As the summer season winds down, Highland Park will experience the close of yet another fruitful spring/summer real estate season.
Because many families leave town for vacation this time of year, some housing sales will stagnate. However, in this very livable community that is across the Raritan River from Rutgers University, many of those who remain in town are finalizing relocation to recent purchases for the upcoming school year and colder weather.
According to local Century 21 realtor, Connell Hutkin, the Highland Park market has, in general, “always faired well when compared to its neighboring towns.” Even during past recessions, the Highland Park real estate market has been estimated to have been hit “approximately 10 to 15 percent less than the average New Jersey town.”
When asked about the effects on housing following the 2008 recession, Mr. Hutkin explained that “housing prices in Highland Park never really changed that much…. Recessions normally affect homogeneous areas the most, because there are minimal differences in the houses” and this results in a price war, he noted.
Mr. Hutkin credited this success in the face of economic hardship to a few different factors:
- The large transient population of students and professors accommodated as a result of Highland Park’s proximity to Rutgers College. Their constant movement fortifies the local real estate market with an above average number of transactions. This effect is particularly prevalent in the Highland Park rental market, with nearly 3,400 rentals available.
- The stability and insulating character insured to homeowners, as a result of a century of Highland Park’s success and history.
- With new large-scale developments of several hundred units in the works, combined with the town’s colorful, diverse cultural quality, Highland Park is very much unique in character.
- As Highland Park is only about two square miles, the condensed area is attractive for those who seek the convenience of having a downtown area, public and private schools, workplace, and public transportation all within close proximity.
- Highland Park is home to an excellent public school system that consistently records test scores above state average. *