New York is one of the most expensive cities to live in the US, but data show Boston is catching up—here's why

Rendering of exterior of Waterstone at the Circle, an urban independent living community scheduled to open in Boston in January.
Source: Waterstone at the Circle.

New York City is one of the in America, but new data suggests Boston is starting to close the gap.

The median price for a home in the Big Apple is $836,388, according to real-estate website Zillow, with median rent is nearly $3,000. Housing prices in New York are more than three-times the national median home price of $278,900 and almost twice the national median rent of $1,695.

Although prices in Boston don't quite reach those levels, data reveals that the city's increasingly hot neighborhoods are challenging counterparts in New York. Real-estate and analytics firm NeighborhoodX conducted a report that takes a "granular" look at prices per square-foot of certain neighborhoods, and compared Boston with New York.

The figures confirmed NYC remains top dog in terms of pricing, with the up and coming Hudson Yards neighborhood commanding an average asking price of $3,509 per square-foot for new-development condos.

Yet the study also revealed that the second most-expensive neighborhood is in Boston's Seaport District, with asking prices higher than those in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, at $2,019 per square-foot. Other parts of Boston have prices that eclipse some of the Big Apple's priciest residential areas, the report noted.

"The Seaport is the newest neighborhood of Boston, a waterfront neighborhood built on a former industrial waterfront that is now composed entirely of luxury mid-rise condos, according to the report. "It has drawn parallels — for better and worse — to Battery Park City in Manhattan, another neighborhood with only a single housing type, condos."

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The average asking price in the Seaport District is $2,247 per square-foot when the neighborhood is defined to exclude the adjacent neighborhood of Fort Point.

Neighborhood X's analysis restricted its criteria by looking at neighborhoods with boundaries that limit them to new construction, rather than including surrounding older housing stock. 

So it makes sense, then, that asking prices are so high Hudson Yards and in the Seaport District: Both neighborhoods are composed of entirely new developments. That skews average asking prices, "because there is only a single type of property being sold: high-end condominiums," said NeighborhoodX.

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Boston's Downtown Crossing was listed with average asking prices of $1,751 per square foot, slightly more expensive than NYC's upscale haunts of the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Hell's Kitchen/Clinton. Meanwhile, at least seven other Beantown areas were more expensive than New York's Harlem, where prices have also been on an upswing. 

Boston's South End, with asking prices of $1,052 per square-foot, is priced comparably to New York's Harlem/East Harlem at $967 per square foot. And the most affordable neighborhood in Boston, overall, is in East Boston, at $472 per square-foot. That's compared to New York's Inwood, with asking prices at $611 per square-foot.

Of course, housing prices and the cost of living can vary widely based on where you live. But no matter where you fall on the map, and employing can help you save in the long run. Here are to help you get started.

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