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Thread: Minorities and property values (was: You've got to be kidding me!)

  1. #26
    Member Wm.J.Lufred's avatar
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    attitude or circumstance

    Unfortunately I think the co-worker may have been making a true observation rather than simply displaying her ignorance.
    The point she hit on is that in most places there is still a lot of segregation. What she may have been commenting on is the possibility that this area is an area with lower property values, a less affluent area. What she saw as the cause though, may have been the effect.
    In my neighborhood,for example, property values have risen (I could no longer afford to purchase my house if I had to do it today). I've also noticed is that the neighborhood is becoming more white (the neighborhood had a better mix than most in the city all along, but is predominently latin American). Take this to mean whatever you will, but more expensive neighborhoods to the west of mine have a large majority white population--this is in a city that is probably 75% black.
    We can easily write off the co-workers assertion as overt racism (and it pretty much is that), but we can't deny her observation that , in most cases, you can tell something about the state of a neighborhood by those living there.
    Fortunately there are places (particularly in the south) where the trend is being bucked (affluent communities with mostly minority populations). Unfortunately, the sad fact of the matter is that in the U.S. today blacks and other minority groups are still as a whole economically less advantaged than their white counterparts.
    This, topic is interesting, what I'd like to know is how people view this in relation to gentrification. I know that philosophically I have issues with gentrification. On the other hand as a home owner I have to ask myself if I would mind it so much if a Starbucks went up on the main drag in my neighborhood (especially since I fully expect not to live in my present home the rest of my life--I refer of course to resale value).

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Inverse Question - the PC Version

    Why is it that when non-white minorities move into predominantly white neighborhoods, it decreases property values, but when whites move into predominantly non-white minority neighborhoods, it's call gentrification?
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #28
    Member Wm.J.Lufred's avatar
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    It doesn't necessarily decrease property values when non-whites move in. But when a bunch of (more affluent) white people (or maybe more affluent people of any race but it seems to be whites when I see it) start moving into a mostly minority neighborhood it's usually not because they want to be close to good ethnic food.

  4. #29
         
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    Dan- she was moving into North County, specifically Florissant.

    I have met someone who lives especially in an ethnically diverse neighborhood because of its cultural diversity.

    What about stereotypes? I have heard people say that "stereotypes are there for a reason" and that certain actions perpetuate stereotypes. Our social system relies so heavily on the media....what if this stereotype is being perpetuated by the news and sitcoms rather than what is actually taking place? I know that there is alot of misrepresentation in the news and "they show us what they want us to see". I grew up in the ghetto. I NEVER encountered anything that was a result of me being in the slums. In fact, I might even prefer it a bit because I don't have to worry about all those damn restrictions that are in the newer neighborhoods. But that's a whole other issue.... I've never had anything bad happen to me in a bad neighborhood that could change my perceptions...

    (sorry so rambly, in a hurry)

  5. #30
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Originally posted by Wm.J.Lufred
    It doesn't necessarily decrease property values when non-whites move in. But when a bunch of (more affluent) white people (or maybe more affluent people of any race but it seems to be whites when I see it) start moving into a mostly minority neighborhood it's usually not because they want to be close to good ethnic food.
    I definitely think this is much more of a class issue than a race issue nowadays. I've seen minority groups move into neighborhoods (Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians) - South Philly in particular and push property values higher than than what the previous white residents could fetch.

    As far as gentrification goes - I think the hype is mostly the reactionary left who have been complaining about economic segregation for decades and now that the tide is turning they're going to complain about economic desegregation.

    The gentrification bugaboo in Philly right now is in University City. Property values have gone up 300% in 5 years in some cases. The neighborhood is less "white" than it was at the time of the last census. If you're a black guy who has always lived in the neighborhood and you're just getting ready to retire there's no longer any need to worry about your pension.

    This is how middle class people make their money - real estate. In a city where owner occupancy is over 70% there's nothing wrong with people of any color cashing in on their investment. The problem is when (and only when) renters and first time buyers alike run out of housing options. This goes with or without urban gentrification and cities should be doing something to make sure that it's not an issue in the future.

    I think this country has been moving in a european direction for the last 20 years. One where the poor are sandwiched in a ring between the wealthy in the city center and the middle class in the sprawling suburbs. I just think that people are noticing now because it accelerated rapidly in the late 90's and continues today with people shifting their investments from stocks to real estate.

