If you’re looking for the best apartment rentals websites in New York, you’re probably looking to get some great deals on an affordable apartment. While Manhattan does have some cheap neighborhoods, you should also consider the safety and security of a neighborhood before you sign the lease.
While Manhattan is a safe area overall, there are certain neighborhoods with lower rates of violent and property crime. You might notice that the population of these neighborhoods is largely composed of singles, families with young children, and retirees.
Here are our picks for the five safest neighborhoods in Manhattan, and what you can expect in these neighborhoods.
How to Determine If a Neighborhood is Safe
For first-time renters in Manhattan, it is important to get to know the different neighborhoods of the borough. After all, you won’t be able to enjoy the amazing food, entertainment, and shopping opportunities you can find in Manhattan if you’re worried about your safety!
Here are four ways to determine if a potential neighborhood in Manhattan is safe:
Crime mapping services are your friend
Online crime mapping services are fantastic sources of information because they are free, fast, and easy to use. These services work by collating all available police and crime reports in an area so that you can easily check the safety status of a neighborhood. Some of the most popular services include SpotCrime, NeighborhoodScout and AreaVibes. AreaVibes even goes a step further by comparing crime rates between neighborhoods in a city!
Once you have a particular Manhattan neighborhood you wish to check, simply enter the name in the crime mapping database of your choice. You’ll get a detailed list of all the crimes committed in the area, including the date and type of the crime.
Check for vacant rentals in the area
Neighborhoods with a low number of vacant units can be a good sign that residents feel safe enough to lay down roots, resulting in low turnover rates.
Aside from the number of vacant units, you can also check the average length of time that residents stay in a particular neighborhood. If the residents feel safe, they’ll be more inclined to rent long-term.
Pay a personal visit before you move in
While virtual tours are great, nothing beats a personal visit to a potential neighborhood where you’re looking to rent an apartment. The state of the neighborhood will tell you a lot about how safe you will be as a resident. Things such as well-lit and clean streets, and well-maintained buildings are a great sign that the residents have invested in their neighborhood.
Talk with the locals
One of the best ways to get inside information about a certain neighborhood is taking the time to chat with the residents. Generally, residents would be more than happy to give you an overview of what it’s like to live in a certain area. You might even get information that you won’t otherwise get just by looking online.
5 Safest Neighborhoods in Manhattan
- Roosevelt Island
- Battery Park
- Murray Hill
- Kips Bay
In this list, we compiled the five safest neighborhoods in Manhattan based on the overall crime rate, specifically non-violent crimes.
Historically, Roosevelt Island was once a notorious name in NYC. It used to be the site of an insane asylum and a smallpox hospital! Today, however, the neighborhood has undergone a complete transformation. With a violent crime rate of 4 per 1,000 residents, it has become one of the safest neighborhoods in Manhattan.
This neighborhood is literally an oasis in the middle of New York, and is considered as a hidden gem. You can get there either by subway, or if you want something a bit more exciting, try riding the Roosevelt Island Tramway. The island is small enough that everything is walking distance, and you’ll hardly see any cars around. The quiet and idyllic atmosphere make this neighborhood perfect for families and retirees. Students also make up a good portion of the residents, as the Cornell Tech campus can be found there.
Spanning 92 acres at the southernmost area of Manhattan, Battery Park is known for its quiet, calm, and peaceful lifestyle. There are many green spaces and outdoor activities for the residents to enjoy, as well as a beautiful waterfront view of the Hudson. The crime rates in this neighborhood are 45% lower than the national average.
Life in Battery Park feels like worlds away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. It’s not uncommon to see residents lounging on the grass and enjoying the sunny afternoons, even while decked out in office attire! Many of the housing options are either condos or luxury high-rise buildings; you won’t find any walk-ups here.
If you’re going to be a true Manhattanite, then you should know that TriBeCa is short for “Triangle Below Canal”. Known as one of the swankiest neighborhoods in Manhattan, you might run into a celebrity or two while standing in line for coffee or dining out. Some of the famous names that live in Tribeca include Gwyneth Paltrow, Taylor Swift, and Robert De Niro. According to the NYPD, Tribeca’s crime rates have been constantly declining since 1991, with a 50% decrease in major crimes since 2001.
You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining, shopping, and entertainment options in this neighborhood! Enjoy Michelin-starred restaurants such as Sushi Azabu and Bâtard. For a nightcap, get a table at Brandy Library, which features one of the biggest liquor menus in New York. Tribeca also has its share of art and culture, from the quirky Let There Be Neon museum to Off-Off-Broadway Flea Theater.
For a place where the old meets the new, look no further than Murray Hill. This neighborhood, tucked in the east side of Manhattan, is a curious melting pot of historical structures and sleek high-rise condos. Walk along the streets West of Third, and you’ll find a district filled with classic row houses and walk-ups. However, head on over between Third Avenue and the East River, and you’ll see luxury buildings fit for the Manhattan elite. Whether you’re looking for a chic new penthouse or an affordable studio, you’ll enjoy a low crime rate: Murray Hill’s crime rate is 42% below the national average.
Murray Hill has much to offer. For those who love NYC’s history and culture, the Morgan Library & Museum boasts rare books and manuscripts from the personal collection of banker J.P. Morgan. The nightlife and club scene at Murray Hill is also popular with the college crowd, as there is a range of bars and pubs along Third Avenue.
Nestled between Murray Hill and Gramercy, Kips Bay may be a bit less known compared to its neighbors, but the residents certainly aren’t complaining! This sleepy little enclave is highly popular with singles and students because of two things: cheaper rental prices and below average crime rate.
You’ll find a quiet and laid back lifestyle in Kips Bay, as the area is generally known as a residential neighborhood rather than a commercial one. Most of the housing options here are condo buildings and co-ops, although there are a few walk-ups for those looking for affordable housing.
Least Safe Neighborhoods in Manhattan
We have also compiled a list of the least safe neighborhoods in Manhattan based on crime statistics and reviews. Please note that we are not discouraging renters from finding apartments in these areas, we are simply advising them to exercise a little bit of extra caution.
The information was gathered from USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization Online, as well as Housely.com.
While East Harlem is a great place to experience Latin food and culture in NYC, you should be careful when walking around this neighborhood at night. The crime rates are 76% higher than the national average, and you have a 1 in 23 chance of being a victim of crime.
During the day, the Meatpacking District is popular with tourists because of its dining and shopping options. While there is also a thriving nightclub culture, you should still be careful when walking along the streets alone after dark. The non-violent crime rate shows 164 crimes per 1,000 residents.
Choosing Your Neighborhood in Manhattan
While searching for the safest neighborhood in Manhattan might be challenging, there is no reason for you not to find a safe apartment with a little bit of research and due diligence. Overall, Manhattan is a great place that offers so much in terms of food, culture, art, and entertainment!