Gold Coast rush: NJ markets pick up in third quarter

TRD analysis shows increased deals

Jersey City
Jersey City

Over the summer, Renee Condon, head of Keller Williams’ Jersey City office, watched as New Yorkers bypassed her market for more suburban neighborhoods. But she has seen that pattern shift in recent months.

“We are still the great alternative with cheaper price points to New York,” she said. “I’m selling brownstones at the same price point as a two-bedroom in Tribeca.”

Downtown Jersey City and other areas along New Jersey’s side of the Hudson River, collectively dubbed the Gold Coast, saw an uptick in home sales from the second quarter to the third quarter of this year, according to an analysis by The Real Deal.

That increase coincided with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and a gradual return to in-person showings. Condon said she is seeing “market fatigue” after buyers flocked to the suburbs, saying some clients have opted to upgrade within their Gold Coast neighborhood after being repeatedly outbid in Montclair and other suburban towns.

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Overall, the number of individual home sales, as well as the total dollar volume of those deals, was lower in Jersey City, throughout Hudson County and in nearby Bergen County towns in the third quarter than during the same time last year. But the median price of those deals rose throughout Jersey City.

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Bergen Lafayette, a neighborhood that has seen increased development over the last few years, stoking concerns of gentrification, experienced the largest year-over-year increase in median price at $477,500, up 24 percent. At 32 deals, however, the area had roughly half the number of sales recorded the same time last year.

Journal Square, where massive residential towers have sprouted up around the PATH train, had the second largest increase, with the median sale price rising 20 percent to $442,500. Condon, who was the broker on one of the quarter’s most expensive deals, a single-family home in Hoboken, noted that much of the residential stock in Journal Square is rental, so investment properties and single-family homes are in high demand.

Overall, Hoboken recorded the most deals at 214, which totaled $180.4 million. Downtown Jersey City followed with 151 deals, collectively valued at $131.6 million.

The tiny town of Guttenberg — which spans less than half of a square mile — was the only municipality where both the number and the dollar volume of deals increased year-over-year. In the third quarter, there were 43 sales totalling $17.7 million, up 13.2 percent and 14.6 percent year-over-year, respectively.

Grace Tan, an agent with Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, said there has been increased interest in towns farther from the waterfront as commuting patterns of renters and buyers shifts away from a daily bus, train or ferry ride into the city.

“The first place they see is Hoboken and Jersey City,” she said, referring to New York transplants. Many are looking to more affordable options, including Union City, West New York, Bayonne, Weehawkan and other nearby towns, she said.