Park Slope Named Only 4th Most Unaffordable; ‘Best Big-City Neighborhood’ in America

Park Slope, BK (Wikipedia)

Park Slope, BK (Wikipedia)

Money magazine posted a slideshow today of the 10 “Best” Big-City Neighborhoods” in America, based on who knows what algorithm. (But if we had to guess from the city bios written by the staff, it has something to do with the crime rate divided by the number of coffeeshops and/or farmers markets per square foot. Also, pre-schools.)

And holy moly, look at that first neighborhood on the list! Why, it’s nowhere but Park Slope! And its contribution to Brooklyn being the second most expensive city in the country, it turns out the Slope is actually less aspirational to live in than three other “best” big-city neighborhoods! Go team!

The listing for Park Slope reads:

Pros: Historic brownstones and proximity to 585-acre Prospect Park make this area a favorite of New Yorkers looking to escape Manhattan shoeboxes. The new Barclays Center arena is a close walk but still removed from the heart of the neighborhood.

Crime rates are akin to those in the suburbs, and transport options include a 40-minute subway ride to Midtown Manhattan. Locals love the award-winning restaurants, food co-op, farmers’ markets, and homegrown bakeries and shops.

“I could go weeks without leaving,” says Nancy Liao, founder of a pet-food business.

Cons: Newbies may struggle to adjust to the lack of big-box retail or supermarkets. And the real estate market is brutal (this is New York City): Homes are the priciest on our list, though still lower than in many areas in Manhattan.

What they don’t mention is how the homes might be the priciest, but the median family income is also the 4th highest on the list, behind only Lakewood, Dallas and Alamo Heights, San Antonio, Willow Glen, San Jose. So when you average it out, the median income/median home value list breaks down like this:
Park Slope = (approximately) 12 %
Silver Lake, LA  =  10 %
Lakeview, Chicago = 22 %
Houston Heights, Houston = 25%
Mount Airy, Philadelphia = 25 %
Windsor Square, Phoenix = 17 %
Alamo Heights, San Antonio = 30 %
Pacific Beach, San Diego = 10 %
Lakewood, Dallas = 30 %
Willow Glen, San Jose = 12%

So yes, if you are a millionaire looking for cheaper housing, Alamo Heights is probably you’re best bet. But then you’d actually have to get in an SUV and drive to get a bag of gluten-free kale chips and recyclable Whole Food bags, which sort of defeats the purpose.

However they don’t mention how big the houses are, so if we’re talking about dollars per square foot per median income, yes, Park Slope is still the worst.