2 percent were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans comprise 12.6 percent. Individuals from an “other” race comprise 14.8 percent. Individuals from multiple races comprise 2.7 percent of the city’s population.

HOME-FINDING RESOURCES
Once you have decided to purchase a home or rent a property in New York City (NYC), many resources are available to assist in the process.

Building Industry Association of NYC
If you are in the market for a new home, a good resource is the Building Industry Association of New York City (BIANYC). BIANYC is a member of a national federation that includes the New York State Builders Association (NYSBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which have approximately 200,000 members combined. BIANYC’s website at www.webuildnyc.com can assist new-home seekers in finding the perfect contractor, builder or real estate agent for their next project.

Manhattan Association of REALTORS®
On a local level, the Manhattan Association of REALTORS® (MANAR) is one of more than 1,800 local boards as well as 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS nationwide that forms the National Association of REALTORS, representing 700,000 real estate professionals around the country. The MANAR website (www.manarrealtor.com) offers free and easy access to connect you with any one of its REALTOR members.

New York Association of REALTORS®
The New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) (www.nysar.com) is a not-for-profit trade organization of individuals involved in the real estate industry, allied industries and firms. NYSAR’s 51,000 members represent more than half of the real estate licensees in New York. Contact NYSAR for information, including home tips for consumers and finding a professional.

Other associations and boards in the city including the following:
In 2011, Engineering News-Record ranked the Top 400 contractors in the country based on revenue. As a group, the Top 400 generated $282.14 billion in contracting revenue in 2011, an increase of 8.8 percent from 2010’s figure of $259.41 billion. Many firms located in New York City made the list in 2012, those in the Top 30 include the Turner Corp. (4), Skanska USA (7), Structure Tone (20) and Lend Lease (27).

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