Real Estate Term of the Day – Gentrification

Gentrification occurs when a portion of a city that has typically been underdeveloped develops in a short period of time. This usually is a result of inflated home prices in other areas of the city, and can result in the displacement of the original residents. Gentrification is usually defined by the increase in residents or businesses that are taking advantage of lower property prices in less desirable locations. But, these new residents cause the property values to increase over a shorter than normal period, and causes original occupants to not be able to afford to live in the area any longer.

The term ” gentrification” has become controversial in the last few years. While it was originally seen as a positive thing because of the effect it had on economic growth, it is now starting to be seen as a social issue. While it does bring more affluent residents and successful businesses to an area, it also drives out original lower income residents, many of whom have been there for generations.

Gentrification is just becoming more prevalent around the country, especially as increasing job availability and competition for housing drives people to new parts of cities. Examples include the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, PA and the Roxbury area in Boston, MA.