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The top 20 markets for flipping homes to hipsters

RealtyTrac sees gold in popular trend

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Ready your finger mustaches, your ironic t-shirts, your summer-weather scarves and your opportunity-limiting sleeve and neck tattoos – it’s time to market to hipsters.

There’s not enough Pabst Blue Ribbon in all the West to make us want to dive into the hipster hot tub, but these are Millennials who will, presumably, be growing up one day, and turning 20-somethings into home buyers is something HousingWire has addressed before.

But now comes RealtyTrac, doing the dirty work of diving into the hipster tribe like Dian Fossey among the mountain gorillas.

This is just too good for us to pass up, so we pass along to you the guide to marketing homes to hipsters. (To read the full RealtyTrac report, click here.)

Hipsters have been accused of holding back a more robust housing recovery because of their low homeownership rates and lackluster household formation.

Certainly there is data to back this up: the U.S. Census bureau shows homeownership rates for hipsters (our term, not theirs) — comprised of those aged 25 to 34 — was at 41% in 2012. That is well off the average hipster homeownership rate of 46% from 1982 to present, and it’s certainly below the high of more than 49% in 2004.

The hipster homeownership rate has been below the long-term average since 2009, and the deficit in hipster homeowners because of that below-average period stands at approximately 2 million.

Why are hipsters not becoming homeowners? In part because many are living with their parents longer rather than forming their own households, according to analyses of Census bureau data by PewResearchCenter focusing on Millennials — a demographic heavy with hipsters.

But while others may like to look at the glass as half empty, opportunistic real estate investors might very well see the glass as half full. As the Great Recession fades further into the rearview mirror, these hipsters will likely gain the confidence — and the jobs — to buy a home of their own.

The low hipster homeownership rate of the past five years translates into a market of potentially millions of first-time homebuyers looking to find a home that matches their budget and fits into their hipster lifestyle. Real estate investors who want to tap into that trend should start with location: finding homes in communities with a heavy hipster demographic, and that are affordable for that demographic.

"We continue to see low housing inventory in the D.C. metropolitan area, making homes that have been flipped more attractive to potential home buyers,” said Charlie Bengel, Jr., CEO of RE/MAX Allegiance, covering the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. areas. “By purchasing a flipped home, they are able to get into a home that feels new while still being in an established neighborhood."

To see the top 20 markets for flipping homes to hipsters, click below.

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