Since the median rent for a rent controlled apartment in NYC is roughly $1,020 a month1, there’s no reason for you to buy vs rent if you fall into this category.
Or what if you frugally only pay $1,200 a month for the smallest room in an apartment you share with 3 other roommates?
Perhaps your bedroom is actually a corner of the living room, constructed with temporary walls. This is a common occurrence for young professionals in areas such as Murray Hill or the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In this situation, the total rent for the entire apartment may be $8,000 with your friend in the master bedroom paying $3,000 a month.
Since the 3 bedroom apartment is already priced at market, you won’t have as significant a risk of a big rent increase especially if you’ve got a two year lease. In this example, it may simply make too much sense to continue renting, especially if there is a chance that you may move or leave the city altogether in a few years.