Photo: Robert Clark
There are many signals that a neighborhood may be gentrifying, but drastic changes in a neighborhood’s income level, home values and education levels of its residents can be sure-fire signs of gentrification.
And while gentrification is occurring in many neighborhoods nationwide, seven New York City zip codes are among the most rapidly gentrifying in the country, according to a new report released by the listing site RentCafe.
To pinpoint the areas that have been most affected by gentrification, RentCafe compared the 2000 Census to the 2016 American Community Survey, looking for significant changes recorded in some 11,000 zip codes over the course of 16 years.
RentCafe analyzed three main factors to determine the scope of gentrification — median home values, median household income, and the share of residents that hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher).
According to the report, two Manhattan zip codes and five Brooklyn zip codes have seen huge demographic shifts over the last 16 years that are consistent with gentrification.
Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood claimed the 5th and 15th positions on the top 20 list. The 10039 zip code, which covers North Harlem, recorded a 356 percent increase in home values since 2000 — the third-largest spike of all the zip codes included in the study.
Additionally, the share of residents with “at least a bachelor’s degree” rose 168 percent over 16 years, the eighth-largest increase recorded in the study.
Harlem’s 10026 zip code ranked 15th.
Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood (zip code 11211) recorded the borough’s most dramatic changes, ranking 7th on the top 20.
Over the 16-year period of the study, the median home value in Williamsburg rose 167 percent, while household income has grown by nearly 80 percent. The share of Williamsburg residents with “at least a bachelor’s degree” grew by 95 percent over the same period.
The gentrification of Williamsburg began with the rezoning of the area in 2005, which spurred massive growth in the neighborhood. Williamsburg’s gentrification has made it one of the hottest neighborhoods in New York City, with home prices to match.
Greenpoint, Williamsburg’s neighbor, ranked 9th on the list.
The other NYC neighborhoods recording high levels of gentrification were: Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights (11216), which ranked 10th, and Bushwick (11237 and 11211), which ranked 14th and 17th, respectively.
Gentrification is a often a mixed bag. Long-time residents may be forced out of their homes and neighborhoods as a result of rising costs once these areas become “desirable” to outsiders with greater economic means. Reduction in crime rates, investment in urban development, and increased economic opportunity are often the chief ingredients that revitalize poor and working-class neighborhoods.
“Whole communities can be displaced,” says David Fiorenza, an urban economics professor at Villanova University. “But people [also] can benefit from it, because home values and business values go up… and eventually, there will be more jobs and better schools.”
Click here to read the entire report.