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Why New Yorkers Pay the Highest ‘Singles Tax’ in the US

By Paulina Cachero

 It’s expensive to be single in New York City.

While the unattached may save on the costs of an expensive Valentine’s Day date, they’re paying a much higher “singles tax” to live by themselves, according to real estate firm Zillow. New York renters living alone in one-bedroom apartments are forking over $19,500 more a year than couples who live together, Zillow data show. In Manhattan, the annual singles tax rises to a whopping $24,000. 

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava:

Zillow’s singles tax is based on how much a renter living alone will have to pay each year for a median one-bedroom apartment, compared to those splitting rent on the same unit with a partner.

Between them, partners who live together in one of the most expensive cities in the world will save an average of $39,000 a year.

Singles with a one-bedroom all to themselves in California’s pricey Bay Area also pay a significant premium. Those in San Francisco face a singles tax of $14,114, the second highest of any city, followed by San Jose at $12,401.

While living alone allows renters to live as they please, “all that freedom comes with a cost,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert.

“Even though rent prices are starting to cool, they are still significantly higher than they were a year ago,” Pendleton said. “Renters considering going solo this year must decide how valuable living alone is to them, and if the cost is worth it.”

Nationally, singles pay nearly $7,000 extra per year for a median one-bedroom apartment.

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