Brokers, the classifieds, apartment referral services and word-of-mouth references can all help someone find an affordable apartment in New York City, according to the New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center. However, in 2013, Business Insider stated that the average rent in NYC, excluding Staten Island, was $3,017.
In 2014, DNAInfo reported that the average rent for Manhattan apartments had hit $4,000 per month, making it almost four times the national average. The site does not expect rents to drop as of 2015, with Manhattan reporting an average vacancy rate of 1.36 percent in April 2014. Although the outer boroughs are marginally cheaper, Brooklyn saw a similar spike in rents in 2014. Refinery29 suggests looking in less popular neighborhoods that may be on the brink of enjoying an increase in popularity in the upcoming years, and signing a two-year lease in exchange for a reduced monthly rent and protecting renters from massive rent hikes. Apartments located further away from subway lines may be noticeably cheaper than their more convenient counterparts.
To help save on costs, Brick Underground compiles an annual list of websites with no-fee listings, saving renters the cost of the broker's fee. The list includes Craigslist, Apartable.com, the Listings Project and Naked Apartments. Refinery29 suggests that renters be willing to compromise on amenities, location or various luxuries to save on rent.