The Real Deal New York

In New Jersey, rentals still trump condos

Developments across the Hudson fetch only half NYC's price per square foot

March 20, 2014 04:20PM

Jersey City and Manhattan beyond

Jersey City in the foreground and Manhattan beyond

Condominiums may be all the rage in New York City, but across the river in New Jersey rentals remain the order of the day.

The financial drought following the recession spurred Garden State developers to focus almost exclusively on rental properties, the Jersey Journal reported. And though the most painful pinch is waning, the market isn’t expected to return to its past strength for a few years yet.

“It’s too risky,” Eric Silverman, who has developed a number of downtown Jersey City properties, told the Journal. “It’ll be a while before the lenders forget.” In New York City, he said, developers can fetch more than $1,500 per square foot, enabling investors to recoup their cash. But with prices in Jersey City clocking in at half that, the same opportunities don’t exist.

KRE Group’s Jonathan Kushner told the Journal he’s “starting to think about” condominium projects west of the Hudson, but not on the scale of his current $666 million rental project in Journal Square, which upon completion will hold 1,840 units spread among three towers.

Still, some industry-watchers are confident that the North Jersey condominium market will rebound, as the Hoboken and Jersey City markets didn’t experience the same post-recession tumble as others across the country.

“People want to live in a community,” David Wolfe, an attorney who handles real estate cases for Livingston-based firm Skoloff Wolfe, told the Journal. “And for sale housing is part of the mix.” [Jersey Journal]Julie Strickland

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