It’s well known that Jersey City is a renter’s town. Fully 70% of the people here pay a landlord and not a bank or mortgage company for the roof over their head.

Now, a new study from SmartAsset, a website for financial advisors, is providing more detail on who actually owns their home or condo in Jersey City. The takeaway: not “young people” under 35.

Of 200 cities analyzed, Jersey City scored third from the bottom, beating out only Paterson, New Jersey, and Fullerton, California.

In both cities, less than 12% of people under 35 are homeowners and the under-35 homeownership rate is declining.

Across the 10 largest cities, Philadelphia ranks highestRanking in the top half of the study, about 27% of young people in the City of Brotherly Love are homeowners. In stark contrast, this figure is less than 13% in the two largest U.S. cities (New York and Los Angeles).

In eight cities, more than half of young people own their homes. The under-35 homeownership rate is highest in Florida’s Port St. Lucie (roughly 60%).

Nationally, about 37% of individuals under the age of 35 own their home or apartment.

“Suburbanites have decided there’s more to life than pickleball”

Phil Rivo of Howard Hanna Rand Realty suspects that many younger people come to Jersey City as an intermediate step, with an eye towards moving to larger, more affordable housing in the suburbs. Meanwhile, Jersey City has become an attractive destination for older empty-nesters looking for proximity to New York City. “Suburbanites have decided there’s more to life than pickleball” he adds.

To arrive at its conclusion, SmartAsset analyzed the cities where more (and fewer) young people are buying homes. It compared 200 of the largest cities across two metrics: 2021 homeownership rate for those under 35 and the 10-year change in homeownership rate for those under 35. To arrive at the final ranking, it averaged the two numbers.

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....