Where young urban creatives, or 'Yuccies' go, gentrification is sure to follow. Gentrification happens when young urbanites are priced out of their area and have to move to cheaper pastures. Their arrival brings a higher demand for amenities, usually with a quirky twist. Businesses such as artisan cafés start moving into the area, selling single-origin espressos and AeroPress coffee. These hip establishments help to create a cultural scene and also drive property prices higher, causing those on lower incomes to move on, perpetuating the trend.
An international shift
Gentrification has long been spreading through most major international cities. In New York it's Brooklyn, in Berlin it's Kreuzberg, and in London it's happening all over the East End. When a down-at-heel urban neighbourhood starts to become trendy, gentrification is hard at work. The process can be a bit of a touchy subject. Many people hate the higher prices, while others love the interesting shops and restaurants, as well as the safer neighbourhoods.
Perks for property owners
Owning property in a rapidly gentrifying area is a winning hand, providing you with a decent profit when you decide to sell. Barking and Dagenham in London are prime examples. Property prices shot up in these areas by 288% in 2015 alone, with ten properties valued at over £1m. Other London boroughs saw a slightly smaller increase of between 50% and 90%.
Predicting the trend
Cambridge University is using social media 'check-ins' to predict which areas will become gentrified next. By monitoring websites like Twitter and Foursquare, researchers have been noting when more people start going to bars and restaurants in traditionally deprived areas. The most likely London neighbourhoods to face gentrification over the next five years are Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Lambeth.
As well as coffee shops, young creatives also bring art spaces to their new neighbourhoods. Pop-up shops selling handcrafted jewellery, an increase in the number of courses offered independently of the council (woodworking, anyone?) and fancy cocktail bars are all part and parcel of gentrification. You may also notice more co-working spaces: places where freelancers can pay to rent a desk and Wi-Fi for the day to get out of the house.