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Queens hipster neighborhoods lucrative for landlords

Right across the street from the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, where Maria Fiore shows off one of the vintage hats she has for sale, Astoria's 11102 ZIP code spells fat profit margins for landlords renting to hipsters.
TimesLedger Newspapers

While Brooklyn hipsters are increasingly paying Manhattan-like rents for their lofts, luxury apartments and luxury lofts, landlords looking to make a tidy profit on the skinny-jeans set need look no further than Queens.

A new study shows two trendy Queens ZIP codes, one in Sunnyside and another in Astoria, beat out just one in Brooklyn on a list of 25 cash cows across the country where investors can get the highest yields on rentals.

“While the precise definition of hipsters is elusive — which is likely just how they want it — there’s no doubt the culture surrounding the hipster lifestyle has a major impact on local real estate markets, and mostly in a positive way,” according to the special report by the industry research firm RealtyTrac. “As a nascent hipster market emerges, it can be an extremely appealing target for real estate investors looking to make some quick fix-and-flip profits or to purchase rental properties that provide a steady cash flow and the promise of strong appreciation going forward.”

The study defined a hipster neighborhood as one where at least 20 percent of the population is between the ages of 25 and 34 and at least 20 percent of residents either walked or took public transportation to work. RealtyTrac narrowed the list to ZIP codes where at least 50 percent of people rented and where vacancy rates were 5 percent or lower.

Sunnyside’s 11104 ZIP code, stretching east from 39th Street to 42nd Street, Greenpoint Avenue and 49th Street, was the five boroughs’ highest showing on the list, placing 12th. Home to popular eatery Salt and Fat and the neighborhood favorite Molly Bloom bar, 11104 boasts average rents of $1,870 a month for a three-bedroom apartment and median property prices around $380,050. Investors can look forward to a 5.9 percent gross yield on their rental properties, according to the report.

Not far behind at No. 14 on the list is Astoria’s trendy 11102 ZIP code, which stretches roughly from 33rd Street to the East River between 31st and 24th avenues. Higher average rents of $2,600 a month and median home prices of $435,000 in the neighborhood across the street from the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden offer a gross yield of 5.69 percent.

Brooklyn’s 11232 came in just behind Astoria with a yield of 5.66 percent. It covers parts of Sunset Park and Sunset Park West.

Topping the list were ZIP codes in Saint Paul, Minn., and Pittsburgh, where yields reached higher than 10 percent.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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Reader Feedback

susan from queens says:
Rents and houses are too damn expensive in nyc....this city sucks!
Nov. 29, 2013, 4:59 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Come on out to Jamaica, it is a hell of a lot cheaper than Long Island City and Astoria, and you can get much more room here.
Dec. 1, 2013, 9:11 am
Joe from Queens says:
Jamaica is boring. It's all homes and no cafes, no cuisine from around the world in walking distance,plus you need car. might as well move to LI
Dec. 3, 2013, 2:29 pm
Native from Queens says:
I have lived in Sunnyside a long time and you cannot get a 3 br in sunnyside for 1850. A 2br in a decent starts at 2400 in any half decent building. The median property price is also skewed because 90% of the inventory is 1 br co-ops and the remaining 10% are 2-3 family homes which are 750-950k so the median is way off.
Dec. 3, 2013, 6:28 pm
VLM from NYC says:
"The study defined a hipster neighborhood as one where at least 20 percent of the population is between the ages of 25 and 34 and at least 20 percent of residents either walked or took public transportation to work"

This is flat-out terrible crap, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Dec. 5, 2013, 1:19 pm

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