I Love New York.

Home Mortgage Rates in New York

New York State is the fourth most populous state in the country and covers almost 55,000 square miles. The landscape across the state, however, could not be more diverse. New York City is the most-populated city in the United States, and about 60% of New York State's citizens live in the New York City metropolitan area. Most of the state's area, however, lies to the north of New York City. This part of the state includes mountains, rural villages, college towns, and industrial cities.

New York City Skyline.

The New York City Long Island metropolitan area is referred to as Downstate New York, with the rest of the state comprising Upstate New York. Manhattan is just to the west of Long Island and includes some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

NY Rank US Rank Metropolitan Area 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △
1 1 New York-Newark-Jersey City 20,153,634 19,567,410 586,224 3.00%
2 50 Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls 1,132,804 1,135,509 -2,705 -0.24%
3 51 Rochester 1,078,879 1,079,671 -792 -0.07%
4 63 Albany-Schenectady-Troy 881,839 870,716 11,123 1.28%
5 84 Syracuse 656,510 662,577 -6,067 -0.92%
6 164 Utica-Rome 293,803 299,397 -5,594 -1.87%
7 189 Binghamton 244,094 251,725 -7,631 -3.03%
8 236 Kingston 179,225 182,493 -3,268 -1.79%
9 317 Jamestown-Dunkirk-Fredonia 129,504 134,905 -5,401 -4.00%
10 324 Glens Falls 126,367 128,923 -2,556 -1.98%
11 352 Watertown-Fort Drum 114,006 116,229 -2,223 -1.91%
12 354 Ogdensburg-Massena 110,038 111,944 -1,906 -1.70%
13 366 Ithaca 104,871 101,564 3,307 3.26%
14 397 Corning 96,940 98,990 -2,050 -2.07%
15 420 Elmira 86,322 88,830 -2,508 -2.82%
16 441 Plattsburgh 81,073 82,128 -1,055 -1.28%
17 453 Auburn 77,861 80,026 -2,165 -2.71%
18 454 Olean 77,677 80,317 -2,640 -3.29%
19 520 Hudson 60,989 63,096 -2,107 -3.34%
20 527 Oneonta 60,097 62,259 -2,162 -3.47%
21 536 Batavia 58,482 60,079 -1,597 -2.66%
22 564 Gloversville 53,828 55,531 -1,703 -3.07%
23 592 Malone 50,409 51,599 -1,190 -2.31%
24 597 Amsterdam 49,276 50,219 -943 -1.88%
25 609 Cortland 48,070 49,336 -1,266 -2.57%
26 765 Seneca Falls 34,777 35,251 -474 -1.34%

Due to its large size, New York City includes many neighborhoods that have developed their own unique characteristics and have mortgages amongst the highest in the world: including Battery Park, Bedford, Belle Harbor, Carnegie Hill, Central Park, Chelsea, Forest Hill Gardens, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Manhattan Beach, Queens, SoHo and Sutton Place. Sometimes, New York real estate agents might refer to the county the property is located in (i.e. Nassau or Westchester). Here are the population statistics for each of the five boroughs.

Borough 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △ Land mi² Pop Density
New York State 19,745,289 19,378,102 367,187 1.90% 47,126.40 418.99
New York City 8,537,673 8,175.13 362,540 4.40% 302.64 28,210.66
Bronx 1,455,720 13,805,108 70,612 5.10% 42.1 34,577.67
Brooklyn 2,692,150 2,504,700 124,450 5.00% 70.82 38,013.98
Manhattan 1,643,734 1,585,873 57,861 3.60% 22.83 71,998.86
Queens 2,333,054 2,230,722 102,332 4.60% 108.53 21,496.86
Staten Island 476,015 468,730 7,285 1.60% 58.37 8,155.13
NYC as % NY State 43.20% 42.20% 98.70% 0.64219%

Current Real Estate Trends

The median home price is New York State is $303,300. In the last year, the median home price has increased by over 12%, and values are expected to continue increasing at a rate of around 6% annually. Condominiums in New York sell for about $975 per square foot, and single-family homes sell for a median value of $147 per square foot. The median rent list price in New York is $3,200. This large differential in price is due to the fact that rental properties and condominiums dominate the housing market in the New York City metropolitan area.

