Follow us:

FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

November 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Bellevue ranked among nation’s top hipster hot spots

Bellevue College in the newly hip 98007 zip code (Photo: KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Bellevue College in the newly hip 98007 ZIP code (Photo: KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Capitol Hill is so five-years-ago. Ballard?  Over.  No, the skinny-jeans crowd has moved on to…Bellevue.

That’s if we’re to believe the real-estate data firm RealtyTrac, which placed Bellevue’s 98007 — home to Bellevue College — among the top-10 up-and-coming hipster ZIP codes in the U.S.

Yes, seriously.

The data crunchers at RealtyTrac went looking for nascent hipster neighborhoods in order to identify the best areas for real-estate investment. Apparently, hipsters are great for property values: “Thanks to an influx of trendy restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other amenities,” RealtyTrac’s news release says, “a neighborhood branded as hipster is likely to see  property values and rental rates rise while vacancies and foreclosures decline.”

RealtyTrac analyzed ZIP-code data to find places with just the right hipster demographic mix. This included a high concentration of folks ages 25 to 34 — the prime hipster years — combined with a high percentage of those who either walk or take public transit to work, because, according to RealtyTrac, “easily walkable, densely populated neighborhoods are another hallmark of hipster culture.”  Also, renters had to outnumber homeowners in the ZIP code, and the vacancy rate had to be low.

Of just 83 ZIP codes in the nation that made the cut, 98007 was one. And when ranked by potential return on rental-property investment, that ZIP code placed tenth.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now, 98007 may very well be a good place to invest in rental properties.   But folks who know the area assure me that Brooklyn’s Williamsburg doesn’t need to watch its back just yet.  The 98007′s underground scene is so far underground, nobody’s actually seen it.  And, frustratingly, there’s still nowhere to play bike polo on 148th Avenue Northeast.

So is 98007 really on the cusp of being the next in-spot — or is RealtyTrac just being ironic (in a hipster way, of course)?

Or maybe this ranking is a good illustration of one of the pitfalls of data analysis.  Bellevue’s 98007 does indeed meet all the demographic criteria that RealtyTrac researchers felt were indicators of hipsterdom.  But maybe their choice of data points was a bit off.

Interestingly, Seattle had another ZIP code in the top 10: Belltown’s 98121 came in ninth, just one place above 98007.

Comments | More in Demographics, Market Research | Topics: Bellevue, real estate, trends

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►