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Solid labor and wage growth spurs increased burden-free accessibility for some American renters

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Photo: Robert Clark

Since the housing market collapse a decade ago, rising wages have improved accessibility to affordable rentals for median income Americans, according to a new study by the listing site RentCafe.

Today, fewer median income earners are rent burdened and have burden-free access to more apartments. Rent-burdened is defined as spending  more than 30 percent of a household’s income on housing costs.

The basic idea behind accessibility is fairly simple — it’s the percentage of all apartments in a market that one can afford with a given income,” reads the report.

Accessibility offers a more detailed look at the cross-section of where the job market and the housing market intertwine reveals what the rental market has to offer and for how much, and most importantly, how much of it can renters afford.

“A broader way to understand the rental market is by looking at accessibility, since comparing incomes against the number of units that are affordable gives an entirely different picture of a rental market,” writes real estate writer Balazs Szekely, who authored the study.

Rising home prices and erosion of affordability have caused demand to surge in the rental market. Renter households have steadily increased following the financial crisis, as for many Americans renting was the only way out of the collapse.

At the national level, the median renter income grants burden-free access to 49 percent of all rental stock, up 11 percentage points from 2011. Between 2011 and 2017, access to rental housing for median earners has improved in 40 of the 50 largest cities.

At the same time, nationwide median gross rent has grown by 16 percent while the median income for renter households has grown by around 26 percent. The highest accessibility rates were shaped by strong wages, not “cheap rents,” says Szekely.

Accessibility rates are the highest for median wage earners in Raleigh, North Carolina (71 percent), San Francisco, California (68 percent), and Omaha, Nebraska (64 percent).

But large salaries, expensive homes, and strict rent control have created a unique market in San Francisco, where the median renter household income is over $92,000 — more than twice the national level.

San Francisco’s favorable labor market conditions have of course impacted this figure directly, but as an indirect effect, they have also pushed the median home price to over $1 million.

“This makes renting the only way to go for young professionals, even for those with paychecks that most homeowners elsewhere in the country only dream about,” says Szekely.

At the other end of the spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Detroit, Michigan and New Orleans, Louisiana had the worst accessibility rates of the 50 largest cities.

Millennials are also fueling demand for rental housing. They are reportedly highly motivated to live in urban areas to be closer to booming job markets and they’re priced out of the buying market, so they’re renting.

And in some white-hot tech-driven markets, like San Francisco, employers offer competitive salaries and recruit many younger professionals who have yet to buy a home.



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Fourth annual real estate summit proves Jersey City is just getting warmed up

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Photo: Robert Clark

There may have been a lot of talk about Amazon at the fourth annual Jersey City summit for real estate investment yesterday, but the summit’s real takeaway was that the Jersey City housing market is just getting warmed up.

The summit, held at 210 Hudson Street, included panels and discussions on Jersey City retail, the multifamily sector, office development and amenities. New Jersey’s 56th governor, the honorable Phil Murphy also addressed attendees.

Of Jersey City, Murphy said, “The best days are yet to come.”

Amazon — which announced yesterday morning that nearby Long Island City, NY will be the future location of one of its two new HQs —  cast a long shadow over the Jersey City-focused summit, but the talk was surprisingly positive.

“Amazon will impact Jersey City, and the state of New Jersey, both directly and indirectly,” said Murphy.

Despite high taxes (in New York) and high living costs, Amazon chose LIC and New York City because they wanted to go where it’s “cool,” noted Jeffrey Gural, chairman at GFP Real Estate and Newmark Knight Frank.

Jersey City’s proximity to Manhattan, diversity, strong sense of community, and growing local amenities make it a great place to live and raise a family — an experience hard to be topped across the river.

“Jersey City is in a prime position to benefit from New York City’s strong labor market, growth, and from Amazon and Google expanding,” said Marshall Tycher, chairman at Roseland Property Trust.

The Manhattan-New York City migration into Jersey City has been accelerating in recent years as many businesses and families find themselves priced out of their current digs.

“If New York City job growth continues, Jersey City will prosper,” said Jonathan Kushner, president of the KRE Group.

Murphy urged developers to look beyond Jersey City’s thriving downtown — recently ranked one of the best in the country — and offered incentives to encourage development that creates opportunities within the community.

If anything, many believe Amazon’s arrival next door will only fuel Jersey City’s ongoing rivalry with Manhattan and force it to grow even more.

