Pandemic-weary New Yorkers, eager to escape the confines of city living, may push up suburban New Jersey home prices by the most in 16 years.
That’s the forecast by real estate consultancy Otteau Valuation Group for four counties close to New York City: Bergen, Essex, Union and Middlesex. The firm sees a dip in single-family home prices this year, followed by a 6% jump in 2021, the biggest annual increase since 2005.
“This looks like the 1970s, which was a time when people were leaving the cities,” Jeffrey Otteau, president of the firm, said in an interview. “You had tremendous growth in places like Long Island and Westchester County, at the expense of the Manhattan economy.”
New York’s two-decade urban revival drew in families who put up with dense living conditions and costly housing as trade-offs for a short commute. That reduced demand for suburban properties, keeping a lid on values and making remote, multiacre estates especially hard to sell.
Now, three months into the city’s lockdown, those norms are fading fast. New Yorkers no longer tethered to their Manhattan workplaces are free to move — and those with the means to splurge are seeking big houses, with space for home offices and backyards for socially distant entertaining. Prices at the highest end of the market can be comparable to a three-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.