LIVINGSTON, NJ — Pent up demand for multi-family investments and apartment rentals in Bergen and Passaic counties is mirroring activity of rival urban hotbeds in terms of net absorption and effective rents, according to the brokerage professionals at Gebroe-Hammer Associates. The Livingston-based investment brokerage firm, which recently arranged two separate sales totaling 79 units in Hackensack and Passaic, reports a new urbanism is sweeping suburbia and gaining greater momentum.
“Bergen and Passaic County rival Hudson County for the state’s highest concentration of multi-family sales involving existing low-, mid- and hi-rise complexes and garden-apartment communities as well as new construction starts,” said Greg Pine, executive vice president, whose focus is Bergen County and its secondary markets.
“While these three markets are very similar in terms of occupancy rates of 97+%, increased sales volume and property appreciation and falling cap rates, suburban hubs are now embracing a ‘transit village’ approach that benefits new and existing properties across the board.” “Bergen and Passaic have not seen any sort of boom in apartment-building construction since the post-World War II era,” he said.
“Today’s preference for apartment living has prompted many municipalities – from Fair Lawn to Hackensack to Fort Lee and Wood-Ridge – to rethink their past zoning requirements and adjust their master plan to incorporate residential living near downtown shopping districts and train stations. This strategy has proven effective in retaining and attracting residents who are seeking an easy commute and walkable, urban-like lifestyle.”One such municipality undergoing a philosophical shift is Hackensack, where the brokerage team of Pine and Nicholas Nicolaou, senior vice president, recently arranged the $5.1 million sale of a 47-unit, four-story elevator building at 40-46 Anderson St. totaling 24,850 s/f. Similar trends are sweeping Passaic County, where Hawthorne and Little Falls are both exploring the transit village concept. In municipalities like Passaic, multi-family properties near the Passaic Rail Station remain at the forefront of investment demand, according to Debbie Pomerantz, Gebroe-Hammer’s vice president who recently arranged the sale of 32 units at 156-164 Gregory Ave. The delivery of new multi-family product to Bergen and Passaic County is not expected to weaken performance of existing properties or dilute the tenant base. “During the past four years, the impact of new product on vacancy rates has been non-existent,” added Pomerantz. “