There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in New Jersey:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in New Jersey, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Garden State.
To do that we are going to look at places in New Jersey that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in New Jersey at the moment? That would be Clayton according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in New Jersey for 2019:
- Clayton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Somerdale (Homes For Sale)
- Roselle Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mount Arlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Secaucus (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Jersey City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Union City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Elizabeth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Roselle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Prospect Park (Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in New Jersey and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in New Jersey.
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In New Jersey
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Jersey
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Jersey
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in New Jersey for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in New Jersey. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in New Jersey with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for New Jersey with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 543 cities and towns in New Jersey, only 188 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 188 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Clayton is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Garden State.
Read on for more on these places.
The first known settlement within what is now the Borough was built by Samuel Williams in 1700. Galloping Hill Road was continually used by revolutionary war scouts, delivering messages to and from General George Washington and Governor Livingston. Galloping Hill Road also believed to be the route traveled by the British columns en route to the Battle of Connecticut Farms, battling the New Jersey militia the entire way. Son of American general William Crane, was bayoneted and killed by the British near what is now Galloping Hill Road and Colonial Road.
While Mount Arlington is now mostly a suburban residential community, it was once a thriving resort community. In the era before the world wars and the advent of air travel, it was a welcome respite for the residents of nearby New York City and Newark.
Sikakes, once an island, was part of the territory purchased by Director-General of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant in 1658. The territory was part of what is considered to be the oldest municipality in the state of New Jersey which was first chartered in 1660 as Bergen in the province of New Netherland and, in 1683, became Bergen Township.
The land comprising what is now Jersey City was inhabited by the Lenape, a collection of tribes. In 1609, Henry Hudson, seeking an alternate route to East Asia, anchored his small vessel Halve Maen at Sandy Hook, Harsimus Cove and Weehawken Cove, and elsewhere along what was later named the North River. After spending nine days surveying the area and meeting its inhabitants, he sailed as far north as Albany. By 1621, the Dutch West India Company was organized to manage this new territory and in June 1623, New Netherland became a Dutch province, with headquarters in New Amsterdam. Michael Reyniersz Pauw received a land grant as patroon on the condition that he would establish a settlement of not fewer than fifty persons within four years. He chose the west bank of the North River and purchased the land from the Lenape. This grant is dated November 22, 1630 and is the earliest known conveyance for what are now Hoboken and Jersey City. Pauw, however, was an absentee landlord who neglected to populate the area and was obliged to sell his holdings back to the Company in 1633. That year, a house was built at Communipaw for Jan Evertsen Bout, superintendent of the colony, which had been named Pavonia. Shortly after, another house was built at Harsimus Cove and became the home of Cornelius Van Vorst, who had succeeded Bout as superintendent, and whose family would become influential in the development of the city. Relations with the Lenape deteriorated, in part because of the colonialist’s mismanagement and misunderstanding of the indigenous people, and led to series of raids and reprisals and the virtual destruction of the settlement on the west bank. During Kieft’s War, approximately eighty Lenapes were killed by the Dutch in a massacre at Pavonia on the night of February 25, 1643.|Scattered communities of farmsteads characterized the Dutch settlements at Pavonia: Communipaw, Harsimus, Paulus Hook, Hoebuck, Awiehaken, and other lands “behind Kill van Kull”. The first village established on what is now Bergen Square in 1660, and is considered to be the oldest town in what would become the state of New Jersey.
The area of what is today Union City was originally inhabited by the Munsee-speaking branch of Lenape Native Americans, who wandered into the vast woodland area encountered by Henry Hudson during the voyages he conducted from 1609 to 1610 for the Dutch, who later claimed the area and named it New Netherland. The portion of that land that included the future Hudson County was purchased from members of the Hackensack tribe of the Lenni-Lenape and became part of Pavonia, New Netherland.|The relationship between the early Dutch settlers and Native Americans was marked by frequent armed conflict over land claims. In 1658 by New Netherland colony Director-General Peter Stuyvesant re-purchased the territory. The boundaries of the purchase are described in the deed preserved in the New York State Archives, as well as the medium of exchange: “80 fathoms of wampum, 20 fathoms of cloth, 12 brass kettles, 6 guns, one double brass kettle, 2 blankets, and one half barrel of strong beer.” In 1660, he ordered the building of a fortified village at Bergen to protect the area. It was the first permanent European settlement in New Jersey, located in what is now the Journal Square area of Jersey City near Academy Street. In 1664, the British captured New Netherland from the Dutch, at which point the boundaries of Bergen Township encompassed what is now known as Hudson County. North of this was the unpopulated Bergen Woods, which would later be claimed by settlers, after whom a number of Union City streets today are named, including Sipp Street, Brown Street, Golden Lane, Tournade Street and Kerrigan Avenue, which is named after J. Kerrigan, the owner of Kerrigan Farm, who donated the land for Saint Michael’s Monastery.
Elizabeth, originally called “Elizabethtown” and part of the Elizabethtown Tract, was founded in 1664 by English settlers. The town was not named for Queen Elizabeth I as many people may assume, but rather for Elizabeth, wife of Sir George Carteret, one of the two original Proprietors of the colony of New Jersey. She was the daughter of Philippe de Carteret II, 3rd Seigneur de Sark and Anne Dowse. The town served as the first capital of New Jersey. During the American Revolutionary War, Elizabethtown was continually attacked by British forces based on Manhattan and Staten Island, culminating in the Battle of Springfield which decisively defeated British attempts to gain New Jersey. After independence, it was from Elizabethtown that George Washington embarked by boat to Manhattan for his 1789 inauguration. There are numerous memorials and monuments of the American Revolution in Elizabeth.|On March 13, 1855, the City of Elizabeth was created by an act of the New Jersey Legislature, combining and replacing both Elizabeth Borough and Elizabeth Township, subject to the results of a referendum held on March 27, 1855. On March 19, 1857, the city became part of the newly created Union County. Portions of the city were taken to form Linden Township on March 4, 1861.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In New Jersey for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in New Jersey. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 543 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more New Jersey reading, check out: