10 Reasons THIS Is the Next Hot NYC Metro Neighborhood

10 Reasons THIS Is the Next Hot NYC Metro Neighborhood

4 min read
Philip Michael

Philip Michael is the founder of NYEG, a real estate and VC company with $80MM in the development pipeline.

Philip is the bestselling author of Real Estate Wealth Hacking: How to 10x Your Net Worth in 18 Months. He’s also an expert columnist who’s been featured on Forbes, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur, and other media outlets.

Formerly, he was a TV/radio host on SiriusXM and Fuse. Philip’s also the founder WealthLAB and DealFLW, a free real estate investment analyzer—both of which have been recognized by Forbes.

Philip and his team are currently developing a series of historic projects, including the first black-owned high rise in Jersey City, the first smart home development in Jersey City’s McGinley Square, and the first voice-controlled student housing building in Philadelphia.

A native of Denmark, Philip came to New York in 2014 with $79 in his PayPal account. In 2015, he joined Bisnow Media (the largest commercial real estate news source in North America) and helped lead them to a $50MM sale as national editor and director of content strategy.

In 2019, NYEG launched a Venture Capital arm, which invests in minority and/or women-owned, early-stage startups.

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First, it was Williamsburg, the home of the hipsters. Then Long Island City, Queens. Now the South Bronx. The quest for the next New York City neighborhood never ends.

To make matters worse, over the past year and change, foreign investors have set New York City prices on fire, making the Big Apple literally a non-starter for new investors.

The outer boroughs (i.e. everything New York City, except Manhattan) prices are insane, with people actually getting priced out of Brooklyn.

But that doesn’t mean that the New York City metro is out of deals.

Just 10 minutes from the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, Jersey City’s Journal Square neighborhood is undergoing a dramatic transformation, creating fertile ground for upstart investors to pocket big gains.

(In fact, in less than six months, a recent triplex acquisition has appreciated by nearly 75%. We have a three-unit mixed-use going on the books — we foresee refinancing at a 50% gain here, based on the NOI.)

The evidence of gentrification is evident: new retail, new faces, and new developments are going up daily. As a result, so are surrounding property values. (Read more here — Journal Square then and now.)

Here are 10 reasons why Journal Square is the next booming Northeast real estate market.

1. The Beacon Effect

A stone’s throw from Journal Square, “The Beacon,” a 1,200-unit luxury development spread across 2M square feet of residential and retail space, has helped kick off a redevelopment resurgence in the neighborhood.

As a result, working professionals from Manhattan have started to come over, changing the scope of the neighborhood dramatically. The property opened in April and it’s already changed the rental and sales levels in the surrounding areas.

Related: Real Estate News Roundup: Most Expensive U.S. Markets Have Appreciated 2x as Fast as Least Expensive in Past 30 Years

2. 2016 is BOOMING

The Beacon Developers, including the Kushners, have broken ground on Jersey City projects, with 30% short-term appreciation projections. With new projects projected to finish, Mayor Fulop expects Jersey City to surpass Newark as the state’s most populous city by the end of the year.

3. The City of Jersey’s Redevelopment Plans

Jersey City has kickstarted developments in and around Journal Square. Here are some of the highlights:

4. The City’s Grand Plans to Redevelop McGinley Square

At the nearby McGinley Square area, there are currently plans in place to erect THREE high-rises with Class-A multifamily units. In addition, a new university will be built with the aim to “transform” McGinley Square, as they so modestly put it.

In addition to the three high-rises, ground has broken on a new plaza, including a movie theater.

5. Comps Suggest Further Growth

Because of the new properties, price levels are literally changing every day. Twelve months ago, I viewed a Class-A 2-bedroom unit, which then went for $1,600 a month.

Here are comps for condos at the Beacon — sales and rentals — which sits directly across that unit, a significant driver of the rental market boom in the area.

Sales comps

Via: The Beacon Jersey City

Rental comps

Via: The Beacon Jersey City

6. The Retail Factor

In the surrounding neighborhood, bars have started to open to provide an alternative to nearby Hoboken. In addition, a Burger King, Popeyes, Subway, Starbucks (and we know what Starbucks does to property prices), Taco Bell, plus several commercial banks have opened in the area.

Related: The Big Difference Between Those Who Tank & Those Who Survive in Down Markets

7. Properties Appreciate Daily

We recently picked up a remodeled triplex, vacant, in the area for $750k through a broker — no off-market, under-the-table wheeling and dealing. Just a regular ole transaction.

In weeks, it appreciated by $50k — while still vacant, as The Beacon had just opened. Now, since we bought it, a Citi Bike station — known as the “gateway to gentrification” — has opened right outside the door.

8. Cap Rates Indicate There are Still Deals to Be Had

Nationwide, Class A cap rates range from 4.8%-5.5%, with NYC and Northern Jersey sitting between 3.75%-5%.

Via: U.S. Capital Markets Report

If you use the triplex deal as a benchmark, judging by current NOI and a 5% cap rate — standard for the NYC Metro — the current valuation of the property is $1,296,000 — with room to grow as the area continues its daily gold rush.

That’s a ridiculous 73.3% ROI in less than six months.

Some more numbers to consider:

  • At a 4.5% cap rate, the value jumps to $1.44M.
  • At 3.75%, the lower end of the NYC market, the value jumps to $1.73M.

In other words, while NYC’s cap rates hover around 3-4%, there are still deals to be had looking East.

9. The NYC-PATH Factor

As NYC rental prices continue to skyrocket, working professionals are being priced out of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even Queens.

With the PATH, the commute to Manhattan is shorter, and it’s directly linked to the Subway. (You can use your Subway card for the PATH and vice versa.)

10. MTA-PATH Integration?

Via: Regional Transit Diagram

This year, the long-awaited WTC PATH station opened, creating an iconic link between Jersey City and Lower Manhattan. According to rumors, the PATH stations will be incorporated into the MTA Subway map — a move that could boost real estate prices by another 30%, according to developer Jared Kushner.

Would you invest in this market? Why or why not? What do you think are the best markets for real estate investors currently?

Let’s talk in the comments section below!