Hudson County, New Jersey sits across the Hudson River from New York City, and is populated by many people who commute into the city for work, school and recreation. Jersey City, Hoboken and Bayonne are two of the county’s more famous municipalities, offering their own metropolitan amenities like fine dining, river walks, boutiques and nightlife. Public transportation is convenient and (relatively) dependable for traveling into NYC and throughout northern New Jersey.
Given its optimal geography, real estate observers might think that the market never slows. Actually, real estate in Hudson County is subject to the same forces as elsewhere.
What Early 2020 Has Shown
While it is still early in the year 2020, the first months demonstrate positive movement. One example is in average home sale prices. While the median list price in Hudson County is running at $548,000, the average sales price for January and February is $525,000, up 11.7 percent over the 2019 average.
Time residential properties remain on the market before closing hovers around three months. 333 homes were sold in February with an average down payment of 32.1 percent. Foreclosure rates were lower in 2019 than 2018 but activity is higher in 2020. This jump may be a quirk or it might signify something deeper going on.
What History Has Shown
In 2018, New Jersey had the highest foreclosure rate in the United States. The following year seemed to show improvement until the autumn, when a spike again occurred. One factor in this swell is the tempo of the foreclosure process in the Garden State — slow and slower. Another variable is a large amount of litigation relative to “robo-signing,” i.e. mortgage servicing personnel signing off on cases without reviewing them. As these cases get resolved, lenders expect that the total foreclosure activity in the state will drop.
Household median income in Hudson County is $55,275 and 33 percent of the population have some form of personal debt that is in collections, higher than the statewide average. Juggling these obligations could bear upon the capacity to meet monthly mortgage payments consistently so the foreclosure distinction may persist through 2020 after all.
What The Future Holds
Forecasts show home values rising by another four percent by the end of the year, improving the picture for owners who stay on top of monthly remittances while — at the same time — shifting the market advantage toward sellers. It is safe to say that Hudson County will have its share of distressed properties for wholesalers who will, in turn, find buyers looking for reasonable prices.
On the commercial property front, real estate experts see a continuation of low unemployment with hiring managers seeking out better and more talented personnel. This means that Hudson County companies will upgrade their physical space whenever feasible.
Waterfront properties in Hoboken and Jersey City host numerous class A buildings adjacent to recreational, dining and entertainment facilities. Property managers may hold the upper hand with lease terms while relinquished space becomes available to new businesses and start-ups.
These optimistic scenarios are conditioned on a stable economy.