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5 Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan to Live in 2019

From Broadway to Wall Street, Manhattan is larger than life and packed full of iconic institutions. Picking only five neighborhoods from the island wasn’t easy, but here are our picks.
From Broadway to Wall Street, Manhattan is larger than life and packed full of iconic institutions. Picking only five neighborhoods from the island wasn’t easy, but here are our picks.

So many things in life are disappointing, but moving to Manhattan is not one of them. From the iconic Empire State Building to the glamour of Soho to the world-class green space of Central Park, Manhattan's everything you always imagined it to be, and more.

There aren't any bad Manhattan neighborhoods to live in (although the sounds of Times Square might not be the best way to wake up every morning). But among all the great choices, there are some that are the best of the best.

East Village

Granted, the former stomping grounds of Madonna, Basquiat, and many other luminaries of New York's glory days has lost some of its former cool quotient. But it’s still one of the very best places to live in Manhattan. There are world-class restaurants, dive bars, and specialty boutiques packed onto every block, and Tompkins Square Park gives you a break from the concrete jungle and priceless people-watching.

The East Village also offers a significant number of celebrity sightings per block even by Manhattan standards. Keep in mind, though, that nothing is more frowned upon in Manhattan than acknowledging the presence of famous people.

In the East Village, the median home value is a reasonable $400,506, but median rent is $1,592, and 87% of residents rent rather than buy.

Hell’s Kitchen

It's hard to believe that you could still find a good deal in an up-and-coming neighborhood in the heart of Manhattan, but that's exactly what Hell's Kitchen offers. Located on the west side of Midtown, from roughly 34th to 59th, the area was long overlooked as a fringe neighborhood.

But starting in the past decade, it's developed at such a rapid pace that it's experienced the ultimate hallmark of gentrification: a name change. Worried that the original name's sinister undertones might scare off luxury buyers, real estate agents have been calling the neighborhood “Clinton.” But to true New Yorkers, it'll always be Hell's Kitchen.

The median home value in Hell's Kitchen is $574,324, the median rent is $2,040, and 90% of neighborhood residents rent instead of buy. The recent completion of the $20 billion Hudson Yards megadevelopment on the neighborhood's southwestern border will only continue to accelerate the Manhattan neighborhood’s revitalization.

Chelsea

Chelsea boasts something for everyone: Chelsea Piers is a five-star entertainment venue, the High Line is one of the coolest parks in the world, and some of the top art galleries in the world are there. It's one of the most culturally liberal neighborhoods in Manhattan, and has some of the best nightlife and dining in the city, with a blend of downtown edginess and uptown swankiness.

Most of the housing here is in post-war walkups, though there are also many luxury warehouse-style lofts. According to the latest statistics, the median home value in Chelsea is $883,503, the median rent is $2,074, and 71% of residents rent.

Soho

If you had a friend visiting New York for the first time, and they could only visit one neighborhood, direct them to Soho. From the bustle of Broadway to the cobblestone side streets to the cavernous warehouse lofts that have been converted to the pieds-a-terre of billionaires, Soho incorporates so much of what makes Manhattan wonderful. And, yes, a little maddening.

But even if you think it was better in the days of Warhol, you can't deny the neighborhood has off-the-charts levels of old world charm, coupled with amazing coffee shops, and the best shopping on the east coast, and maybe in the entire country.

All this glamour is reflected in the median home value of $1,317,210, and the median rent of $2,222. According to the latest numbers, 64% of residents rent.

Battery Park City

Often overlooked for the more glamorous neighborhoods to the north and east, Battery Park City offers a stellar quality of life in a prime location. Battery Park City actually used to be a waterfront shipping area before it was turned into a 92-acre planned community.

But while the term “planned community” can conjure visions of sprawling, but unsuccessful projects, Battery Park City is a planned community that did it right. With many quiet plazas, waterfront parks and boardwalks, and neat streets, this neighborhood is perfect for anyone looking for an oasis of small-town peace and quiet in the big city.

The high demand for housing in Battery Park City is apparent in the $1,143,983 median home value, and the $3,084 median rent. Eighty percent of residents here rent rather than own.

Whichever Manhattan neighbor speaks to you, your best course of action is to partner with an experienced local agent. A great agent will know the New York market’s fluctuations and idiosyncrasies while helping you find your dream home, no matter your budget.

Clever Partner Agents are elite performers in their respective markets, and come from top brands and brokerages. Whether you’re looking for a penthouse in Soho or a loft in the East Village, a Partner Agent will guide you through every step of the process, from your property search all the way through closing the deal. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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