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What is Hip?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 13, 2007

That’s a question the Tower of Power asked in their funky 1973 hit single by the same name. It’s one revists in a new product launched today called Find A Neighbordhood. There’s a tutorial about the new product available on

You can link to the actual site here: has collected photos and demographic info on over 50,000 neighborhoods in 34 major metropolitan areas. There’s a wealth of data available. Average home prices, square footage, age of the homes, weather, average income and, of course, links to homes for sale with agent information.

The company has also incorporated search criteria—what it calls “dynamic search sliders” to screen for neighborhoods with more family friendliness and a “hip factor,” determined by things such as the resident’s median age and proximity to nightlife.

The site describes Koreatown, the Los Angeles neighborhood I recently moved from, as low in family friendliness and high in hipness. I can’t say I disagree. The site classifies the neighborhood under a rubric called “Big City Blues.” It goes on to say: “With a population that’s 50 percent Latino, Big City Blues has the highest concentration of Hispanic Americans in the nation. But it’s also the multi-ethnic address for downscale Asian and African-American households occupying older inner-city apartments. Concentrated in a handful of major metros, these young singles and single-parent families face enormous challenges: low incomes, uncertain jobs and modest educations. More than 40 percent haven’t finished high school.”

Give the Realtors credit for being honest. Although I imagine my former neighbors might object to being called downscale.



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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