Northern New Jersey: Land Of The Rich

The country’s highest property taxes may be driving out some New Jersey residents, but undeterred out-of-state transplants are taking up the slack. The IRS’ number crunchers say New Jersey newcomers are moving in with more cash than those who left. From The New York Times:

Last year, 30,082 households, with a median income of $42,889, moved from New York to New Jersey; the 19,381 households that New Jersey lost to New York had a median income of $34,003.
“What the I.R.S. data is saying to me is that it’s only the wealthy who can afford to live in the northern half of New Jersey,” said Tim Evans, research director of New Jersey Future, a planning group.

Looking at a different set of numbers released by the Census Bureau earlier this year, New Jersey regained its No. 1 ranking for total household income in 2005, with a median of $61,672…
Regardless of what is happening with the very rich, James W. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, said New Jersey was losing too many middle-income people because of high property taxes and housing costs.
“For companies that try to transfer people into New Jersey, there’s always the issue of sticker shock and higher housing costs,” Mr. Hughes said. “So one way of looking at this is that the only people who can move here are the higher-income ones.”
“It may well be that some of the people moving in are high-income New Yorkers moving to the Hudson County waterfront or to Montclair,” he said..

Maybe this explains the recent proliferation of banks in Baristaville…

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16 COMMENTS

  1. My family moved away from NoNJ because we could no longer afford to live there. And I’ve gotten word that three of my former neighbors plan on moving in the next year or two for the same reason. And those people have been in their homes for over 15-20 years and bought into NoNJ when housing was cheap (by today’s standards)! They all plan on taking their equity and going someplace cheaper – like the Southeast, where their money will go further and the towns will provide better services.

  2. Did ya catch the following paragraph in the NY Times article:
    “It may well be that some of the people moving in are high-income New Yorkers moving to the Hudson County waterfront or to Montclair,”

  3. The message is clear: All low income serfs should get out and make room for people who can afford to live in an upscale community.

  4. I agree with this statement from the article:
    Most of them [people who left NJ] were retirees or younger families in search of bigger houses, said Mr. Evans of New Jersey Future, who has traced migration in and out of New Jersey in detail. He documents a continuing westward flow across the northern tier of the state and into Pennsylvania while Philadelphia sends people to South Jersey.
    As for who is moving to New York State, with less income than the New Yorkers moving to New Jersey, Mr. Evans said one big destination might be Orange County, which is still less expensive than the northern New Jersey counties across the border. “If anyone is moving to New York City,” he said, “it has to be to Manhattan or the hip parts of Brooklyn.”
    And those would be primarily young people, he said, “the ones who can live in a shoebox.”

  5. well, i grew up in montclair, live in nyc in a “transitional neighborhood”, make decent $ (compared to the rest of the world) and i only wish i could afford to live in montclair…wahhh.

  6. Dear Daisy,
    Don’t be put off by the myth that only the very rich can live in Montclair. There are nice little houses that can be bought for around $600,000 – on which the taxes after reval will be about $11,000, a lot less than the rent of your “shoe box” NYC appartment.

  7. Dear Byron,
    Assuming a 30-yr-fixed mortgage at today’s interest rates, a $600,000 loan plus escrow for taxes is still a hefty monthly payment for many paycheck-to-paycheck families. Figure at least another $10K to move-in (paint, blinds, carpeting, appliances, etc) and pretty soon renting looks more affordable for short-term plans, or moving to a more West-ward locale along Route 80 or 78. Further, many homes around here are 50-100 years old, requiring upgrades and age-appropriate maintenance.

  8. Jim,
    You’re probably right, mortgage payments, interest and taxes will run about $3,000 a month. On theory you should spent not more than 1/3 of you income on housing, the prospective home buyer should have annual income of at least $100,000.

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