The $3,000 apartment: Asking (and getting) big rents is another sign the Gold Coast is booming

2015-04-14_12-54-28You don’t need to be a real estate expert to know that multifamily on the Gold Coast is white hot.

And you might not bat an eye at the thought of a unit renting for $3,000 a month.

But when that’s the average asking rent for all of Hudson County — the county that makes up a major chunk of this booming market — it might be time to go back and take another look.

With the county projected to reach that benchmark next year, experts say it’s just another resounding sign of just how hot the Gold Coast is. And that’s an average that includes less-expensive parts of the county, meaning rents along the waterfront are even higher — bringing the number up to the $3,000 mark.

It’s why insiders see no signs of a slowdown in the near future when it comes to competition among developers and investors seeking to cash in on the market or plant their flag there.

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Average asking rents for Hudson County have grown every year since 2009 — when they were just above $2,500 — and are projected to top $3,000 in 2016, according to the New York-based research firm Reis Inc. And the firm projects that trend to continue through 2019, with average annual growth of about 2.4 percent during that period.

Those projections may be tempered by an influx of new options — HFF tracks a pipeline of more than 10,500 new units through 2018, from Jersey City to Fort Lee in Bergen County — but experts say demand from renters is almost eye-popping. Look no further than The Art House in Jersey City, a 119-unit property that was delivered last year by The Shuster Group and leased nearly 100 of its 119 units in three months.

Or the 11-story Warren at York, developed by Millennium Homes, which was 50 percent leased within a week of opening.

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The competition is being felt up and down the Gold Coast, experts say, and it’s becoming especially heated as well-heeled institutions increasingly look to break into the market. That’s one driver for another budding trend by investors: acquiring older properties and renovating them to add value.

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