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These Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods lost the most residents this year

See which neighborhoods had the most move-outs in 2020.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

If you've noticed your neighborhood is emptier than ever, it probably is—especially if you're in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which saw the most move-outs during the pandemic.

Commercial real estate firm CBRE just released a new study looking at 29 million address changes across the U.S. and found that New York City saw the second-largest increase in move-outs in 2020 behind San Francisco.

The study has an interactive map you can use to zoom into NYC and see which zip codes, in particular, had the highest move-out rates. While it's no surprise Manhattan overall had the most, many Brooklyn zip codes lost the most residents, too.

Hell's Kitchen, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Soho, Chelsea, Murray Hill, Kips Bay, and FiDi lost the most residents in Manhattan.

According to Gothamist, which first reported the study, four zip codes in Manhattan (between 42nd Street and 59th Street—10036, 10019, 10022, and 10017) lost more than 12,000 residents last year, up from less than 3,000 in 2019, according to figures provided to them by the firm.

The map below specifically shows moves based on permanent address changes between 2019 and 2020. 

Midtown West, between Fifth Avenue and the West Side Highway and from 25th to 36th streets, saw way fewer move-ins than it did in 2019, for example. There were -79.4 fewer move-ins per 1,000 population in 2020 than in 2019.

Brooklyn lost its fair share of residents, too, including Greenpoint, Dumbo and Crown Heights—more of the gentrified areas where young professionals could afford to move.

CBRE's Director of Research Eric Willett, who oversaw the study, told Gothamist that young, affluent and childless New Yorkers were the ones who left.

"About 33 percent of them moved in 2019. That increased by 10 percent in 2020," he said.

CBRE says Millennials are beginning to have families so they were already beginning to move out to more suburban areas, but the pandemic made it clear that social distancing in the city is very difficult to do. Furthermore, young adults, which make up a significant portion of NYC's population, are also more flexible because their work can be done remotely and they don't yet have children to think about.

This is typical in most large cities, in fact, nearly all urban centers in the U.S. had 15% more move-outs in 2020 than in 2019, the study shows. 

Interestingly, most of the New Yorkers who left moved between 100 and 500 miles away, according to the study. More specifically, of the Manhattan residents who moved in 2020, 41% stayed in Manhattan. In 2019, it was whereas almost 50%, according to Gothamist. Westchester saw 7,000 Manhattanites move there in 2020 compared to just 4,000 in 2019.

The good news is that CBRE predicts that once normal life returns, fewer people will move out and lower rents will lure new residents in. 

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