New report shows richest neighborhoods in New York have seen biggest pandemic exodus
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office released a report this week revealing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the city’s population. Figures show that net residential migration out of New York City tripled in 2020 – and residents of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods were the most likely to move. But those numbers appear to be reversing at a pre-pandemic level: Since July 2021, the city has gained around 6,332 residents, and out-migration has actually been lower than it was in 2019.
Examining U.S. Postal Service (USPS) data from change of address forms, the report determined that Manhattan was overall more likely to suffer theft, and people living in the wealthiest 10 percent of neighborhoods in the city in terms of median income were 4.6 times more likely to have moved in 2020 than other city residents.
Although the report shows that the number of outgoing residents increased significantly in all boroughs in 2020, additional residential net emigration was highest in Manhattan neighborhoods of Battery Park City / Greenwich Village, Murray Hill / Gramercy and the ‘Upper East Side.
The reverse trend was true for the two boroughs of Queens, Howard Beach / Ozone Park and Richmond Hill / Woodhaven, where net emigration actually improved slightly in 2020.
It has been noted that migration out of the wealthier areas of Manhattan has traditionally been higher due to an equally high number of transient residents such as college students and residents who may leave for the season. But the report shows that the pandemic had a far greater impact on the borough than the usual ebb and flow.
As of July 2021, USPS data has shown an estimated net gain of 6,332 permanent movers, mostly in the same neighborhoods that experienced the greatest theft. The reopening of offices, schools and restaurants and the restart of arts and entertainment events – in addition to the city’s strong vaccination campaign – have likely helped keep residents returning.
Some specific major conclusions of the to study understand:
- In the first three months of the pandemic, from March to May 2020, more than 60% of net trips from city addresses were marked as temporary, indicating that the person or household intended to return, but since then 79% of net trips were marked as permanent.
- Excluding moves marked as “temporary,” the city’s net emigration increased by about 130,837 residents from March 2020 to June 2021, compared to pre-pandemic trends.
- Residents of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods were the most likely to leave. Residents of the city’s wealthiest 10 percent of neighborhoods, as measured by median income, were 4.6 times more likely to leave than other residents in 2020, registering 109 net moves per 1,000 residents compared to 24 elsewhere. Moves from wealthier neighborhoods were also more likely to be recorded as temporary. About half of the net emigration from the richest 10 percent was marked as temporary in 2020, compared to 44 percent in the next richest decile and less than 30 percent elsewhere.
- In September 2021, New York City’s public schools and colleges opened their doors to full-time in-person learning; some employers, including the municipal government, have recalled office workers; and the curtains went up on Broadway after an 18 month hiatus. Unsurprisingly, these events coincided with an improvement in net residential migration to the city, especially in neighborhoods that experienced the greatest leakage in the spring of 2020.
- As of July 2021, USPS data has shown an estimated net gain of 6,332 permanent movers, indicating a gradual return to New York City, mostly in neighborhoods that experienced the greatest theft. On a per capita basis, the largest net gains over the summer were recorded in Chelsea / Midtown, Murray Hill / Gramercy, Battery Park City / Greenwich Village and Chinatown / Lower East Side.
As 6 square feet reported in January of this year, there has been a significant shift in population to areas outside of the five boroughs. Luxury home sales rose 270% in upstate counties like Putnam, Duchess, Garrison and Rhinebeck. Home sales and prices have also skyrocketed in Westchester County, the Hamptons and neighboring Connecticut.
But the return to urban life seems to have started. From June to September 2021, the city’s net population loss was 39,961, less than the 40,494 people who moved in 2019. And 14 city neighborhoods surpassed their pre-pandemic trends, with the gains highest net in Chelsea / Midtown, Murray Hill / Gramercy, Battery Park City / Greenwich Village, Chinatown / Lower East Side and Upper East Side.
Last summer, 6 square feet reported falling house prices in some of the city’s more expensive neighborhoods at the height of the pandemic. These lower prices and lower rents, pent-up demand for change after a year of closures, the reopening of bars, restaurants, museums and other cultural institutions, and restarting the school could usher in a strong rebound.
In recent months, high-end rentals and residential sales have even surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with Manhattan apartment sales peaking in 32 years in the last quarter.
Looking ahead, the report concludes that the city’s demographic trends in the future will depend on the ability to maintain activities and attractions, and the future of the workplace in general, now that employees have more jobs. ‘remote working and commuting options.
âNew York City is gradually reopening and New Yorkers are coming back to the city we love. raise a family, âStringer said in a statement. âWe have a unique opportunity to reinvent our city and to rebuild stronger than ever from the losses of the pandemic. “
New report, including interactive neighborhood and postcode level maps, is available here.
Key words :
covid-19, population, Scott Stringer