Photo: Robert Clark

Despite being the priciest US city for real estate, a recent study by the listing site PropertyShark reveals that there are still some pockets of affordability left in the New York City.

But here’s the rub — you must be willing to endure a commute in from one of the outer boroughs, like Staten Island.

“The fame and vitality of Manhattan is definitely the main reason why homes closer to the epicenter of New York City are more expensive,PropertyShark marketing writer Robert Demeter tells Livabl.

New Yorkers have grown accustomed to home prices well above $500 per square foot. In Manhattan, the typical home sells for above $1,000 per square foot. But when you compare Manhattan’s prices to the national average of $150 per square foot, the severity of the price disparity becomes clear.

The 10032-zip code in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood is the only area where you can buy a home for under $500 per square foot in the borough — at $487 per square foot, to be exact. But the pickings are quite slim at that price point.

Home prices in northern Queens, which includes the booming Long Island City neighborhood, exceed $500 per square foot in nearly every zip code. However, deeper into the borough, home prices averaged around $300 per square foot (Jamaica).

In Brooklyn, home prices hover between $300 and $400 per square foot for neighborhoods in the eastern portion of the borough, which includes Canarsie and Arverne. Home prices in the latter average just $199 per square foot, however it is located a stone’s throw from JFK Airport and quite a hike from Midtown Manhattan via mass transit.

“Don’t expect home prices to remain the same in the coming years. Some Brooklyn and Queens zip codes are just a few dollars away of the $500 per square foot mark,” writes PropertyShark in the study.

Home prices typically average under $300 per square foot in the Bronx, but possibly not for much longer.

The Bronx is slowly becoming the next target for gentrification in the city,” says Demeter.

Of all the boroughs, Staten Island was the most budget-friendly. The city’s arguably  least-easily accessible borough had the highest share of listings under $500 per square foot.

According to a recent report by the Center for an Urban Future, Staten Island’s population grew by 24 percent between 1990 and 2010. However, the Island lost nearly a quarter of its residents aged 20 to 34 during that time.

The borough’s population boom has led to a 24 percent increase in traffic on all of the Island’s bridges. The average Islander spends 69 minutes commuting one-way to work.

Home prices have risen 120 per cent from 2000 to 2009, with 33 percent of residents paying more than the recommended 35 percent of their income on housing costs in 2010 — up from 18 per cent in 1990.

Sacrificing location for price might save you some money, although you’d be spending a fair amount of time commuting,” says Demeter.

Click here to read the entire report.

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