New York City is the most densely populated city in the United States and has some of the most expensive real estate. The financial services, entertainment, and tourism industries dominate the city's economy. The median sales price in New York City is $1.4 million, and the median rent is $3,900. Penthouse units have sold for over $100 million.

Manhattan Skyline at Night.

Life outside the New York City metropolitan area, however, is considerably more affordable. Four of the next largest cities in New York are Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. Buffalo used to be a large manufacturing city and still maintains one of the largest steel manufacturing facilities in the country. The median home price is around $100,000, and median rents are around $950. Rochester is home to many large, technology firms such as Eastman Kodak and Xerox. The mean home price in Rochester is around $124,000, and median rent is $1,200. Syracuse recently ranked last out of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas in economic growth. Once a thriving manufacturing city, it has become a victim of the decline in American manufacturing. The largest employers are related to Syracuse University. Median home prices have slowly declined over the last five years to $98,000, and the median rent is $1,200. Albany is the state capital of New York. The state government is a large part of Albany's economy, but it has grown to be a part of New York's tech valley in the past few years. The median home price is around $193,000, and the median rent is $1,500.

High Falls in Rochester, New York.

Buffalo and Syracuse are considered two of the most affordable cities in New York. Troy, Elmira, and a few other small towns in the Finger Lakes region also make the list. The cost of living is below the national average in all of these cities, and all of the cities have median home prices under $100,000.

Cohoes, Glens Falls, and Oneonta rank among the fastest growing cities in New York. Cohoes and Glens Falls are both suburbs of Albany that have experienced growth as business activity around Albany increases. Oneonta is a small city that is the home of two colleges.

The Most Populous Cities in New York

According to United States Census estimates as of July 1, 2016 an estimated 19,745,289 people live in the state. Here are the 60 most populous cities, towns & villages.

Rank City County Incorporated Population
1 New York City Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond 1653 8,537,673
2 Buffalo Erie 1832 256,902
3 Rochester Monroe 1834 208,880
4 Yonkers Westchester 1872 200,807
5 Syracuse Onondaga 1848 143,378
6 Albany Albany 1686 98,111
7 New Rochelle Westchester 1889 79,557
8 Mount Vernon Westchester 1892 68,344
9 Schenectady Schenectady 1798 64,913
10 Utica Oneida 1832 60,652
11 White Plains Westchester 1916 58,241
12 Hempstead  Nassau n/a 55,555
13 Troy Rensselaer 1816 49,702
14 Niagara Falls Niagara 1892 48,632
15 Binghamton Broome 1867 45,672
16 Freeport  Nassau 1892 43,279
17 Valley Stream  Nassau 1925 37,673
18 Long Beach Nassau 1922 33,717
19 Spring Valley  Rockland 1902 32,603
20 Rome Oneida 1870 32,415
21 Ithaca Tompkins 1888 30,756
22 North Tonawanda Niagara 1897 30,607
23 Poughkeepsie Dutchess 1854 30,267
24 Jamestown Chautauqua 1886 29,775
25 Port Chester  Westchester 1868 29,524
26 Harrison  Westchester 1788 28,340
27 Newburgh Orange 1865 28,200
28 Elmira Chemung 1864 27,962
29 Saratoga Springs Saratoga 1915 27,763
30 Middletown Orange 1888 27,653
31 Glen Cove Nassau 1918 27,341
32 Lindenhurst  Suffolk 1923 27,074
33 Auburn Cayuga 1848 26,821
34 Watertown Jefferson 1869 25,900
35 Ossining  Westchester n/a 25,360
36 Rockville Centre  Nassau 1893 24,571
37 Peekskill Westchester 1940 24,053
38 Kingston Ulster 1872 23,210
39 Kiryas Joel  Orange n/a 23,094
40 Garden City  Nassau 1919 22,545
41 Lockport Niagara 1865 20,480
42 Plattsburgh Clinton 1902 19,780
43 Lynbrook  Nassau 1911 19,567
44 Mamaroneck  Westchester n/a 19,356
45 Mineola  Nassau 1906 19,245
46 Cortland Cortland 1900 18,795
47 Scarsdale  Westchester 1788 & 1915 17,909
48 Lackawanna Erie 1909 17,868
49 Amsterdam Montgomery 1830 17,858
50 Oswego Oswego 1848 17,599
51 Massapequa Park  Nassau 1931 17,202
52 Cohoes Albany 1869 16,883
53 Rye Westchester 1942 15,980
54 Floral Park  Nassau 1908 15,951
55 Westbury  Nassau 1932 15,384
56 Depew  Erie 1894 15,190
57 Kenmore  Erie 1899 15,143
58 Gloversville Fulton 1890 14,940
59 Tonawanda Erie 1904 14,858
60 Batavia Genesee 1915 14,801

