There is Now a Literal Map of Brooklyn’s Gentrification

Because sometimes it’s fun to actually have hard data behind the things we believe to be true, Property Shark has created a detailed, neighborhood-by-neighborhood map of property values (and thus, gentrification patterns) in Brooklyn. The results, while largely what you’d probably already guessed, are nonetheless pretty staggering.

As Atlantic Cities points out, property values are spiking pretty much where you’d expect them to — Gowanus and Prospects Lefferts Gardens are in higher demand, and ridiculous fucking Williamsburg is now a ridiculous fucking 174 percent more expensive than it was less than a decade ago. Which is totally preposterous, and certainly scary for anyone looking to move to or just not get priced out of these neighborhoods, but again, pretty much what we all knew was going on in the first place.

What’s a bit more startling is just how uneven this pattern really is, given that prices in the actual majority of the borough, and particularly neighborhoods like Brownsville and East Flatbush, are remaining largely stagnant and even dropping.

Click through to Property Shark for an enlarged, interactive reminder of the fact that you might not be able to afford your apartment that much longer. That, and that any given trend piece talking about say, the “Brooklyn Look,” is referring to probably less than a third of this enormous place we live in.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


  1. As a “born and bred” Brooklynite I find it hysterical that most of the the angry articles about gentrification are written by the gentrifyers themselves.

  2. As a “born and bred” Brooklynite I find it hysterical that most of the the angry articles about gentrification are written by the gentrifyers themselves.

  3. @Jennifer Would you really call this particularly angry? I don’t think it’s incongruous to want to live in a place without thinking it’s appropriate or necessary for developers to quadruple rents…

  4. The reason Willliamsburg and Gowanus look like they’ve gone off the charts is because of rezonings that have driven new high-end development with greater density. A better way to assess gentrification is by looking at change in income between 2000 and 2010 by census tract.

  5. Thank God there is still born and bred Brooklyn people like my self still around^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^… We are a dieing breed

  6. With all due respect I dispute the notion that this somehow confirms what everyone knew all along. The recent and rising passion in reporting on gentrification is a shift from previous periods, all the way up to 2010, of people denying gentrification was even happening whenever “gentrification” was associated with “displacement.” It’s previous power generated from falsely associating “gentrification” with “development.” It was not until right after preliminary US Census totals were being released that an authority like Sam Ruben over at the NY Times LITERALLY used the word “gentrification” with “Williamsburg” in terms of the displacement of the Hispanic community FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN THE NY TIMES’ REPORTING HISTORY. Get it? THE VERY FIRST TIME. The so-called “Paper of Record.” And yet, “we” “have known all along.”

    Previously, the word “gentrification” was rarely associated with “Williamsburg” except when written in highly subjective accounts; the journalistic quality of these reports were contaminated by the fact they were usually penned by agents of gentrification commenting on a process they were inextricably linked to. Too many people drinking at the bars and socializing the sum total of their lives in tavern economy writing about how “tavern economy” was possibly the greatest human achievement of all time. Understand?

    As to “surprise,” let me tell you something: it is BITTERSWEET to read in a venue such as this one any person writing “oh, this just confirmed what we knew all along.” The many features, tropes, motifs, qualities and attributes of “gentrification” we speak about with a confidence that almost rings of arrogance, as if looking at things and saying they are the exact opposite of what they are was not a common feature of this venue and the many other venues that comprise “new media,” as if gentrification was not CELEBRATED on this venue and similar others–all these things we claim we knew all along are only now in the recent coming into consciousness. I guess it must be one of those “hipster controversies” that wrack people about “what it means to be a hipster” to say “I knew it all along” when one knows nothing at all. To be fair, the L Magazine has been by far the best, most introspective, most provocative and most meaningful of the reporting on not just “gentrification” [rarely reported] but what it means to be “gentrified” [never reported]. But there must be more.

  7. The whole concept of gentrification is flawed. Poor, hard-working, noncriminal people are always going to find themselves living among less savory types in the cheap areas where people with more money don’t want to live and city services are bad. Unconventional types are always going to take lower paying jobs, be more tolerant of poor people, and be willing to pay the price of living in unsavory areas. Unconventional types who grew up in more “middle-class” environments are always eventually going to start demanding better services and creating attractions. Less conventional types are always going to find unconventional types less boring than themselves, follow them to these areas, and demand even more cops, etc. Nothing about this changes the resources of the original, non-criminal poor people – who get displaced.

    There are only two ways to change this – and no particular societal will to do either: more support for poor people so they don’t have to live in “bad” areas and more options for unconventional types (artists’ grants, etc.) so they don’t have to move into the poor sections of town.


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