Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
19

Manhattan's Millionaires-on-Paper (May Be Mostly In Brooklyn!)

TWO OF THEM?In looking at the recent wild estimate that there are 667,200 "millionaires" in New York City-supposedly up nearly 20% from 2008-it's important to pull back and look at what makes someone a millionaire on paper. The number one marker in New York City of this semi-mythical, marvelous status is home ownership.

We'll do this in some very nice round numbers!

There's 1.2 million houses in New York City, of the city's 3.3 million housing units. (So: twice as many apartments as houses, basically.)

So, already, you know: someone owns 3.3 million housing units! Clearly lots of these are owned in big batches-landlords like Pinnacle, for a random example, own 21,000 housing units in different buildings.

Still, despite the big landlords, home ownership rate among all New York City residents is almost exactly 1 in 3.

(It skews hard by borough, obviously: in Staten Island, it's more than 2 in 3; in Queens, it's about 1 in 2; in Manhattan, it's 1 in 4.)

Home owners are, unsurprisingly, way more likely to be wealthy. The median income of renters is around $36,000. (By the way, of all renters, nearly 1 in 3 pay more than half their income in rent.) The median income of a home owner is twice that of a renter.

In Manhattan, there's about 750,000 households, where about 1.5 million people live. (There are something like 80,000 single-family dwellings-you know, "houses." All told, about 150,000 of Manhattan's housing units are owner-occupied. You can pretty much guarantee that anyone who owns a single-family dwelling in Manhattan is a millionaire.)

1.2 million of Manhattanites are over 18-and only about half of the people who are older than 25 have a college degree.

So we can discount from our "rich list" those without college degrees, pretty much, because, duh-which means that, eerily, the number of people who are allegedly millionaires-on-paper in New York City is almost exactly equal to the number of adults who reside in Manhattan who have a college degree.

So, wait, some of you are saying: I'm over 25 and have a college degree and I live in Manhattan and I'm not a millionaire!

That's because you're a disgrace. If you're over 25, college-educated, a native English speaker, you reside in Manhattan and are not a millionaire? Technically you are a huge failure.

But don't worry too much. The real reason you're not a millionaire is because there's apparently a really large number of millionaires-on-paper in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, obviously.

19 Comments / Post A Comment

scroll_lock (#4,122)

I would think if you're making $36K and renting in NYC you must have 10 roommates.

deepomega (#1,720)

Or 10 sugar daddies.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

Yes, please.

David (#192)

or two parents that fund your living in Manhattan

Bettytron (#575)

Nah, just live in Harlem or Wash. Heights. It's doable on much less than 36k.

Does this study take into account renters who have roommates whom are not on the lease? I'm thinking that most of those who are paying more than half of their income to rent have at least one roommate helping with that payment. Are these roommates counted in the 1.5 million Manhattan residents?

Also, yes, Milania does have two of them.

cherrispryte (#444)

As someone who is paying over half of my after-tax income on rent, no, not always roommates.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

If you look at the source material, it says there are 667k "high net worth individuals" in the New York metro area (which they define as having 15,438,388 people). The footnote to their chart defines "high net worth individuals" as those having investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.
http://www.us.capgemini.com/news/current_news.asp?ID=840

But I do agree with you that people over 25, college-educated, a native English speaker, living in Manhattan and are not millionaires are failures.

deepomega (#1,720)

HNWIs just reminds me of Gary Shteyngart's books.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

Just to verify how much is everything we own really worth: can everyone please try to sell their homes and their stocks right now?

garge (#736)

It's really helpful when the terms of failure are delineated as the ambiguity is actually more painful.

deepomega (#1,720)

I still have a year and a half! I can make it!

If you're over 25, college-educated, a native English speaker, you reside in Manhattan and are not a millionaire? Technically you are a huge failure.

But my parents told me I was special… :(

rook (#4,214)

What is Don doing with Roger Sterling's wife? Is this a Mad Men spoiler?

kneetoe (#1,881)

But the New York Metro Area they evaluate has 15 million plus people, so it's much more than the five boroughs. Also, footnote 1: "[1] HNWIs are defined as those having investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables" excludes primary residence from the calculation.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

This would be an appropriate time for you to admit you don't read my comments and apologize. I'll just wait right here.

kneetoe (#1,881)

Oops! Sincerest form of flattery and all that.

6h057 (#1,914)

Crust punks need not apply.

Mister_Neutron (#5,921)

I foresee a mass exodus to Fort Smith.

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