Historical Real Estate Trends

Brooklyn Bridge with a Gotham City Theme.

Real estate trends in New York City dominate the trends reported for the entire state. So, it is important to note that many of the smaller cities and towns in New York State may react differently to local market conditions over time. New York's housing markets are very sensitive to national economic trends. Housing prices were relatively stable during the 1970s, but the economic boom of the 1980s pushed prices up rapidly. Housing prices in New York doubled between 1980 and 1990. Throughout the 1990s, New York's housing market experienced only a small amount of growth until close to the year 2000. Home prices doubled again between 2000 and 2008.

The Impact of the Financial Crisis on New York City

Home prices in New York peaked in the beginning of 2007. Prices continued to decline as the financial crisis deepened and the financial markets struggled to recover. Home prices in New York finally hit their bottom in the middle of 2012 after declining 13%. The impact of the housing crisis on New York home prices was quite small compared to other areas of the country. States like California and Florida experienced drops of over 40% in home values.

It took the housing markets in New York five years to hit their bottom after the all-time high in 2007. Then, it took another five years to recover from the housing crisis. In the second quarter of 2017, home prices in New York exceeded their previous all-time high (2007) for the first time.

Here are some of the reasons NYC real estate market rebounded faster than other areas of the country:

The Big Short & Too Big to Fail are documentaries which capture the essence of the financial crisis & the impact it had on the broader global economy. While big US banks were bailed out during the 2008 / 2009 financial crisis, growing populism may make it hard for them to receive bailouts in future financial crises, particularly as the last one spawned both the Occupy Wall Street & Tea Party movements. If banks are not treated with deference, then NYC real estate may be more volatile in future recessions.

Home Loan Qualification

The 30-year fixed mortgage is the most popular type of mortgage loan in New York. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage and adjustable rate mortgages have also been popular in recent years. FHA mortgages are a popular option for some borrowers, but the FHA loan limit varies throughout the state. The FHA loan limit is as low as $275,655 in most of update New York but rises to $636,150 in the New York City metropolitan area. Mortgage rates in New York tend to be above the national average but still well below the highest rates. VA loans are a popular choice for veterans.

NYC has high real estate prices which can make saving for a down payment difficult. The piggyback loan can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance by covering 80% of the home's value with the first loan, while the second loan helps to pay for part of the down payment. This mortgage is a good way to avoid the standard 20% down payment, which is required by most private banks.

Most private banks give their best rates to borrowers with credit scores above 740, but loans with higher interest rates can be obtained with lower scores. Mortgage underwriters prefer debt-to-income ratios to be below 40%, but other factors are considered on the loan application.

New York Real Estate Laws

In addition to all of the federal assistance programs for homebuyers, New York State has a variety of its own programs designed to help first-time and lower-income homebuyers. The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) administers five mortgage programs. SONYMA received funding for these programs through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.

The Achieving the Dream program offers some of SONYMA's lowest interest rates. The program features a fixed interest rate and is available for the purchase of both one and two-family homes. Achieving the Dream targets first-time and low-income homebuyers who may not otherwise be able to receive financing for a home purchase.

The State of New York has its own mortgage assistance program for military veterans. The Homes For Veterans program provides assistance with a down payment, low interest rate, no points or origination fees, and a 1% minimum borrower cash contribution. Candidates for assistance through the Homes for Veterans program do need to be military veterans but do not have to be first-time homebuyers.

