How Hipsters Help Returns
While hipsters' influence on facial hair and flannel is undisputed and well documented, their sway on rental returns has flown under the radar (on a reclaimed, organic bicycle, of course).
How many zip codes are hipster heavy with strong rental fundamentals? Just 83 around the country, with the top 25 featuring gross rental yields above 4.5%, RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist tells us. The top five include both mustache meccas and dark horses: Saint Paul (13.98% gross rental yield), Pittsburgh (10.84%), Norfolk, Va. (7.96%), Minneapolis (7.76%), and Alexandria, Va. (7.66%). To find these hyper-local markets, Realtytrac used census and real estate data to home in on hipster lifestyle indicators. They focused on markets with at least 20% of the population aged 25-34 (versus 13% nationally); at least 20% of people walking or using public transit (versus 7.7% nationally); at least 50% of the market renting (versus 35% nationally); and 5% vacancy or below, Daren says.
It's important to note that a big influx of this younger generation into a neighborhood can very rapidly increase home values, he says. A good thing if you already own, but dicey if you're getting in late. The best bet for investors would be to find a market still on the fringe, where home prices haven't increased, he says. These are usually adjacent markets getting a lift from neighboring uber-cool 'hoods, teeming with up-and-coming Mumfords and virtually no vacancy. Another trend to note: As hipsters age, have families, and are looking to buy, these same rental opportunities could make profitable condo conversions and sales down the road.