Frustrated NYC renters are now paying double their previous rents, a hard pill to swallow after the early days of the pandemic, when reduced rents and roommate-free city living was the norm. Our experts all agreed that the value of what you get in New Jersey’s Gold Coast, and a reluctance to live “like before” is quickly luring people over.
“The pandemic gave more awareness to New York’s sister neighborhoods across the Hudson, where people found more space at more economically friendly prices,” Alexander Calle of JC LUXURY with Keller Williams City Life in downtown Jersey City tells us. “For example, in Jersey City you can purchase a brand-new construction condo with three bedrooms, two baths, private outdoor space, parking, laundry and roof deck with NYC views for less than $1 million. In many parts of New York City, this same condo would be upward of $2 to 3 million,” he adds.
Further fueling the Gold Coast housing market and dispelling the “Dirty Jersey” adage is access to modern amenities, overall cleanliness and relative quietness when compared to Manhattan. Gen Z tends to be renting while Millennials are putting down roots, buying across the different neighborhoods to start or grow their families, while also having extra room to work from home.
Another draw for these dwellers are hip new restaurants, which are already seeing recognition—in fact, Food & Wine recently declared one Hudson County city, Jersey City, as one of America’s next great food cities. Local chefs have been turning out tasty menus for quite some time, but now it’s notable NYC chefs who are looking to get in on the action, like Jae Park and Brian Kim’s newly minted Ondo, and fan favorites, like Wattle Cafe, opening too. There are also outposts of grocery stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s) and fast lunch spots (Sweetgreen) that generally make NYC neighborhoods desirable. Heck, they even have their very own Smorgasburg over there.
Aside from dining, the transplants we talked to all said access to quality shopping and great school systems, safe and clean neighborhoods and parks, and those unbeatable views have them settling in quite nicely.
“We find that residents are able to save more money while still being able to benefit from all the same lifestyle qualities that Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan have to offer,” says Farrell. Overall, they’re also telling real estate agents they have a higher quality of life.