Back to school is officially underway in the New York City area, and as a father of two boys—one in eighth grade and one in fifth grade—the cost of school supplies and fees can be quite lofty this time of year. In fact, year over year, the cost to send your child to school is up for all three schooling levels—elementary, middle and high school—according to the Huntington Backpack Index. The higher the level of education, the higher the year-over-year increases are. Similar to school costs, overall average asking-rent year-over-year increases in the Manhattan office market are higher for the three major markets from south to north. So, let’s compare the grade levels with the Manhattan office markets for the first-ever Stat of the Week Back to School index.
Downtown/Elementary School: Smallest Increase
Parents of elementary school children faced a 1.5 percent increase in supplies and fees this year with an estimated cost per child up to $659. Downtown overall asking rents grew 1.6 percent to $58.84 per square foot year over year. Class B asking rental increase outpaced Class A up 2.5 percent to $50.28 per square foot compared with a 1.2 percent increase to $61.94 per square foot.
Midtown South/Middle School: Middle of the Pack
Although the cost for middle school children at $957 is 45.2 percent higher than elementary school, the increase was similar at 1.6 percent compared to 2015. Midtown South overall average asking rents are up 3.3 percent to $69.95 per square foot compared with one year ago. Class A rents drove this increase, up 9.0 percent to $85.06 per square foot, while Class B rents dropped 2.9 percent to $68.07 per square foot.
Midtown/High School: Largest Increase
The costs for a high school student grew the most since 2015, up 6.8 percent to $1,498 per student. Midtown overall asking rents jumped 4.1 percent over the past year to $79.85 per square foot. Class A edged out Class B with a 4.8 percent increase to $84.92 per square foot, while Class B grew by 4.2 percent to $60.64 per square foot.
As if the costs were not bad enough at the start of the year, I need to spring for a double-graduation party in June when my sons move forward into high school and middle school, so I better start saving. Maybe invest in some Midtown real estate? Hmm…