Point of Interest
While living in New York is exciting and may even put you at the epicenter of a ton of industries, the mortgage rates and cost of living in this state come with a steep price tag.
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Higher mortgage rates, a higher cost of living and higher ownership costs in the state of New York may be the reason homeownership rates in the Empire State are almost 10% lower than the national average. But while it may cost significantly more to live in some parts of New York state, there are many perks to living in New York that may make the price worth it.
There are also some savings that you may be able to take advantage of if you buy a home in New York. For example, homeowner’s insurance in the state of New York is, on average, the 10th least expensive in the country. While cheaper homeowners insurance may not seem like a huge perk, finding any place to save will help, and those small amounts may even end up as significant savings in total.
Getting a mortgage in New York
Most people are aware that living in New York is expensive, but just how expensive will it be if you’re looking to get a mortgage? Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hover near the mid – to upper-4% APR range for this state.
The median home price in the state is almost $100,000 above the national average, and those numbers get higher when you get into the city. When looking at monthly ownership costs, the most recent census puts those costs almost $600 higher in New York. These factors are most likely at least one of the reasons that the homeownership rates in the state are low at 53.9%.
- Median home price: $302,200
- Average 30-year fixed rate: 4.60%
- Median monthly ownership cost: $2,114
- Homeownership rate: 53.9%
*Rates and data as of May 5, 2020. Assuming 3.72% APR national average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
New York state mortgage rate trends
Mortgage interest rates in New York were at about 4.6% for 30-year fixed-rate loans in May 2018. Those rates have been volatile over the past two years, but were nowhere near as volatile as some other markets. In May 2019, interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were at a two-year low when they hit the 4% mark.
The drop was temporary, though, and interest rates quickly climbed back up to the mid-4% range. In early 2020, interest rates saw a dramatic spike when they hit 5.5%. This can be attributed to the drop in the fed rate, which in this case pushed heavy demand for mortgages, driving up prices. Refinance rates in the state followed suit.
New York state current mortgage rates
Currently, mortgage rates in New York are quite high compared to the national average. Interest rates are at almost 4.6% for 30-year fixed-rate loans, which is nearly an entire percentage point above the rest of the country. Interest rates on 15-year and 20-year loans are more reasonable, at about 3.60% and 3.40% respectively.
Refinancing rates across the state of New York have historically mirrored purchase rates. That trend is currently continuing with most lending products. While the rest of the country has seen extensive volatility over the past two years, the New York mortgage rates have seen much less volatile. Outside of the spike in early 2020, 30-year fixed-rates in New York have consistently averaged between 4% and 4.8%.
Most and least expensive places to live in New York
Least expensive places to live in New York
1. Niagara Falls, NY — The city of Niagara Falls, NY, is 6% below the average national cost of living. Additionally, all individual metrics (housing, utilities, groceries and transportation) are below the national average. The median home price in Niagara is $314,791 and the median rent is $986.10.
2. North Tonawanda, NY — The cost of living in North Tonawanda is about 2% below the national average. You’ll find great savings for utility and grocery costs, but housing is still rather expensive. The median home price is $460,155 and the median rent is $1,441 per month.
3. Geneva, NY — Geneva comes in exactly even with the average national cost of living. While transportation costs are still high, grocery costs come in below the national average. The median home price in the area is $359,841 and the median rent is $1,127 per month.
4. Utica, NY — Cost of living in Utica is also on par with the average national cost of living. You can expect to have higher utility costs, but get some savings on grocery and housing expenses. The median rent in the area is $981.56 per month and the median home price is $313,341.
5. Rochester, NY — At only 1% above the national average for cost of living, Rochester is one of the more affordable places to live in the state of New York. Housing is 7% below the national average. The median home price is $323,751 in Rochester and the median rent is $1,014 monthly.
Most expensive places to live in New York
1. New York, NY — Cost of living in New York City is 129% higher than the national average, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that New York is the most expensive city in the state. Housing costs are an astronomical 369% above the national average, with a median home price of $1,628,124 and the median rent costs at $5,100.
2. New Rochelle City, NY — The median monthly owner costs for people with a mortgage in New Rochelle City are about $3,724. This is not only double the national average, but it is also $1500 more than the average in New York state. The median value of a home in New Rochelle City is $562,700.
3. Bronx County, NY — Median monthly owner costs in the Bronx are almost $900 more than the national average. The median price of a home in the area is $382,900 and the median rent costs are $1,176.
4. Levittown, NY — While the homeownership rate in this area is extremely high at 92.8%, Levittown is still quite expensive overall. The monthly ownership costs are nearly double the national average, and the median value of a home in the area is $384,300. The median rental price in Levittown is $2,066.
5. Nassau, NY — Outside of utilities, every cost of living metric for the city of Nassau is above the national average. The highest above-average costs are seen in grocery and transportation, while housing in the area is 4% above the national average, with the median home price of $359,992. Renters should expect to pay around $1,128 monthly.
New York state mortgage resources and intricacies
New York has plenty of great resources to help first time and future homebuyers navigate the purchase and application process and secure a mortgage. Two great resources to check out are the HUD website for the state of New York and the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) website. These are both government-run websites.
Property taxes in the state of NY are in the top 5 most expensive, with an average rate of 2.1%. Rates will vary based on what city and county you are in, so take the time to research the specific area you are interested in.
The final word
It’s no secret that buying a home in New York is expensive, and the data backs that up. You can still find some savings, though, depending on the area you buy in and other factors. To decide if buying a home in New York is right for you, you’ll need to weigh the costs versus the benefits of being in one of the most bustling states in the nation.