Exodus From New Jersey

From the NY Times (Registration Required):

An Exodus Driven by Home Prices

A quest for affordable housing is driving an increasing number of young people, families and empty nesters from the New York suburbs to destinations near and far, a review of migration data by The New York Times shows.

“I do think a lot of this movement – to Florida and the exurbs – reflects, in part, a ‘housing affordability’ movement, or what I have sometimes termed a ‘middle-class flight,’ ” Prof. William Frey, a demographer at the University of Michigan, said in an e-mail message. “They’ll move as far out as eastern Pennsylvania, or northern Connecticut. But many are probably looking at Sun Belt markets, including central Florida, Georgia, North Carolina.”

But more people are leaving northern New Jersey than are arriving, and that gap is growing. The net migration from the older suburban counties of Bergen, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union Counties was 26,889 taxpayers in 2004, up 75 percent from 1996. Essex County, which has a combination of urban and suburban populations, was not included in the analysis.

Or, as Mr. Joubert put it, “Compared to New Jersey, they are practically giving houses away down here.”

I won’t cut/paste the entire article here, but it’s definitely worth the time it takes to register. Most interesting, I think, is not the middle class flight out of the suburbs, but the migration of the younger generation inwards to the city. Either way, it seems that Northern NJ residents want to live everywhere but here.

Caveat Emptor,

Thanks to Metroplexual for making us all aware of this piece.

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18 Responses to Exodus From New Jersey

  1. Richard says:

    florida. yuck. i don’t know about the rest of you but if it detached from the US and sank offshore, i sure wouldn’t miss it. i see the point of the article though and something i’d expect to pick up steam if housing stays at such lofty levels. this will put further pressure on NJ taxpayers and cause a vicious cycle. anyone want to live in essex these days?

  2. Metroplexual says:

    Your very welcome. Just want to contribute.

  3. Anonymous says:

    See lots of FSBO signs.

    Good Luck!

  4. landgrab says:

    Grim – Do you know Clifton well? Went to dinner with a couple Saturday, and they are very close to buying in Clifton. I directed them to your site and told them to hold off.

    Apparently some of the drops in Clifton are pretty considerable … if I remember the #’s correctly, a place had been reduced from around $395k to maybe $350, and the couple wanted to offer $315k.

    I told them the place could be down around $250-275k by the fall/winter. And I also directed to them try and find out what the house was bought for.

    What are your thoughts on Clifton?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I a SWM/35 who moved from NYC to Charlotte, NC. Couldn’t be happier since I did. Happiness is NYC in my rear view mirror.

  6. gary says:

    I rode around Wayne this weekend and still did not see that many for sale signs nor did the real estate section of the paper reveal any significant drops or reductions.

    The prices continue to be absurd and I still don’t see the inventory piling up. Don’t get me wrong, I wish it would happen, but I don’t know if and when it will.

    I believe for most of us, the only thing we can do is to save a big f***ing wad of cash and put as much down on a house as possible because I know there is no way I’m going to accept anything other than a 30 year, fixed mortgage.

  7. grim says:


    Wayne – GSMLS
    241 Homes For Sale
    68 Homes Added/BOM since Jan 1st
    23 Homes Sold since Jan 1st


  8. landgrab says:

    As an owner in Winter Garden, Fla (right outside Orlando), i will say inventory is slowing building, and the NYT article is great news (to me, at least).

    Winter Garden inventory
    Dec 27 – 280ish
    Jan 22 – 330 ish

    50 houses in 4 weeks might not seem like a lot, but i just chalk it up to being a 6-month lag behind San Diego, Washington, Miami, and the rest of the bubble spots

  9. Anonymous says:

    Relax gary and wait for the cascading prices. It’s happening now you just have to look a little harder.
    Real Price reductions are just around the corner….25-30% off Nosebleed prices.

  10. gary says:


    I hope it keeps going that way. I’m with ya, but still not sure.

  11. Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting this Grim, and thanks to Mtroplexual. This was a fascinating article.

    On another note – something that is going to cause a HUGE stir with home sellers – are you guys aware of the new DEP aresenic regulations that just went into effect TODAY??? Aresenic levels used to be accpetable at 50 micrograms per liter – today it goes to 5!!!!! The house we have in contract failed its water inspection by .12! So now the homeowners have to “remediate” and spend over a grand to put in some filtering BS that we don’t even want. Federal standards were at 50, and as of today are set to 10. Why in NJ half of this rate? It’s going to mean a big expense to sellers across the state to install these filetering systems, further taking a bite out of their profits from the sale.

    Check out njwater.org for details. It sounds like a big bunch of governmental vote pandering bull if you ask me…”We’re trying to keep the public safe.” Yeah right. Jersey’s gotta be HALF the federal level? Please. It’s a scam.

  12. Michelle says:

    I wonder why…

    …I spelled “arsenic” wrong every time I typed it in that last post. Jeez – I must have a bee in my bonnet affecting my spelling….

  13. RentinginNJ says:

    We’re trying to keep the public safe.” Yeah right. Jersey’s gotta be HALF the federal level? Please. It’s a scam.

    Yup. NJ always feels it needs to be the leader. “The Bush administration failed us, but NJ will step in and save the day”. This is the reason why businesses are leaving NJ everyday. In fact, Lennox (fine china) announced today that it is moving to PA.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I see some comments on Wayne.. does anyone know what the deal is with the “superfund” site on Black Oak Ridge Road? Its been in a “clean up” state since i moved there back in 1994.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Florida, yuck. My husband is a FL native and he won’t even live there. So we left NJ for Boston last August. Got rid of 2/3 of our belongings and are renting an apartment in a nice neighborhood in the city.

    After 4 years of struggling to afford NJ housing, first in a $2,500 per month rental condo in Madison, which we had to “jump” on in April 2001 when even renters were getting the shaft, to a tiny colonial we bought in far-flung Warren county, which has been on the market for SEVEN MONTHS.

    We bought at $260K in March 2002 and were told by 2 realtors to list it over $400K last summer. Well, we started at $399K and are now at $339 with only one half-assed offer back in November that was withdrawn. Even our taxes ($7,600+) are being raised as an issue by prospective buyers. We’ll be lucky to break even. Our neighbors who bought similar homes last spring for well over $400K are screwed.

    Take it from me: RENT. No amount of tax deduction is worth the cost of buying in NJ right now. Put that money in your retirement account.

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