State of the Market: Hoboken vs. Jersey City

Grove Street (Jersey City) published a new entry entitled “Hoboken / Downtown Jersey City” on 6/17/2008 5:19:32 PM, written by Grove Street JC.

Hoboken / Downtown Jersey City

In response to a thread on “The State of the Hoboken (Real Estate) Market.”

So one poster posited that Hoboken real estate isn’t selling well, and another post stated that “all of the buyers are over in Jersey City.”  Is this true?  Our view, is yes, it is true. Let us examine:

Hoboken real estate, particularly in the areas more than a 10 min walk, is not selling well.  The only desirable locations are really the places that are close to the PATH.  Of course there are nice condos/apartments way out from the PATH, but typically it requires a shuttle bus or lightrail.  While not terrible, your typical first-time homebuyer is looking for proximity to mass transportation.  Especially if they work in Manhattan and would be taking the PATH or Ferry.  Areas closer to the Hoboken PATH surely may be in higher demand, but there isn’t as much new construction (which is what homeowners are looking for

On the other hand,Jersey City is developing rapidly, and 95% of all the new developments/construction are located within a 5 minute walk to either the Grove Street, Exchange Place, or Newport PATH trains (depending on which neighborhood you are in, Paulus Hook, Powerhouse, Liberty Harbor, Hamilton Park, Newport, etc).  Putting yourself in the shoes of a first-time homebuyer (most likely a NYC transplant looking for more space), why would anyone desire to live in a condo where a shuttle bus is required?  In Hoboken, when RE was booming and before JC started to develop, homebuyers accepted the shuttle bus as they may have been priced out of waterfront Hoboken property (lack of supply as well).  Now that Jersey City has started to revitalize (in the Grove Street area particularly), first-time homebuyers are flocking to downtown JC – because of its excellent proximity to PATH trains and also brand-new luxury construction/amenities.  So, when faced with the choice of living in a brand-new apt 3 minutes from the PATH, or an older Hoboken apartment with the shuttle bus — obviously homebuyers are leaning toward downtown Jersey City.

Currently, in terms of neighborhood, Hoboken offers much more currently in the way of cafes, restaurants, nightlife, shopping.  But for a first-time homebuyer, looking to invest in an area – JC is certainly a better value because much of the new construction is located near the waterfront and the PATH train.  Add in the fact that you’re part of an exciting, growing neighborhood, and JC is the better option over (established) Hoboken.  Already there are a number of excellent restaurants, cafes, and boutiqe shops lining the streets of Grove Street.  To be fair, it’s nothing like (established) Hoboken, but it’s definitely a different feel — a type of urban, dynamic vibe that permeates through the streets, shops, and people. 

Our view is that Hoboken real estate has seen a ceiling, while JC still has room to grow (once the US economy recovers, JC should soon exceed Hoboken RE growth). 


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