This intriguing article in New York Magazine (h/t: Paul White) asks:
What if gentrification isn’t self-sustaining after all? What if, in fact, it’s exactly the opposite: a self-extinguishing phenomenon? What if it’s less a flood than a forest fire—wild, yes, out of control, absolutely, but destined to consume itself by burning through the fuel it needs to survive?
Some months ago I asked a top investment banker if his shop was thinking of moving some of its operations outside of NYC because of the high housing costs. His response: "We're the cause not the effect of the real estate market."
And when I asked the late Jane Jacobs what she thought of the cycle of gentrification, she simply said: "When a place gets boring, even the rich people leave."
What's happening in New York City is a very complex mixture of force. The high end of the real estate market continues to move quickly and gain ground, fueled increasingly by globalization and foreign buyers. Many young people and artistic types simply can't afford to live there and don't want to deal with the hassles. They're moving to New Jersey, or Philly, or even abroad.