The 25 best Zip codes for renting to hipsters

November 26, 2013


(NOTE: You may need to zoom in to see them all, as they have a tendency to cluster.)

If you’re looking to rent out rooms, why not rent to fancy coffee-swilling hipsters?

That’s the implication of a recent analysis by RealtyTrac. The real estate data firm put together a list of the 25 best Zip codes for renting to hipsters — a subculture that they argue is good for the local economy.

“Thanks to an influx of trendy restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other amenities, a neighborhood branded as hipster is likely to see property values and rental rates rise while vacancies and foreclosures decline,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist wrote in the introduction to the analysis.

Obviously, the analysis is hardly conclusive. Even the definition of hipster is somewhat elusive. Is it the glasses? If so, does that make Rand Paul and Rick Perry hipsters? Is it the coffee? The attitude? The increasingly mainstream style? Whatever it may be that defines hipster enclaves, RealtyTrac claims to have found 25 where vacancies are low, property values are high and the Girls-watching, cardigan-wearing, esoteric-music-loving population is large.

Brooklyn and San Francisco, the epicenters of hipsterdom, are each of course home to a high-value hipster Zip code. Aside from Brooklyn, five others lie just outside Manhattan. Four are in the greater D.C. area, while Chicago and Minneapolis each claim three rental-friendly hipster Zips.

The analysis is based on places where a renter can count on quick turnover with solid rental returns, according to RealtyTrac. They limited the selection to areas where: those ages 25 to 34 made up at least a fifth of the population; at least a fifth of people walked or took public transit to work; at least half of housing units were occupied by renters; and the vacancy rate was 5 percent or less.

It may just be a playful thought experiment, but Blomquist in his analysis suggests that there may be something to following the hipsters.

“As a nascent hipster market emerges, it can be an extremely appealing target for real estate investors looking to make some quick fix-and-flip profits or to purchase rental properties that provide a steady cash flow and the promise of strong appreciation going forward,” he writes.


Potential hipsters in their natural habitat, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Halloween or Williamsburg)
Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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Reid Wilson | November 26, 2013