The Real Deal: New brokerages open offices to seal deals in Hudson County

Anne Field at The Real Deal looks into the burgeoning broker market in Hudson County in this month’s issue.

Natalie Miniard of JCity Realty worked with Art House, a 119-unit rental that was fully leased in six months.

Natalie Miniard of JCity Realty worked with Art House, a 119-unit rental that was fully leased in six months.

Developers aren’t the only real estate players making the most of surging interest in the Gold Coast. Brokers are in on it, too.

Early last year, long-time Hoboken broker Renée Condon opened a Keller Williams Realty franchise there, part of the firm’s plan to launch four offices in total in Hudson County by the end of 2016.

About six months later, Jersey City broker Natalie Miniard partnered with local developer Eyal Shuster Development to open JCity Realty, which now has 11 agents.

And national realtor Douglas Elliman said it’s “considering a bigger move in New Jersey,” specifically to the Gold Coast, according to a spokesperson who would not provide more detail.

2015-06-03_11-19-51“As Manhattan and Brooklyn get more expensive, the demand is only going to grow on the Gold Coast,” said Michael Brand, tri-state regional director for Keller Williams Realty.

Still, it’s far from smooth sailing for New Jersey brokers. The number of brokers in Hudson County has declined by 15 percent to 2,497 over the past five years as the condo market has continued to lag behind rentals. Because condo sales are considerably more lucrative than rentals, many brokers have decided to throw in the towel. Meanwhile, the decrease has been even greater in nearby Essex and Bergen counties, which have more single-family homes and less development. In Essex county, the number dropped 21 percent, to 2,456; in Bergen, there was an 18 percent decline, to 5,902, according to the Department of Banking and Insurance in New Jersey.

But for the most persistent of salespeople, the Gold Coast is proving to hold great promise. Winners there range from real estate professionals who have cornered a productive niche to those leasing a high volume of waterfront rentals or snagging exclusive representation of particular developments. Over the next three to five years, “we see the Gold Coast as being a $2 billion market for us,” said Brand.

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