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What's the Wealthiest-Looking Neighborhood in NYC? Prospect Heights, According to One Study

The Brooklyn neighborhood beats out the Upper East Side and Soho as the city's most expensive-looking area.

NYC Wealthiest Neighborhood Prospect Hts

Photo by: Zillow This four-story home is located in Prospect Heights — the wealthiest-looking neighborhood in the city, according to a new study.

If you ask a New Yorker to name the most expensive neighborhood in New York City, they'll probably respond Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Soho or Tribeca. Prospect Heights would probably not make the list — which makes a recent MIT study all the more amusing.

According to the New York Post, researchers at the MIT Media Lab asked thousands of non-New Yorkers to rank the perceived wealth of NYC neighborhoods based on Google Street View images of 50 neighborhoods. Prospect Heights, which not too long ago was considered a fringe neighborhood, ranked No. 1. It was also perceived as the safest-looking. Coming in at No. 2 was Midtown East, followed by the Upper East Side. Compare this to actual statistics from the 2010 census, which reports that the median household income in Prospect Heights was $83,299 versus $118,380 on the Upper East Side.

The point of the study, published in the most recent issue of PLoS One, was to compare people's visual perception of a city's attributes — safety, class and uniqueness — with the reality. Here's a rundown of additional findings.

Richest-Looking Neighborhoods:

1. Prospect Heights
2. Midtown East
3. Upper East Side

Poorest-Looking Neighborhoods:

1. Greenpoint
2. East New York
3. Canarsie

Safest-Looking Neighborhoods:

1. Prospect Heights
2. Midtown East
3. Forest Hills

Most Dangerous-Looking Neighborhoods:

1. Greenpoint
2. East New York
3. Brighton Beach

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