Home ownership a long shot for many New Yorkers

March 12, 2013 2:07:08 PM PDT
New York City is an amazing place to live and an amazingly expensive one.

It's a city where nearly a third of the population pays more than half their monthly income in rent.

That means families who desperately want to own their own home are losing hope that they'll ever be able to do that.

28-year-old Nona Willis Aronowitz is a true New York City gal, having grown up in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

But, as she contemplates setting down roots and starting a family, the real estate reality has hit with a vengeance.

"I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to own property in the city, it's just too expensive," said Nona Willis Aronowitz, a renter.

Nona is a freelance journalist. Her husband an independent filmmaker.

As careful as they are with their finances, they fear they will never be able to save enough for a down payment, much less find a place they can afford.

"For me this is my home so I can't just go back to Iowa," Willis Aronowitz said.

New York City real estate has never been cheap, but for many young couples now hoping to start a family, it's not even about saving a little bit more, a city home for them is beginning to seem like the impossible dream.

"You're fighting a double edged sword. On one hand, rents continue to climb. As rents get higher and higher it makes it more difficult for them to save money toward the down payment," said Michael Signet, of Bond Real Estate.

According to Trulia.com the price per square foot for a Manhattan apartment has jumped 167.9% in the last year. That plus a shortage in inventory has not been good for first time homebuyers.

For Nona, the only silver lining is that she was able to find an affordable rental in Crown Heights.

But will she ever be able to own and raise her children in the city she loves?

"It is depressing," Willis Aronowitz said.