Flight from NYC during COVID-19 pandemic concentrated in wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods

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In New York City’s affluent neighborhoods, 11% of their population has permanently fled the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study finds.

Four zip codes in Manhattan’s Midtown and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods from 40th to 59th Streets saw the greatest number of departures, with 12,000 residents leaving as the pandemic swept through the city.

The area is home to thousands of young professionals working in Midtown’s financial centers and the financial district.

An analysis of 29 million changes of address by commercial real estate company CBRE, population outflows from New York, focused in Manhattan’s Midtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

On the Upper East Side, the survey showed that 34,600 residents will have permanently left the area’s five zip codes by 2020 – 10 times the year before.

The company rated people who left permanently, rather than those who swapped a city apartment for a second home – as an estimated 420,000 New Yorkers did at the height of the epidemic in the spring of 2020.

According to the report by commercial real estate company CBRE, New York was in second place after San Francisco in the number of net departures last year.

The areas with the highest proportion of departures from New York in 2020 - shown in green - are centered around Manhattan and some areas of Brooklyn

The areas with the highest proportion of departures from New York in 2020 – shown in green – are centered around Manhattan and some areas of Brooklyn

When New York became the center of the global COVID-19 pandemic last spring, streets were deserted and thousands fled the city for good.  This April 9 file photo shows an empty Seventh Avenue looking south towards the World Trade Center

When New York became the center of the global COVID-19 pandemic last spring, streets were deserted and thousands fled the city for good. This April 9 file photo shows an empty Seventh Avenue looking south towards the World Trade Center

The Washington Arch in Manhattan was empty last April as residents of NYC fled the city or stayed at home (Photo file)

The Washington Arch in Manhattan was empty last April as residents of NYC fled the city or stayed at home (Photo file)

The mapped data is based on 29 million permanent address changes made with the US Postal Service Office, looking at the change in net population movements between 2019 and 2020.

CBRE research director Eric Willett, who oversaw the investigation, said Gothamist the majority of those who left were young mobile professionals.

“The real substantial change was that a small subset of the population – young, affluent, childless city dwellers – moved dramatically more,” Willett told Gothamist.

‘About 33 percent of them moved in 2019. That has increased by 10 percent in 2020. That is the real driving force behind these migration patterns. ‘

The four zip codes with the highest number of departures – 10036, 10019, 10022 and 10017 – caused about 12,000 of their 108,708 residents to leave in 2020.

Gentrified areas of Brooklyn, including DUMBO, Greenpoint and Crown Heights, also saw an exodus of young residents.

The great exodus coincided with a drop in rents in Manhattan.

By October, the average rental in Manhattan had fallen to $ 2,990, the lowest since 2011.

Many of those who moved did not get very far: about 41% stayed in the ward and about 7,000 moved to Westchester.

Of those who moved further afield, the most common destinations were Los Angeles, Miami, and Palm Beach, Gothamist reported.

Sun Belt cities such as Austin in Texas and Charlotte in North Carolina saw the greatest population growth.

New York was second after San Francisco with most of the population moving last year.

When New York became the global center of the epidemic last year, financial companies closed their offices, restaurants and Broadway closed its doors.

The city’s 8.4 million residents had been gradually declining prior to the pandemic, but between March 1 and May 1, 2020, approximately 420,000 residents fled the Big Apple, particularly from the richest neighborhoods, according to an analysis by the New York Times disclosed.

Subsequently, zip codes, others like SoHo, the West Village, Morningside Heights, the Upper East Side, the Financial District, Midtown, Gramercy, and Brooklyn Heights, were cleared by at least 40 percent.

Cell phone data showed that popular destinations for the so-called ‘coronavirus refugees’ include Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, the Hamptons, Hudson Valley, the Jersey Shore and southern Florida.

There are encouraging signs that the city is recovering from the population exodus.

Nearly four in ten city residents have had at least one vaccination shot, and restaurants, cinemas and bars have reopened.

Last week, Coney Island’s theme parks were allowed to reopen with a 33% capacity.