Jersey City’s just a short hop across the water from Manhattan, but unlike the similarly adjacent Williamsburg, doesn’t have the cachet of its Brooklyn counterpart. What it also doesn’t have is sky-high property values, meaning that you can have a Manhattan-adjacent lifestyle here without the Manhattan-adjacent prices. Median home values in Jersey City are a hair over half of median home values in Williamsburg, despite the fact that they offer essentially the same geographical advantages.
But don’t make the mistake of assuming that Jersey City is just an across-the-water suburb of Manhattan. It’s a vibrant, richly cultured city that, with well over a quarter million residents, is one of the densest urban areas in all of New Jersey. And the long term outlook for the local real estate market is very bright.
So where should you live in Jersey City, if you’re looking to score a bargain within an almost literal stone’s throw from Manhattan? It wasn’t easy to pick just five neighborhoods, but we managed. Here are the five best neighborhoods to live in Jersey City in 2019.
As you might imagine, any neighborhood called “The Waterfront” is going to be pretty desirable. The housing here is among the highest-priced in Jersey City but, if you value views of water and Manhattan looming on the horizon, it’s probably worth it.
The Waterfront includes the Powerhouse Arts District, and Newport, two sub-neighborhoods that couldn’t be more dissimilar. The Powerhouse Arts District features factory lofts that have been converted and set aside for local artists, though as with any artist-heavy area, luxury development has begun to filter in. Newport is a 600-acre planned community of high-rise apartment buildings with ground-level retail and big box stores. Though they have little in common on paper, they’re both thriving.
When you hear about Jersey City booming, this is likely the neighborhood people are talking about. With a huge amount of luxury development, along with postcard-perfect historic districts, Downtown has everything you could want in a neighborhood, from amazing dining options, to craft breweries, to small locally-owned retail shops.
The Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza is a fantastic public space where you can shop, eat, and lounge, and the area has multiple transportation options, with three PATH stations, as well as three ferry stops. The neighborhood also boasts multiple green spaces in Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park.
In the Downtown neighborhood, the median home value is $518,292, and the median rent stands at $1,638. Of all residents, 69% of them rent instead of own.
If you were to remove the gravitational pull of Manhattan, Journal Square would be the actual center of Jersey City. It has one of the largest PATH stations in the area, with easy access to New York, Hoboken, Newark, and many other cities, and boasts an amazing mid-century urban infrastructure that’s becoming rapidly revitalized, with the Landmark Loews Theatre, pre-war apartment buildings, and the famous Jackie Robinson statue on Kennedy Boulevard.
Journal Square also features historic brownstones to rival anything you’d find in Manhattan, as well as a Little India area that boasts authentic cafes and eateries.
Here in Journal Square, the median home value is $277,125, and the median rent is right at $1,113. In addition, 82% of residents rent instead of own.
The Heights got its name from its location high up on the Palisades, from which it looks down on the rest of Jersey City. The neighborhood offers breathtaking Victorian and Edwardian style homes, as well as newly-constructed luxury towers, mostly along Palisades Avenue, which has also become a trendy strip of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants.
The Heights also has a large Spanish-speaking population, as well as many Cuban and Puerto Rican restaurants, mostly along Central Avenue.
The median home value here is $317,650, with a median rent of $1,237. In the Heights, 70% of residents rent instead of own.
Paulus Hook is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Jersey City, thanks to its picturesque streets that are lined with historic brownstones. It’s also one of the few neighborhoods in Jersey City where you can get a direct, unobstructed view of Manhattan, if that’s important to you.
There are trendy restaurants and pubs along Washington Street, and there’s a boardwalk along the Hudson River that leads to the iconic Colgate Clock. The schools in this neighborhood are some of the best in New Jersey, making Paulus Hook especially desirable to families, and there are many luxury towers going up alongside the existing housing stock.
The median list price for a home in Paulus Hook right now is $769,000.
Wherever you decide to settle in Jersey City, your first step should be to partner with an experienced real estate agent. A great agent can help you find your ideal home at the ideal price point, and help you navigate every step of the buying process.
Clever Partner Agents are top performers in their respective markets, and come from top brands and brokerages. Whether you’re looking for a historic brownstone in Paulus Hook, or a trendy loft in the Waterfront, a Partner Agent offers a full service buying experience for a low flat fee. Intrigued? Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation!