New Jersey attracts NYC renters seeking space and urban living

Rental vacancies in New York City have hit an all-time high due to the economic fallout and workplace changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many New Jersey communities close to the city — such as in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Union counties — are benefitting from the exodus. 

Zillow's Jeff Tucker, a senior economist, told FOX 5 NY that northern New Jersey has in some ways weathered the crisis much better. He has seen major declines in rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn. But rents in New Jersey haven't fallen nearly as much. 

New Jersey's more urban areas have seen a transformation over the years. First Hoboken was trendy, then Jersey City became hip, and now Kearny is attracting renters from New York.

For example, the Vermella apartments in Kearny opened in June 2020 and are already 70% leased. Adam Pasternack, the president of Russo Property Management, which developed the Vermella site, said the apartments offer amenities and expansive layouts at a great price. 

RELATED: Exodus from NYC squeezing surrounding housing markets

Despite the big shift to remote work in the past year, urban renters tend to prefer staying in urban areas; likewise with suburbanites, according to research. About three-quarters of renters moved from one urban home to another, Zillow reported, and about 71% of suburb dwellers stayed in the suburbs when they moved. 

Younger Americans appear to be taking advantage of the softening rental market to negotiate better deals, upgrade their style of living, and secure more space, according to Zillow Research.

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Russo Property Management has residential sites all over New Jersey in markets chosen for easy access (in some cases, walkability) to transportation, shopping, and nightlife (for when that comes back). And, of course, plenty of that precious commodity: space.

RELATED: Generous incentives, hope for pandemic's end help fuel NYC lease signings

Landlords across the Hudson River are offering never-before-seen rent breaks and perks, leading to a small rebound in New York City. So competition for renters could become fierce. However, some experts have said rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn may not recover to pre-pandemic averages for several years.