  6. #31

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    Originally posted by jresta
    I think this country has been moving in a european direction for the last 20 years. One where the poor are sandwiched in a ring between the wealthy in the city center and the middle class in the sprawling suburbs. I just think that people are noticing now because it accelerated rapidly in the late 90's and continues today with people shifting their investments from stocks to real estate.
    Bingo. I could not agree more.

    The new housing market in the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods has hardly slowed, and those homes are not built for the middle class. The poor are being pushed to inner-ring suburbs, and the middle class is blazing the sprawl trail.

  7. #32

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    Is this the Patio Man syndrom posted a few months ago?

    The family-oriented, not necessarily "sophisticated" middle class moving to the Riverside Counties, the Dupage counties, etc.

    The posher inner city neighbrohoods and old money suburbs (Lincoln Park, Santa Monica, Bethesda, Maryland) being inhabited by more bohemian, often but not always more affluent families and young.

    The poor get stuck with Hamtranck (sp), Harvey, San Leandro (although with Cali real estate prices, that is even questionable), etc.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    room

    I've got news for some of you people, I'm house hunting right now and may be coming to your neighborhood very soon. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I've got a spare bedroom!

  9. #34

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    Originally posted by BKM

    The posher inner city neighbrohoods and old money suburbs (Lincoln Park, Santa Monica, Bethesda, Maryland) being inhabited by more bohemian, often but not always more affluent families and young
    Don't forget, the bohemians pave the way for the transition of a city neighborhood from downtrodden to posh (see Wicker Park, Greenwich Village, around UPenn's campus, etc.)

  10. #35
    If all neighbors took care of there property, then the values will stay high.
    Exactly!! In my neighborhood there has been a lot of spanish people moving in. The property value is going nowhere near down. I'm unapologetically a cop about the homeowners association rules, so we can keep our neighborhood looking good. We have a lot of work to do and it's going to get done.

    Now, can anyone tell where there are exclusively upper class black neighborhoods? and Hispanic neighborhoods?

  11. #36
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by The Irish one


    Now, can anyone tell where there are exclusively upper class black neighborhoods? and Hispanic neighborhoods?

    Exclusively upper class black neighborhoods = I believe certain neighborhoods on the south side of Atlanta are exclusively upper class black neighborhoods, in fact I recently saw a segment interviewing residents on 20/20 (or one of its competitors).

  12. #37
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    I always forget the name of the town but it's along one of the rail lines in north jersey not too far from Montclair and has been a mostly black UPPER class neighborhood for several decades.

    "Bergenline" or Bergenline Ave. runs through a few towns in NJ directly across the Hudson from Manhattan. It's upper-middle class Cubans mostly with a fair amount of Puerto Ricans. But then again, the boat lift aside, most Cubans coming to the US came from this background.

  13. #38

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    Originally posted by The Irish one
    Now, can anyone tell where there are exclusively upper class black neighborhoods? and Hispanic neighborhoods?
    In the Chicago area, there are several upper-middle class and upper class black neighborhoods in the city and suburbs.

    In Chicago (South Side, near the lake):
    - Pill Hill -- home to many doctors, lawyers and businesspeople
    - Avalon Park -- home to many high-ranking public administrators (principals, city officials, etc.)
    - Jackson Highlands -- same as above; also home to Jesse Jackson

    The above have been upper-middle class havens for blacks for at least 40 years.

    In the suburbs (all south suburbs):
    - Olympia Fields -- home of this week's U.S. Open
    - Country Club Hills
    - Flossmoor
    - Glenwood
    - Lynwood

    Except for Olympia Fields, these places may be losing some of their "exclusivity" but they are nonetheless fairly high-income places.

    These are all areas that, in the 2000 Census, were at least 50% African-American in population, and had median household incomes exceeding $100,000.

  14. #39
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    Here is a very good example. In central Prince Georges County Maryland outside of Washington D.C. in the Lake Arbor, Woodmore, Kettering areas, these areas are predominately highly educated african americans living in gated communities with homes ranging from $350,000 to well over $100,000,000. But the upscale homes of white neighboring Howard, Montgomery and Fairfax Counties are much more expensive. They also have much better retail. Saks, Neimans, Nordstrom, Macy's and so on. No such retail at the african american Landover Mall in Prince Georges County. Now the 1.2 million square foot mall was forced to close for good in 2002. Everyone likes to eat out. I guess the Woodmore/Kettering black folks don't. No nice restaurants either. No matter if your from the Ciprini Green projects of Chicago or the gated communities of Woodmore blacks are treated the same.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Mod Note: Since this thread has apparently drifted off topic, I've split it and moved it to the appropriate forum.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  16. #41
    Member DArchitect's avatar
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    Once said by a classmate of mine about an exclusive golf-course community in our area when I called it . . . well, exclusive and homogeneous.

