It’s been a few weeks since Jersey City was declared to have the highest rents in the country by Rent.com — at an average of $5,500 a month — and it’s still not sitting well with the real estate community.
Wendy Paul, the executive director of the Jersey City Apartment Owners Association, is among those disillusioned by having her market earn that status. She questioned the depth of the analysis.
“The Jersey City multifamily community has a range of apartment options for everyone,” she said. “From microunits to the ultraluxury buildings referenced in the report, this is why Jersey City is such an attractive place to live for so many.”
Paul said that the report’s data is further skewed by not including the multiple options of the apartment owner community, from two-family homes to other market-rate offerings.
“While massive inflation on everything from building materials, energy and wages has forced housing costs up, the Jersey City multifamily community has been innovative, finding ways to increase housing supply while meeting a wide spectrum of rents,” she said.
Then there’s this: How can you have a listing of areas with top rents and not have New York City on it?
To be sure, national rankings such as this often have dubious methodologies that leave them open for debate. But any real estate rental ranking that doesn’t include New York City is next-level confusing.
Rent.com provided this explanation, which was detailed in the reports it sent to media:
“New York was one of the cities excluded in this month’s report due to insufficient inventory, which is outlined in our methodology. Our data focuses on advertiser multifamily properties, which we can be more confident in its pricing than properties on our site from external listing feeds.
“All cities that fall below a certain availability threshold at either the one- or two-bedroom level are removed from this report due to a sample size that’s too small to show a true market average.”
Boston and Palo Alto, California, were next on Rent.com’s list.
Other rankings came in differently.
RealPage, a property management software company with a robust research department, had a different ranking.
It counts New York City as the highest-priced metro at $4,213 a month; its top submarket is Midtown East in New York ($5,311); and the top ZIP code (10075) in New York’s Upper East Side is at $11,403.
Another property management firm, Yardi, cited Palm Beach, Florida, at $7,491.83, followed by New York City (combined boroughs) at $4,959.