Jersey City residents have seen rent levels escalate significantly over the last decade, but a new analysis suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic might have inadvertently provided some relief for tenants in New Jersey’s second-largest city.
Atlanta-based Rent.com, an apartment search website, released a study that examines the average price per square foot for a two-bedroom apartment in the country’s 100 largest cities. The study looked at both renting and buying based on listings from May 2021 compared to the same period last year.
Year-on-year, asking rents in Jersey City are down about 6.7%. The average price per square foot for renters citywide is $3.29 per foot, while the average price per square foot for those looking to purchase a home came in at $550 per square foot.
Despite the falloff, the price per square foot numbers ranked Jersey City sixth in highest rent and ninth in median home listing price. Rent.com’s study determined that due to Jersey City ranking higher for rents than median house listing prices, it presents a slightly better value for buyers.
“When rents and home prices per square foot diverge, this shows the relative strength of the for sale market compared to the rental market,” says Taylor Marr, Redfin lead economist. “When renters become first-time homebuyers and leave the rental market, we’d expect home prices per square foot to increase and rents per square foot to decrease … which could mean either getting a better deal on a rental or buying an asset poised to appreciate.”
Despite a tough year, New York City is still by far the most expensive place to rent a home according to the analysis. The Big Apple’s average two-bedroom asking rent clocks in at $5.73 per square foot, while the median home is listed at $634 per square foot.
The study found rents in NYC actually increased 4.26% year-on-year last month, a sign asking prices could be rebounding following a major drop-off during 2020.
The Rent.com study determined that the best value for homebuyers in the country can be found in Detroit, Michigan. The best value for those looking to rent is apparently in Austin, Texas.