    "Hampshire Greens is diverse . . . there's a girl Maria who lives there."

    Sheer idiocy, wouldn't you say?

  17. #42
         
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    I would say.

  18. #43

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    I found this article about Levittown, NJ (now called Willingboro) and the impact of racial transition on home value. It makes the point I was trying to make earlier in this thread.

  19. #44
         
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    I just read that article this morning. Very interesting and relevant information for this thread.

  20. #45
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    About Prince George's County:

    The mall that you speak of (PG Plaza) is indeed far from an upscale mall. It's middle-class, has a Gap, Hechts (somewhat of a J.C. Penny's for you west coasters), Target, and a myriad of unknown urban style boutiques. This mall is popular mainly because it is DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE METRO. If any one knows anything about living in the Suburbs (especially the affluent ones) having a subway/train station near town is, on paper, a plus, yet at the same time, it brings people from the city to your area (depending on your view of 'city folk' this could be a good thing or a bad thing). My point is, there are people who live in this county, whom are middle class, and who do shop at this mall...HOWEVER, this doesn't take away from the fact that there is still a very large upper middle class population of african-americans. Chevy Chase, and Bethesda (spelling?) are not too far away, so most people drive down there to get their fix at the ridiculously expensive Neiman Marcus/Bloomingdale's....what would be the point of building another neiman marcus less than 20 minutes apart, just to appease segregation...many of these aa's are assimilationists, and don't mind the commute, so to speak.

    Other than Prince George's county, there is of course, 'The Vineyard' (martha's vineyard), where the Oak's Bluff area has attracted well to do AA for decades.

    Now, blacks are just like anyother group of people in this country. When someone starts making money, the first thing they say is: "I should move to a better neigborhood"...when they make good money, and have children they say: " We should move to a better town...for the kids"...thus you see blacks moving to places like Beverly Hills, Diablo etc. like anyone else...but what you don't see is the fact that there is social interaction between AAs that doesn't involve whites (so a community feeling is identified based on heritage)...AHHH can't get my point across...

    ok, ok... the point is, there are affluent all black neigborhoods especially where there are a lot of blacks...yet, in other places (Pacific NW, California, parts of the midwest) where there aren't too many blacks they find their own streets and immediate neighborhoods. On top of this, these people create a social network that isn't physically translated as it is with whitess (country clubs...not too many majority black ones), who are the majority.

    wow...hope that made sense, probably not...im going to bed.

  21. #46
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by pete-rock View post
    Race or ethnicity doesn't decrease property value. Negative perceptions about race or ethnicity decrease property value.
    More specifically, the fear that people of color as neighbors will decrease the property value is what actually decreases the property values. When the values decrease and the whites flee, poorer people of color move in to replace them and/or the fleeing whites rent out their homes, which become more difficult to sell.

    Take a look at the history of the Mount Airy neighborhood in Philadelphia for an alternative outcome.

  22. #47
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Take a look at the history of the Mount Airy neighborhood in Philadelphia for an alternative outcome.
    Mount Airy is such an exception to the rule...a beautiful neighborhood! The next one over from me.

    The rest of Philly is the text book definition of "White Flight" urband ghettoization.

  23. #48
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    Mount Airy is such an exception to the rule...a beautiful neighborhood! The next one over from me.

    The rest of Philly is the textbook definition of "[w]hite [f]light" urban ghettoization.
    No one said it was extensively replicated. However, it is a great example of what else is possible when a neighborhood begins to transition from white to non-white (besides fleeing whites and tumbling property values).

    Nothing is stopping this model's implementation in other transitioning areas, especially in the Sunbelt where the racial and ethnic composition of neighborhoods is still in flux.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian Wildono's avatar
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    Perceptions are important, and criminal activity and apparent lack of maintenance and investment can work together to decrease investments of community spririt and effort. Ironically, some single professional folks who own homes are shoestrung to make mortgage payments and spread themselves thin with community involvement activities...and spend little time maintaining their homes!

    Why do I believe that I can somehow make arrangements with the soul food restaurant in the neighborhood to harvest the dandelion greens from my huge yard?

  25. #50
    In Chicago the opposite of white flight is occuring. Close in property is in such high demand that high end condos mansions and townhouses are being built directly adjacent to public housing projects.

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