Hudson County Is Hot. Here's Why.
Hudson County’s landscape has been transforming and gentrifying for years, and its secondary market is piquing investor interest. Significant infrastructure improvements, a shrinking supply of pricey alternatives and shifts in both demographics and attitude have all focused attention on Hudson County, which has led to increased market velocity and a price surge.
“What’s driving appreciation,” Marcus & Millichap agent Fahri Ozturk told us, “is a combination of three things: population growth, limited supply and NYC getting too expensive.”
The county’s secondary market looks to be on a trajectory similar to the ones NYC’s outer boroughs experienced in recent years.
The city's ever-increasing expensiveness is triggering an exodus of residents who find rents intolerably high (even in the historically affordable outer boroughs) and pricing out private investors, who are seeking cheaper havens for their capital — like Hudson County.
Ozturk exemplifies this trend. He received a degree in finance from Baruch and a master's in Real Estate Finance & Investments from NYU, and lived and worked in the city for seven years. He now lives and works in Hudson County, which “greatly resembles and reminds me of NYC.”
He told us the county’s connectedness is perhaps its biggest draw, as it’s dotted with mass transit PATH stations and light rail stations at convenient intervals.
“Some people who used to live or work in Brooklyn or Queens are surprised to find their commutes get shorter with the move,” Ozturk said.
Those new to the area are also discovering the county’s rich Spanish heritage and deep roots spanning generations.
Journal Square, McGinley Square, The Heights neighborhoods of Jersey City, parts of Bayonne, Union City and West New York are visibly improving with an influx of capital, accelerating the redevelopment process.
“In the last 24 months we've seen cap rates and per-unit price numbers at record highs.” And some of Ozturk's deals highlight this trend.
McGinley Square saw a nearly 300-unit development on Montgomery Street sell for $6.1M in 2015.
Two multifamily buildings on Duncan and Williams Avenue in Journal Square sold for $2.5M this August.
The Heights had 345 Central Ave, a mixed-use building, sell for $2.5M last month and 410-412 Central Ave, another mixed-use building, sell for $2.2M in January 2015.
In Union City, mixed-use 4900 Bergenline Ave sold for $3.8M in July 2015 and 1000 West St, a multifamily building, sold for $2.1M a month later. This May, 417-419 44th St, a mixed-use building, sold for $2.8M.
In West New York, a multifamily development at 5311 Hudson Ave sold for $1.8M in June 2015 and 420-426 53rd St, a 55-unit complex, sold for $2.2M in February 2016.
Finally, in Bayonne, three mixed-use buildings on Broadway sold for $4.1M in Q3 2016.
Ozturk said most prospective buyers are New York metro-based private investors, 80% of whom are looking for a long-term play, with the remaining 20% aiming to quickly develop and flip.
In the last 24 months, Ozturk has closed 25 transactions totaling $60M in value, indicative of the market's strength and his own tenacity. With this performance, he made Real Estate Forum's national list of "50 under 40" last year.