The Wall Street upheaval that has depressed New York City’s high-flying real estate market is also slowing property sales and lowering prices right across the river in the state of New Jersey.
Long known as the city’s “sixth borough” due to its proximity to New York, Hudson County, New Jersey, basked in Wall Street’s boom as financial firms relocated back office operations there to avoid skyscraping Manhattan rents, said Derrick Gross of the house-hunting website StreetEasy.com.
Now Hudson, home to two of New Jersey’s highest-profile cities, Jersey City and Hoboken, is feeling the pain of the bust. Sales have slowed to a crawl and homes for sale are piling up.
“New York is one of the epicenters of the accelerated recession — or the potential depression — because of how important the financial industry is,” said Bill Staniford, chief executive of real estate research website PropertyShark.com. “There is going to be a softening affecting anyone in the vicinity.”
At the current pace of sales, which in November was down 47 percent from last year, it would take 24.1 months for all the properties on the market in Hudson County to sell, said Jeffrey Otteau, president of Otteau Valuation Group, a real estate consultancy and appraisal service.
“The weakness that’s been gripping everyone else has just come home to roost in Manhattan, and that’s affecting Hudson County,” Otteau said.
Job losses in the financial sector are reducing housing demand in Manhattan and related markets such as Jersey City and Hoboken, he said.
The situation is exacerbated by Manhattan’s falling prices, which are drawing demand away from its secondary markets as more buyers find they can afford the city again.
The slowdown has forced sellers in Hudson to drop their prices.
In the past two months, sellers of 16 percent of Hudson County’s listings have cut their prices by an average of 8.7 percent, according to StreetEasy.com’s data.
In Hoboken, prices have dropped on 43 percent of the listings during the time the properties have been on the market; in Jersey City, that is true for 34 percent of the listings, Gross said.
The homes that are selling tend to be in the lower price ranges, around $350,000, said Hoboken broker Norma De Ruggiero.
“Three years ago you couldn’t buy anything for $350,000,” she said. “It just wasn’t there.”