From the NY Times:
When Zacheus and Ratri Chan showed up at an open house for a townhouse in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City last fall, there was a line down the street.
The six-bedroom was listed at $300,000, but it needed a fair amount of work. “In the basement, there was a sewage leak. And there was some water damage to the roof, some exposed walls. It didn’t smell good,” Mr. Chan said.
Despite the house’s condition, the Chans put in a $520,000 offer, outbidding more than 20 other prospective buyers.
“We just wanted that place,” Mr. Chan said, adding that they had been won over by details like the plaster ceiling medallions and what appears to be the home’s original wallpaper — apparently the only things in good condition.
The Chans, who first moved to Jersey City 12 years ago, into a two-bedroom condo downtown, are putting another $500,000 into the renovation. “We have a daughter who is almost 3. We love the city and feel like we want to be here longer.”
It’s an increasingly common sentiment in Jersey City.
As the city’s population has grown and its skyline has been redrawn with new high-rises over the past decade, singles and couples who moved there as young adults are electing to stay and raise families.
At the same time, new waves of priced-out Manhattan and Brooklyn residents show no signs of abating. As of July 2017, Jersey City had 270,753 residents, an increase of 9.3 percent since 2010, according to estimates from the United States Census Bureau. The number of families has also increased, from 56,997 to 59,886.
“Jersey City has been maturing for decades. At this point, it’s an extremely well-known marketplace and is seen as a housing opportunity for anyone moving to the New York scene,” said Michael Barry, the president and an owner of Ironstate Development Company. “It used to be much younger, but people that came here in the 80s and 90s stayed and fell in love with the area. Now people don’t move out when they have school-age children anymore.”