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Go Figure: Hipsters Are in Mainstream Markets

Culturally unsheltered and experience-happy, hipsters have massed in markets that meet their preference for “unconventional.” These hubs typically have an array of eateries, a hole-in-the-wall on every corner, and a lively music scene. (You probably never heard of it.)

Hipsters also live, however, in some of the hottest housing markets in the nation, according to recent research by realtor.com® and Yelp—markets with mainstream appeal, and demand to match.

“Although their opinions about their music and fashion may be out of the norm, when it comes to real estate, hipsters have a knack for getting it right,” says Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research for realtor.com. “Based on our research, there’s clear evidence that hipster popularity in markets like Austin, Texas, has led to mainstream interest and higher home prices over time. Whether it’s the farm-to-table restaurants or urban renewal projects that were already underway, a concentration of hipsters seems to be an indicator of a hot housing market.”

The No. 1 hipster housing market, the research reveals, is Columbus, Ohio—43202, or the Clintonville community, specifically. The neighborhood in the capital of The Buckeye State has brick and mortars that cater to hipsters in excess, with many businesses outside the norm or “underground.”

“Yelpers are great at identifying up-and-coming areas and businesses, which allows us to predict trends as well as uncover detailed data on what’s happening in local economies right now,” says Carl Bialik, data editor at Yelp. “While ‘hipster’ is something of a cliché, it turns out to be a useful term to uncover the types of businesses and attributes we often associate with ‘cool’ hunters, such as visually appealing interiors and less touristy parts of town.”

Hipsters, still, are mostly out West: in California, as well as Seattle (the original hipster hub), the research shows. The Haight in San Francisco (94117), Long Beach (90814) and North Park in San Diego (92104) all rank highly for hipsters, as well as Capitol Hill in Seattle (98122) and Colorado Springs in Colorado (80903).

Across the top 10 hipster markets, millennials comprise an average 22 percent of the population, and millennial realtor.com searches for homes are 1.2 times more than the existing millennial population, suggesting demand in the segment. Homes sell in an average 30 days, and unemployment is between 2.7 and 4.6 percent.

The complete top 10:

  1. Columbus, Ohio (43202)
  1. Seattle, Wash. (98122)
  1. San Diego, Calif. (92104)
  1. Fort Wayne, Ind. (46802)
  1. Rochester, N.Y. (14620)
  1. San Francisco, Calif. (94117)
  1. Long Beach, Calif. (90814)
  1. Louisville, Ky. (40217)
  1. Grand Rapids, Mich. (49506)
  1. Colorado Springs, Colo. (80903)

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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