Creative Types No Longer Have To Compete With The Super-Rich For Prized Real Estate

While the rich park their cash in empty condos, creatives are being squeezed into different neighborhoods and cities.

By Jeff Vasishta June 12, 2017

There was a time when a bank or even a personal residence was where many people accrued their wealth. Perhaps the very wealthy had a second vacation home. These days, though, the ultra rich collect “investment” property valued in the multi millions around the world as if they were adding to their stamp collections. London, LA, New York, Paris—these condos are dotted around the globe’s glamor spots, sitting empty most of the year, appreciating in value. It’s a relatively new phenomenon, to see brand new gleaming towers lie dark and vacant at night, their owners, half way around the world. Many would argue it’s depleting the character of once thriving bustling cities, stripping them of art and creativity?

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The Harvard Business Review argues that’s probably not the case. It says that although the New York of the 1970’s and ’80’s was viewed as a creative hotbed before gentrification, “Cities are big places, after all; creativity can and does move from neighborhood to neighborhood.” In essence, creatives may not be holed up in a loft in Soho, but they could be in East New York or Bushwick.

“New York has nearly three times and LA more than twice the national average for musicians and singers,” the HBR article states. “Both metros have more than three times the national average for writers and authors. And New York’s concentration of fashion designers is ten times higher than the national average, while LA’s is nearly eight times higher.

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That said, major cities are incredibly expensive places to live and increasingly so. The creative hubs in these conurbations are more likely to be in the tech sector than the performing or fine arts. The internet has made it more likely that an artist will get discovered on YouTube as a dive bar in the East Village.

Thrillist listed the best cities for creatives to live in (that aren’t New York, LA or S.F.). Reading through the list, one clear fact emerges. If location wasn’t of the utmost importance (ie. you are a musician in a Broadway show or a writer/magazine editor for an NY based publication), then it seems crazy to live in the the glamour cities. Even if you did live in New York, LA or S.F. and couldn’t stand the thought of living Nashville or Alburquerque, Colorado, Bed Oregon or any of the other far flung on the list there’s still Vegas, Oakland or Philly, all within fairly close commuting distances form the three main creative hubs of LA, San Francisco or New York.
So the next time your landlord decides to jack up the rent, don’t worry, be happy — you have options.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

    Do you know how the so-called “affordable” real estate in New York is getting less affordable by the day whereas the city’s luxury market is softening? #luxury #condo
    One of the most iconic buildings in Boston has officially been sold and hopefully, the iconic station will be upgraded. #Boston #SouthStation
    This week, three of the apartments in the starchitect-designed West Chelsea condo have hit the rental market. #zahahadid #chelsea
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