The Top 30 U.S. “Hipster Hotspots” for Profitable Home Flips

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Ah, hipsters.

A hard-to-define term, the word “hipster” generally refers to 20 to 35(ish) year olds who shun the cultural mainstream and strive to live a life built on “unique,” vintage memorabilia and progressive-yet-unconventional beliefs. For whatever reason (although I fall within this demographic, I am still trying to figure out the “hipster” concept myself), no one really wants to be labeled a “hipster” — and yet, love ’em or hate ’em, this cultural phenomenon colors everything from fashion to housing trends.

In an interesting new study, RealtyTrac names the top 30 “hipster zip codes” across the country for profitable home flipping based on the average flipping returns along with demographic data from the U.S. Census.

“Hipsters typically aren’t looking for just any place to live; they are looking for a place that matches their particular vision of what a city, a neighborhood and a home should look, sound, feel, smell and taste like,” said Daren Blomquist, SVP at RealtyTrac. “When they find that vision, they are willing to pay a premium to experience it, which represents a boon for home flippers operating in those areas appealing to the hipster aesthetic — especially given that many of the hipster hot spots are urban core neighborhoods with plenty of older homes in need of major renovation.”

Related: Flipping Levels at an 8 Year High: These 5 U.S. Markets Are Seeing the Highest ROIs

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5 Hipster Home Flipping Hotspot Requirements

In order to be considered a “hipster home flipping hot spot,” markets needed to meet the following requirements:

  1. In 2014, 20 to 34-year-olds accounted for at least 25 percent of the area’s total population.
  2. The area showed an increase of 20 to 34-year-olds from 2013 to 2014.
  3. The share of the population that walked or took public transit to work in 2014 was 20 percent or more.
  4. The zip code saw at least 10 single family homes or condos flipped in 2015.
  5. The flips of 2015 yielded an average gross flipping return on investment of at least 50 percent.

The Top 30 Hipster Markets for Profitable Flips

The following data reflects those U.S. zip codes that not only met the above criteria but that showed the highest percentage of the above factors.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.31.25 AM

via: RealtyTrac; for the full, interactive chart, click here

In addition to the flipping data, RealtyTrac also provided before and after photos of properties in some of the “top hipster flipping” markets, similar to the screenshot below, which you can view by clicking here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.34.39 AM

via: RealtyTrac; click through the full slider here


  • What do you think?
  • Do you try to cater to this demographic?
  • If you’re located in any of the listed areas, have you seen an uptick of 20-somethings buying real estate?

Leave your comments below!

About Author

Allison Leung

A career writer, editor and blogger, Allison serves as the Director of Content for In the past, she has channeled her passion and curiosity for all things real estate into her jobs by working in real estate law and heading a blog about real estate market trends. Don’t ask about her dog, Ace, unless you want to see approximately 500 photos of his (adorable) face.


  1. Shawn kleinz

    I saw number 30 on the list was Upper Darby PA. There is no way that it is a hipster spot. I grew up in the next town over Secane,PA. Upper Darby has a lower age because it is a immigrant hot-spot. Also, it is near West Philly which isn’t the best area. And the demographics of Upper Darby , PA doesn’t fit the stereotypical hipster in the least.

  2. Jacob Pereira

    Wow, this data is a bit too specific to really be of much use, in my opinion, and it appears that the commenters above me agree. A single zip code includes a lot of factors that weren’t considered in this study. The fact that an area may only have 10-20 flips in 2015 but still account for 10% of the total market tells me that it’s just a bit too specific to have validity and accuracy (I happen to be a statistical analyst in my W-2 job).

    I love the methodology and the idea, however. I would love to see this expanded to a city or county level. That, in my opinion, would be much more valuable, and it might also make it so that it’s not almost entirely focused on the North part of the country.

  3. Eric F.

    How do they determine their number of flips? Their website criteria says it is a house sold 2 times in 1 year. 14 in 27601 is insanely low. You can ride down 4 streets in that zip code and see 14 flips in progress right now. It has picked up even more in 2016 so I may be victim of recency bias, but I think I could personally identify more than 14 flips in that zip code in 2015 just looking through my e-mails.

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