It wasn’t that long ago when we felt like we were being inundated with New Yorkers all at once; choked and crowded into our already densely populated state with people escaping city life during COVID.

Of course, it was mostly New Yorkers who were leaving their crammed quarters to venture through the tunnels and over the bridges to the sweet life here in New Jersey. They needed the space and the kids were out of school anyway so, why not?

For many of those people, New Jersey turned out to be a great place to plant roots. But, for a large percentage, New Jersey was just a temporary fix, and the first chance they got, they ran right back to one of the five boroughs of New York City. Especially Manhattan.

In fact, according to an article on bloomberg.com, more people are moving to Manhattan now than before the pandemic.

The article cites moving data provided by Melissa, a global data intelligence and address analytics company, which found that even though the overall population of Manhattan is declining and only 36% of people are actually back at work at their offices, the migration into Manhattan has now reversed, with people flooding back into the city.

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The data also shows that almost all suburban counties that gained population during the first year of the pandemic lost some in the second. Of all the counties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that people sought refuge in, the ones who saw the most leave are Hudson County and Essex County.

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If you think about it, this makes sense. People who work in the city still needed to be close enough to the city if they were not working remotely. So Hudson and Essex were the natural choices.

And even those who were working remotely probably figured at some point their offices would reopen and they needed to be within a stone's throw of Manhattan. (Let’s face it, nobody who has a job in Manhattan and thinks they may have to eventually return to the office is moving to Burlington County.)

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This may be good news for New Jerseyans, who felt they were being pushed out of rentals or home sales because of the influx of New Yorkers.

But it doesn’t mean that prices will drop. Even though inventory will increase due to all of the people heading back to the big city, the article points out that unlike during the 2008 financial crisis, we won’t see home prices dropping. We simply have, according to the piece, a new baseline.

This means that in Hudson and Essex Counties, if predictions are correct, you still may not be able to afford the house you’re buying — but at least you can buy one.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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