“Jersey City has thrived despite having the Big Apple as a neighbor,” said Gural. “Los Angeles doesn’t have Manhattan as a neighbor.”

By the end of the summit, two things were abundantly clear despite the cloudy, rainy autumn weather — Jersey City isn’t worried about Amazon and Jersey City is just getting started. Indeed, the best days are still ahead.



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Fourth annual real estate summit proves Jersey City is just getting warmed up

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Photo: Robert Clark

There may have been a lot of talk about Amazon at the fourth annual Jersey City summit for real estate investment yesterday, but the summit’s real takeaway was that the Jersey City housing market is just getting warmed up.

The summit, held at 210 Hudson Street, included panels and discussions on Jersey City retail, the multifamily sector, office development and amenities. New Jersey’s 56th governor, the honorable Phil Murphy also addressed attendees.

Of Jersey City, Murphy said, “The best days are yet to come.”

Amazon — which announced yesterday morning that nearby Long Island City, NY will be the future location of one of its two new HQs —  cast a long shadow over the Jersey City-focused summit, but the talk was surprisingly positive.

“Amazon will impact Jersey City, and the state of New Jersey, both directly and indirectly,” said Murphy.

Despite high taxes (in New York) and high living costs, Amazon chose LIC and New York City because they wanted to go where it’s “cool,” noted Jeffrey Gural, chairman at GFP Real Estate and Newmark Knight Frank.

Jersey City’s proximity to Manhattan, diversity, strong sense of community, and growing local amenities make it a great place to live and raise a family — an experience hard to be topped across the river.

“Jersey City is in a prime position to benefit from New York City’s strong labor market, growth, and from Amazon and Google expanding,” said Marshall Tycher, chairman at Roseland Property Trust.

The Manhattan-New York City migration into Jersey City has been accelerating in recent years as many businesses and families find themselves priced out of their current digs.

“If New York City job growth continues, Jersey City will prosper,” said Jonathan Kushner, president of the KRE Group.

Murphy urged developers to look beyond Jersey City’s thriving downtown — recently ranked one of the best in the country — and offered incentives to encourage development that creates opportunities within the community.

If anything, many believe Amazon’s arrival next door will only fuel Jersey City’s ongoing rivalry with Manhattan and force it to grow even more.

“Jersey City has thrived despite having the Big Apple as a neighbor,” said Gural. “Los Angeles doesn’t have Manhattan as a neighbor.”

By the end of the summit, two things were abundantly clear despite the cloudy, rainy autumn weather — Jersey City isn’t worried about Amazon and Jersey City is just getting started. Indeed, the best days are still ahead.



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Playground Condominiums at Garrison Point is now selling

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Experience the very best of the Liberty Village and King West neighbourhoods at Playground Condominiums. Located at the corner of Strachan Avenue and Ordnance Street, this brand new 35-storey condominium residence boasts a signature four-acre city park and a comprehensive selection of onsite amenities. Featuring studio to two-bedroom plus den layouts, Playground Condominiums offers modern design and a connected urban lifestyle.

The project is being developed by Fernbrook Homes, Cityzen Development Group and Greybrook Realty Partners. Sales for available units range in price from $481,900 to $966,900. Floorplans are thoughtfully designed with 357 to 1047 square feet of living space, functional linear or L-shaped kitchens, organized reach-in closets and open-air balconies with sweeping views of the downtown core and Lake Ontario.







Playground lives up to its name with an exciting lineup of amenities. The wood and marble-clad lobby is overseen by an attentive concierge, and the state-of-the-art fitness centre allows residents to forego costly gym memberships. Host a large get-together in the party room, complete with a chef’s kitchen and comfortable seating areas.







The kids lounge offers plenty of space to run around, read quietly or work on an art project, and the theatre room is the perfect spot for a cozy movie marathon with friends. During the warmer months, head to the rooftop pool and jacuzzi for a relaxing soak. If enjoying a book in the sun is more your thing, there are plenty of chairs to lounge around on.







Playground Condominiums is just steps away from Liberty Village — home to a Metro grocery store, West Elm, EQ3, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, and a wide array of casual pubs and restaurants. There’s easy access to bustling King West, as well as Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen West. Even closer to home, the four-acre park is an ideal place to walk the dog, enjoy a picnic or play with the kids.







Register today to learn more about buying opportunities at Playground Condominiums.

For more information, please call 416 278 8071, email info@playgroundcondos.ca or visit playgroundcondos.ca.



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