If you still thought you could still escape the astronomical rents in New York City by the time-honored tradition of hopping across the river to Jersey City, your window of time may be coming to an unceremonious close.
According to data from rental platform StreetEasy, the median rent in Jersey City, located directly across from Manhattan, soared to $2,850 last month. This represents a staggering 48% increase since January 2020, surpassing the growth rates of the majority of neighborhoods in New York and nearly a hundred other principal cities.
In other words, rents are growing quicker than in New York City, meaning the delta between the two locations is narrowing, according to Bloomberg.
StreetEasy economist Kenny Lee told Bloomberg: “The opportunity for rent arbitrage in New Jersey has been going away.”
Their report caught up with several people who tried to make moves to save money. One person was Angel Njoku, who moved to Brooklyn after her rent in Jersey City went up $125 to $3,795 per month.
“‘I was like, ‘There’s no point living in New Jersey’. I’m basically paying New York prices, why not just live in New York?” she told Bloomberg.
One realtor told Bloomberg that, as of 2019, a one-bedroom apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey typically remained available for around 14 days before being rented out.
The Bloomberg report notes that these units are being snapped up in nearly half that time and at markedly increased rates, as the inventory of available rental properties has shrunk by one-third. A notable case, as mentioned, is an apartment that once would list for $5,500 and might have been offered two or three times is now commanding a rent of $8,500.
“The lack of housing is crippling people,” the agent commented.
After a 35% rent rise on their two-bedroom Jersey City apartment, 32 year old Oliver McAteer, and his wife renegotiated to $4,150 temporarily. Post their daughter’s arrival in spring, they purchased a house in Maplewood, New Jersey, with a mortgage matching their rent.
McAteer told Bloomberg: “Everyone was coming over from Brooklyn, making Hoboken and Jersey City the new Williamsburg. What surprised me was how quickly it changed. It was such a shame that so many people got driven out.”