What old sitcoms reveal about America’s rising cost of housing

As millions of Americans stream “Sex and the City” and other old sitcoms, warm nostalgia has been accompanied by a cold dose of skepticism about the characters’ apartments and houses.

Were they paying far beyond their means, or are we judging with a 2020s perspective?

As it turns out, Carrie Bradshaw’s life on “Sex and the City” wasn’t quite as unrealistic as you might think.

Sure, there’s no way she could have afforded routine purchases of Manolo Blahnik shoes and designer dresses on her estimated ~$60k-$70k salary as a freelance New York City magazine columnist.

But her ability to afford her apartment, a West Village alcove studio, wasn’t so far-fetched in the late ‘90s.

For our latest feature, we analyzed the salaries and living situations of several famous sitcom characters over the past few decades as a lens on today’s housing market.

What we found is that not every sitcom was a fantasy. But with many young people priced out of cities, and average families unable to buy homes, it just feels that way today.

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