Living steps away from a subway stop is every New Yorker’s dream, but how much is that morning convenience really worth?
If you’re looking for a more affordable apartment in the city, a few more minutes spent walking to the train could mean more money saved on rent. A 10-minute walk to the subway could mean an apartment that’s 10 percent cheaper than the median price, according to real estate site RentHop.
The real estate site looked at city data of MTA subway entrances mapped alongside apartment listings, adding in a “buffer” around those stations to represent various distances. Researchers then calculated the median rent of all the apartments within a certain proximity to those entrances.
Overall, apartments that were closest to the train cost 6 to 8 percent more than the median price for that particular borough, and apartments that were the farthest away from a subway entrance cost 8 to 10 percent less.
What counts as close? In most neighborhoods across the city, the most expensive apartments were no more than 1/8th, or 0.125, of a mile to the subway.
In Brooklyn, a 2-minute walk to the subway translated to a rent that was 8.4 percent higher than the borough median, meaning $3,000 a month instead of $2,768. If you find a place about a 10-minute walk from the train, you might pay around $2,600, 6 percent less than the median price. For about a half-mile away, you’ll see an 8 percent cut, for a median rent of $2,550.
In Queens, the pattern is similar: Apartments more than a half-mile from an entrance see a more than 10 percent drop in median price, from $2,470 to $2,200
Generally, New York City apartments further away than that from the train are cheaper — except in Manhattan. Manhattan is only 2.3 miles long at its widest, so when you’re one-third of a mile away from a station in Manhattan, you’re near the waterfront, which is prime real estate.
In some instances, it pays to be a bit closer to the train, though, and not just because of convenience.
In the Bronx, rents tend to be cheaper when you’re really close to the subway. RentHop experts said this might be because of the smaller sample size available in the Bronx for this kind of data (Staten Island was also omitted from the study due to a small sample size).
Those experts guessed it could also be due to the fact that some trains are above-ground, which means living nearby means dealing with that subway noise. There, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s more worth it to be near the train or to (maybe) get a better night’s sleep.