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Real Estate News

November 16, 2011

Where the 1 Percent Live

- — Over the past few months, Occupy Wall Street actions have sprung up all across the United States. In the wake of Wall Street's meltdown, protestors have taken up a new cause: Calling out the income disparity between the top 1 percent, who possess an estimated 25 percent of American wealth, and everyone else -- otherwise known as the 99 percent.

While the Occupy protests are taking place in cities like Atlanta, Harrisburg, PA., Seattle, Oakland, Des Moines and dozens of other locales across the country, those are not necessarily the places where the 1 percent live.

A stellar report by the Atlantic magazine delves into this issue. Using IRS data, the Atlantic report shows that the 1 percent -- Americans earning at least $516,633 in 2010 -- are concentrated in large metropolitan areas led by New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Here's a look at homes for sale in these select areas:


According to data from the Brookings Institute, nearly 12 percent of high-income homes are located in the New York city region. Specifically, the Upper East and West Sides and Greenwich Village hold the vast majority of these income earners. This statistic is reflected in real estate data: the median home value for the Upper West Side is currently $977,600 (rising at a rate of 12.5 percent year-over-year.) Upper East Side home values are currently $965,300 (rising 12.8 percent year-over-year.) Greenwich Village has a median home value of $1,115,900 and a yearly increase of 21.6 percent. Unlike other parts of America, the rich in these highly-populated urban areas don't live in enormous mansions, but penthouses with sprawling city views or compact townhouses.

43 5th Ave FL 5, New York NY

For sale: $17,000,000

Greenwich Village has been the spiritual home of painters, poets, musicians and other Beatnik free spirits, but tough news for the struggling artists who think they might find an affordable place to crash. Greenwich Village has long gone upscale, as this penthouse demonstrates. Sitting on streets lined with shops and restaurants, this 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home features one-percent worthy details like intricate moldings and wainscoting, stained white oak flooring and what looks to be a painted orange ceiling. Assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year mortgage, the monthly payment is $63,556, according to Zillow's mortgage calculator.

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