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NJ Apartment Demand Boosts Rent Costs [AUDIO]

Rents will continue to go up in 2014 thanks to high demand for apartments throughout New Jersey. 

Apartment building
Apartment building (Flickr User Jon Parise)

The average rental unit in the state is expected to cost nearly four percent more this year compared to 2013.

“There has been a significant increase in home building in New Jersey, but the vast majority of the new home construction, close to 60 percent now, is multi-family construction for rentals,” said  Patrick J. O’Keefe, director of economic research at CohnReznick.

One factor driving up rental demand is millennials who aren’t as interested in owning a home.  O’Keefe says affordability and job mobility are two reasons why homeownership isn’t as attractive for millennials as it was for the generations before them.

Increased costs are also driving up rents.  “The building owners do face rising energy costs, maintenance costs, insurance, etc,” O’Keefe said.

In the past, it was almost a compulsion to become a homeowner, the foundation of the American dream, especially for baby boomers.  But that’s not the case now.  “That dream has come out of the downturn with a lot of bruises.  Buyers, particularly younger buyers, are hesitant because they’re not sure that buying a home is going to give them the best living circumstances for their dollar.”

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