Family moving
Family moving

A new report claims that Jersey City took 8th place in a national ranking of last year’s “renter hotspots.”

The study was commissioned by StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings. The key findings include:

  • Jersey City saw three renters moving in for every renter that moved out.
  • While millennials are the most mobile group, both in terms of inbound and outbound migration, the city “is getting more of a young vibe as more Gen Zers head to Jersey City than leave it. The area attracted 19% Gen Zers, versus 11% who looked to leave.”
  • The top three feeder cities for Jersey City were New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.
  • 72% of incoming renters from New York City were millennials.
  • Newcomers from New York City stood to gain 9% more personal space in their Jersey City apartments, while Chicagoans gained 8% more apartment space.

That Jersey City has become a hot spot for renters is no surprise to Phil Rivo of Howard Hanna Realty. “In my twenty plus years in the business, it’s never approached this level of demand. For every apartment available we have fifty people interested. We have people renting places sight unseen and hunting down the owners from the tax records.”

Diana Sutherlin of Compass agreed with Rivo. Apartments, she said, are “renting at a record pace.” The hot market isn’t limited to downtown, says Sutherlin, citing a West Side building called 3 Acres where apartments are going fast. “It’s happening in all parts of Jersey City.”

Confirming some of the StorageCafe study, Sutherlin added that “almost every new renter to downtown Jersey City is coming from Manhattan, Brooklyn or Long Island City.”

Sutherlin thinks the rental demand is good for the real estate market overall. “Many them convert to buyers of Jersey City condos or houses.” Her only frustration is that “we have thousands of very expensive rentals but not enough condos.”

According to StorageCafe, “the study looked at 3.4 million rental applications from rentgrow.com from 2021, illustrating renter interest across 257 markets with populations of over 100,000. It determined preferred migration destinations based on applications, and determined each destination city’s relative ranking for net renter migration — inbound minus outbound — as a proportion of its population. To get a further impression of a city’s popularity, the study also looked at how many times its inbound migration was larger than its outbound. The study examined demographics and changes in median income and average home size square footage that result from the moves.”

The full study, including a description of the methodology and expert reaction can viewed here.

Aaron Morrill

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....