Silly news rabbits, RealtyTrac's 'Hipster ZIPs' report is for investors

The premier event for luxury agents and brokers
Luxury Connect | Oct. 16-18 | Beverly Hills

Writing for MainStreet, Robert McGarvey has written a lengthy piece puzzling over the neighborhoods singled out in RealtyTrac’s recent report, “Top 25 hipster ZIPs for returns on rental properties.”

Writing from New York City, McGarvey can’t believe that Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood — the undisputed capital of hipsterdom — didn’t make the list. Nor is there a single mention of Boston, Los Angeles or Portland, Ore.

McGarvey points out a number of “oddities” on the list — the inclusion of East Rutherford, N.J., sixth on the list, prompted the local newspaper, The Star Ledger, to complain that “East Rutherford doesn’t look like a hipster town. There’s no trendy café serving artisan doughnuts and witty reparte, no bicycle repair shop.”

He gets a great quote from Jonathan Fischer, managing editor of the Washington City Paper, asking him if he’s surprised that Alexandria, Va., made the list.

“No,” Fischer snarls. “Nothing surprises about the overuse of the word ‘hipster’ to the point of meaninglessness, nor does anything surprise me about these Realtor rankings, each of which is somehow even less meaningful than the last.”

But as the title of RealtyTrac’s report makes clear, it’s intended “to identify established and emergent hyperlocal hipster markets where investors can realize solid returns on rental properties.”

The report takes into account the population of 25- to 34-year-olds, the percentage who walk or take public transit to work, the percentage who rent, the rental vacancy rate, the average rent for a three-bedroom home, and median price.

But the ZIP codes on the list are ranked by “gross rent yield percent” — not a factor your typical 20-something spends a lot of time thinking about when deciding where to live.

As RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist, the author of the report, tells McGarvey, “This is not a list of where the hip live.”

But of course, an editor at MainStreet’s has slapped this headline on McGarvey’s piece: “The Most Hipster Zip Codes in America.”  Source: mainstreet.com