In case you need further evidence that the term "hipster" is now totally meaningless: A real estate data firm put together a report for landlords outlining the 25 best zip codes for renting to hipsters. According to the report, by RealtyTrac, hipsters make hot tenants these days.
To determine America's best hipster havens, RealtyTrac looked for neighborhoods where 1) people ages 25 to 34 made up at least 20 percent of residents, 2) at least 20 percent of residents walked or took public transit to work, 3) at least half of housing units were occupied by renters, and 4) the rental vacancy rate was 5 percent or less. Now, these sounds more like "walkable communities with a young-ish population and lots of rental housing" than "hipster neighborhoods," but why quibble? The former does have a nicer ring to it.
After culling its data, the agency filtered its results, zeroing in on zip codes where property owners could make the most money charging fair market rents. So, without, further ado, let's take a look at these allegedly hipster hoods.
City / Zip Code / Neighborhood*
1. Saint Paul, Minn. // Zip: 55101 - Downtown/Lowerton
2. Pittsburgh, Penn. // Zip: 15203 - South Side Slopes
3. Norfolk, Va. // Zip: 23510
4. Minneapolis, Minn. // Zip: 55401 - Downtown
5. Alexandria, Va. // Zip: 22304 - Lincolnia
6. East Rutherford, NJ // Zip: 07073
7. Arlington, Va. // Zip: 22203 - Buckingham
8. Iowa City, Iowa // Zip: 52246 - University Heights, University of Iowa campus
9. Seattle, Wash. // Zip: 98121 - Belltown
10. Bellevue, Wash. // Zip: 98007 - West Lake Hills
11. Minneapolis // Zip: 55408 - Whittier, Uptown, Lowry Hill East, Carag, Lyndale
12. Long Island City, NY // Zip: 11104 - Sunnyside (Queens)
13. Hoboken, NJ // Zip: 07030
14. Queens, NY // Zip: 11102 - Astoria
15. Brooklyn, NY // Zip: 11232 - Sunset Park
16. Silver Spring, Md. // Zip: 20910 - Woodside
17. Chicago, Il. // Zip: 60625 - Albany Park/Lincoln Square
18. Madison, Wisc. // Zip: 53703 - Marquette
19. San Francisco, Calif. // Zip: 94107 - Potrero Hill/Dogpatch
20. Minneapolis // Zip: 55405 - Bryn-Mawr/Sumner-Glenwood
21. Denver, Co. // Zip: 80218 - Capitol Hill/City Park West
22. Queens, NY // Zip: 11377 - Woodside
23. Arlington // Zip: 22201 - Courthouse/Clarendon/Virginia Square/Maywood
24. Chicago // Zip: 60647 - Logan Square/Bucktown
25. Chicago // Zip: 60642 - West Town
Apparently, Minnesota is the most hipster state in the U.S. And Sunset Park has beaten Williamsburg and Bushwick in the race to become the most hipster neighborhood in Brooklyn. As one Washington Post commenter wrote, RealtyTrac seems to have "confused hipster with yuppie. There's no way Clarendon, which is the epicenter of southern frat culture in DC, has any but the least shred of hipster anything." I lived in Clarendon for a horrible three months, and I can attest to that. Walkable? Very. Young? Relatively. Hip? Not at all.
But perhaps the actual character of these neighborhoods is besides the point. Instead, it's all about scoring the label. “A neighborhood branded as hipster is likely to see property values and rental rates rise while vacancies and foreclosures decline,” notes RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist. Hipsters are the new gays, y'all!
* The report lists only zip codes — neighborhood names were determined by entering the zip codes into Google Maps.