NYMag's Most Livable Neighborhoods List

New York Mag published their “Most Livable Neighborhoods in NY” article today. (Might also be the ‘bloggiest’ article since it’s mentioned in many real estate and neighborhood blogs). The list of 50 neighborhoods are a quantitative index of the 50 most satisfying places to live. However, according to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, the writer of the article, while they were based on “objective statistical dimensions” and “you’ll find that it’s fairly easy to slot any of 15 or so neighborhoods into the top position, and any of 40 or so of the 60 that we evaluated into the top ten.” Data is based on housing cost, housing quality, transit/proximity, crime, schools, green space, food/restaurants, health and wellness, shopping and services, diversity, “creative capital” and nightlife.

So where’s Dumbo? Dumbo is #19 on the list (paired with downtown Brooklyn) and ranked high in shopping and services (#5), creative capital (#1), transit (#11), and housing quality (#12). In the NYMag piece, he writes: “Dumbo supplies the art galleries and waterfront access but is expensive; Downtown Brooklyn provides the stadium-seating multiplex and public-transit hub, but is high in crime and bereft of nightlife. This area received the highest score of any (95 points) in our creative-capital category: People in the arts constitute about 20 percent of its workforce.” Housing quality is defined as “historic districts, code violations, cockroaches” but it’s difficult to quantify that in an urban center where quality can vary from building to building.

Silver writes on his blog that “Not to encourage gentrification, but if I were buying property as an investment right now, I’d look toward places that are cheap relative to those qualities that take the longest time to upgrade or repair — particularly transit lines, and to a lesser extent greenspace and the quality of the housing stock. That might mean places like Long Island City and Sunnyside (Queens), Prospect Heights and DUMBO (Brooklyn), Washington Heights (Manhattan) and perhaps even some portions of the South Bronx near the train.” Not sure if I would characterize Dumbo as an investment as it avoided the real estate bust (prices are still as high as they were in 2008), but with developments in the Brooklyn Bridge Park and downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo may be an investment in the upcoming years. Do you think the article got it right?

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