Will 2019 be a Buyer’s Market in Downtown Jersey City?

By Thomas M. Gibbons, Realtor-Associate Feb 6, 2019

It’s official: Jersey City’s downtown real estate market definitely cooled off in 2018.  Prices have declined slightly, the number of days on the market is increasing, and the number of sales declined.  Good news if you are a buyer, and not too bad if you’re a seller with patience. 

The latest Q4 market report for downtown Jersey City issued by DwellJC.com indicates that the market is in “reset mode”.  The number of closed sales is decreasing, while inventory is up; and apartments are spending a lot more time on the market.  

The most significant shift in the downtown condo market in Q4 2018 was the dramatic 85% increase in the average days on the market (DOM) over the previous year.  If this trend continues into 2019, we may see prices begin to drop.

The townhouse market, which has far fewer transactions per quarter, fared better; although, prices fell 4% and the number of transactions declined 15%, time on the market increased by only 8%, which was an order of magnitude better than the condo market.

Like Manhattan, downtown Jersey City’s Q4 activity isn’t new; it’s part of a larger regional shift, which seems to indicate that we are in transition.  All the recent development activity is creating a glut of new apartments for rent, along with a local tax reval, volatile stock market, unstable national politics, and changes to the tax code have all combined to give both buyers and seller pause in 2018. 

How is this good for buyers? Aside from the obvious—prices cooling, it also means that there are fewer bidding wars, and more instances of developers offering big incentives to buyers. I’ve seen some developers offering to pay the common charges for a year or more, and the millionaire’s tax.  And these conditions are likely to continue into 2019.  Another bit of good news for buyers is the recent drop in mortgage rates

If you are one of the many prospective buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines until conditions are more favorable, 2019 may be the year for you.  If you’d like to know more about the real estate market in Jersey City or have questions about a specific property listed for sale, please feel free to contact me at tom.wgcrealty@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you soon…