SONYMA has a special loan assistance program for borrowers purchasing homes that require renovation. The Remodel New York program allows borrowers to obtain one loan to finance both the purchase and renovation project costs. Borrowers have to be first-time homebuyers to receive financing through this program. Remodel New York loans have no points or origination fees, low interest rates, and no prepayment penalties. Borrowers are able to have as little as a 3% down payment and can choose either 30-year or 40-year loan maturity.

There is an additional program for first-time homebuyers called the Low Interest Rate loan program. This serves as the standard assistance program in New York for borrowers who meet the income and purchase price restrictions. The Low Interest Rate loan program features low interest rates, low down payment requirements, and no points or origination fees. In addition, these loans offer a special payment protection feature designed to assist borrowers in the event of an accident or temporary job loss.

New York State also features an assistance program that encourages construction of one and two-family homes. The Construction Incentive program provides financing with as little as a 3% down payment. Loans for the Construction Incentive program can only be obtained from one of the select participating lenders throughout the state.

Before a potential buyer submits an offer on a home, the real estate agent must provide a "Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement" to the potential buyer. The document includes all equipment (refrigerator, smoke alarm etc.) included in the house, as well as potential hazards.

In July 2002, New York issued a number of anti-predatory lending laws aimed at protecting buyers - prohibiting the charging of points and fees exceeding 6% of the total principal financed amount and prohibiting the use of single-premium credit insurance for financing.

Further information on state programs can be obtained from the State of New York Mortgage Agency, New York City Housing Development Corporation, and the New York State Housing Finance Agency.


Foreclosure proceedings in New York are accomplished using the judicial foreclosure process. The lender usually initiates foreclosure after two or three months of delinquent payments. Borrower default triggers the acceleration clause, the lender requests full repayment of the loan, and the lender files for foreclosure through the courts. The borrower and lender go before a judge, who decides whether or not to approve the foreclosure request. If the judge upholds the foreclosure, the lender can either hold the property to sell or can sell the property at a foreclosure auction.

It is important to note that New York is what is called a "full recourse" state. This means that the borrower is 100% fully liable for the outstanding mortgage debt. If the lender receives less through the foreclosure and sale of the property than the borrower owed on the mortgage, the lender can take legal action against the borrower for the remaining balance. The lender can seize assets, garnish wages, or obtain a judgment against the borrower until the excess balance gets repaid.

New York is a "Lien Theory" State

While other forms of debt agreements were contingent upon the flow of goods, services or cash streams that could pay for the accruing interest, the mortgage is a real estate contract based on an unconditional promise by the lender to repay the property loan. In return for this absolute debt repayment promise, the prrevious property owner relinquished many rights to the property, contingent on the continued repayment of the mortgage contract. Homeowners could remodel, refurbish and refurnish the property while making mortgage payments.

New York is a "lien theory" state where the property is the security for the loan. The "mortgage" is the contract document that places the lien on the property. As long as the homeowner continues to make payments, the lender cannot foreclose. If the homeowner fails to make payments, then the lender has the legal right to foreclose the property, which means that it will be resold to repay the original mortgage debt.

New York Foreclosure Process

New York is primarily a judicial foreclosure state, where the creditor issues a "Filing Complaint" to begin the foreclosure process with the Supreme Court of the county in which the property is located. The "lis pendens" is a legal document giving public notice that the said property is being foreclosed upon. It can take nearly 445 days to process these legal foreclosure documents. A court must authorize the foreclosure by examining the facts, listening to testimony and issuing a final order specifying the property and all conditions and terms of the foreclosure sale. This court ruling might take from seven to nine months to occur. Once the court ruling is issued, a sale is set for four months thereafter.

One Action to Recover Mortgage Losses

In New York, a lender can initiate only "One Legal Action" to recover the amount due on a mortgage - either 1.) foreclosure, or 2.) suing to collect the debt. If upon resale of the property, the full original loan amount is not recouped, then the "deficiency judgment" is another remedy open to the creditor if there is an "express promise" to fully repay the full loan amount included in the mortgage document. Then, the creditor can file a "Motion for a Deficiency Judgment" within 90 days of the foreclosure sale to attempt to regain the outstanding mortgage value from the debtor.

The "right of redemption" (which is a last moment action by the debtor to repay the entire mortgage debt, including all interest payments) does not exist in New York.