There’s plenty of day-to-day hysteria about skyrocketing New York real estate prices, and deservedly so. It’s getting close to impossible for the majority of people to carve out a place for themselves in most Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. But not all of them.
It shouldn’t necessarily come as a huge surprise (we did just elect a mayor based largely on a slogan about “A Tale of Two Cities”), but there are still some neighborhoods where prices aren’t just stagnant, but are actually dropping. Data analyst Chris Walker has gone ahead and mapped the difference, creating a color-coded neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to shifting property prices between 2008 and 2012. Predictably, neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Chelsea show huge upswings (Williamsburg’s real estate values went up around 175%), but neighborhoods like East New York, New Lots, Canarsie, Central Brooklyn, and Flatlands have all gone down in value.
Walker points out on his blog that “Queens and working-class neighborhoods in Brooklyn were hit hard by the recession, and the foreclosure rate is high in the red areas,” much of which encompass an area the Times has referred to as the “foreclosure belt,” which “stretches across the heart of black homeownership in this city.”
Interestingly, the map also shows property values in Bushwick dipping slightly (you have to wonder how this would change if data from the past year were included), but generally the speaking, Walker’s point is a clear one: while some neighborhoods are being gutted of the middle class (or “yuppies,” as Walker likes to say) by an expensive, booming housing market, others are being gutted altogether by a still-struggling one.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.