You may have read recently about the plight of a finance professional who went on record with Bloomberg bemoaning the difficulty of raising his family in New York on $350,000 a year. “I feel stuck,” he said. “The New York that I wanted to have is still just beyond my reach.” Finance writer extraordinaire Felix Salmon takes a deeper dive on the root of the Cobble Hill resident’s issues:
The problem in brownstone Brooklyn isn’t that the middle class is diminishing. In fact, the whole reason why [he] can’t move into the house he wants is that Brooklyn’s middle class is growing, to the point at which demand from middle-class families for comfortable housing significantly exceeds supply. The natural result is stratospheric prices. Wall Street bonuses might be down this year. But there’s still an enormous amount of money in New York — so much money, in fact, that [he] feels unable to buy exactly the house he wants. I don’t think anybody is going to feel sorry for him — but the very fact that he’s in that position is proof that the rich are doing very well for themselves these days.
While we’re not expecting anyone to shed a tear over this guy’s situation either, it is fair to say for someone with kids in private school (a decision Salmon takes a sardonic swipe at) who wants to buy a house in the more expensive parts of Brownstone Brooklyn, $350,000 a year isn’t going to cut it unless he or she has quite a lot of money in the bank already. Of course anyone who makes significantly less than that is going to think the guy is a jerk for complaining, but it’s all relative.
Photo by Jay Woodworth