Hoboken is a happening city in Hudson County, New Jersey, right across the river from New York City. It's often considered a suburb of Manhattan with its own local culture and identity. With skyline views and an easy commute into the city, Hoboken is a haven for young professionals and families looking for more space and a slower pace than NYC.
But all that convenience and access to excitement come at a cost. Even though the cost of living in Hoboken is more affordable than in New York, it's also considerably higher than the national average. So, Hoboken is expensive compared to other US cities but more affordable than living in the five boroughs. To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a look at the cost of living in Hoboken.
The cost of living in any area can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your household, the neighborhood you live in, and the lifestyle you live. Therefore Hoboken may be very affordable to some while less manageable for others.
A good place to start if you want to understand the affordability of an area is to look at the Hoboken cost of living index. There are a few different tools you can analyze to break down the cost of living in Hoboken.
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The Cost of Living Index (COLI) is a metric used to compare the cost of living in a particular city or region against the United States average. The national average is represented by 100. Any points above or below represent how expensive or affordable an area is compared to the national average as a percentage.
For example, the Hoboken cost of living index is around 160, which is 60% higher than the national average. In comparison, the COLI for Manhattan is 255, which means it's 115% higher than the rest of the country. But the COLI for the nearby Bergen and Passaic counties is 123 or 23% higher than the national average.
The COLI is based on several factors, such as the cost of housing, groceries, utilities, healthcare, taxes, etc. Therefore the number for a particular city may be skewed by the cost of one or a few different factors. For instance, the cost of things like groceries and transportation are only slightly more expensive in Hoboken than in the rest of the US. But due to its close proximity to Manhattan, the housing is more costly, making the overall Hoboken COLI number significantly higher.
Another good metric to reference is the consumer price index, which refers to the average change over time for a basket or standard consumer goods. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index for the New York-Newark-Jersey City area has increased by 0.2% in the past month and 6.3% in the past year.
However, food prices increased by 8.6% in the past year, and energy has increased by 13.3%. So due to inflation, the cost of goods has risen significantly compared to the last few years, but experts say the recent statistics show a cooling off of the economy.
Next, you'll want to check out the Hoboken consumer expenditure survey. The consumer expenditure survey is a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that provides key data on consumers' income, expenditures, and demographic changes in a particular region.
Here's a breakdown of how the Consumer Expenditure survey for the New York metropolitan area compares to the rest of the US.
|US Average||New York Metro Area|
* Costs expressed as a percentage of the average family’s overall budget
As you can see, New York and Hoboken residents tend to make more than the average but also spend a higher percentage on housing while less on expenses like healthcare, transportation, and entertainment.
Finally, the Family Budget Calculator from the Economic Policy Institute is another great tool for analyzing the cost of living in Hoboken. The calculator helps break down exactly how much money you need to live in Hoboken based on factors like housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, etc. According to this calculator, a family of four living in Hudson County, New Jersey, with two adults and two children, would need to make $101,568 to afford to live comfortably.
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While these tools and indexes can be a great way to analyze the cost of living in Hoboken in the abstract, it can be tough to wrap your head around how that translates to day-to-day expenses.
Here are some examples of consumer prices, average Hoboken utilities, and more.
Real estate is one of the biggest factors that impact the cost of living in Hoboken. The Hoboken housing market is very hot due to the high quality of life and proximity to NYC that the city offers. But there are also plenty of neighborhoods that are more affordable as well. Hoboken real estate has been steadily increasing over the past few years, although there's been a slight cooling off since the peak in 2022. Overall, housing prices are still up for the year, but the demand has slowed, bringing prices down slightly.
The median price of Hoboken homes for sale is $785,000, which is up by 6.8% compared to last year. But only 40 homes sold in December 2022, which is down by 63.3% since last December. The sale-to-list price is 99.6%, and 42.5% of homes sold above the listing price. However, 7.3% of homes listed did experience a price drop. The average price per square foot of a home in Hoboken is $805, which is up by 12% since last year. At the moment, the Hoboken real estate market is somewhat competitive, as the average home sells for about 1% below listing price and goes pending in 40 days.
The price-to-rent ratio in Hoboken is about 1 to 16, which indicates that it's slightly better to rent than buy. The lower the ratio, the better it is for buyers, but anything above 1 to 15 indicates renters have an advantage. So the Hoboken housing market is slightly better for tenants, but not by much.
Median Housing Prices for Popular Hoboken Neighborhoods:
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Although many Hoboken residents own their own homes, the city still has plenty to offer renters. RentCafe states that the average apartment rent in Hoboken is $4,060. However, Hoboken rents can vary greatly depending on what you need. Prices typically start around $2,745 for a studio and go up to $7155 for a three-bedroom. In Hoboken, 65% of residents own a home, while 35% are renters.
According to the Rental Affordability Report by ATTOM, it's cheaper to rent in Hudson County than it is to own, which is why there is such a large population of renters in Hoboken. The Out of Reach report states that an hourly worker would need to make $49.42 to afford a standard one bedroom apartment that costs $2,570 or $56.92 to afford a two-bedroom that costs $2,960. That's how much a person would need to earn for rent to make-ups 30% of their income or less.
Although the cost of living in Hoboken is slightly higher than in the rest of the country, on average, Hoboken residents also make more money. According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in Hoboken is $160,890, and the median per capita income is $97,083. That's roughly double that of the rest of New York-New Jersey-Jersey City and 1.5x more than the state of New Jersey overall. According to Payscale, the average salary in Hoboken is $81,000 annually.
Average salary for common Hoboken jobs:
Bureau of Labor Statistics data says that the average hourly wage in the New York metropolitan area is $35.65, which is a 0.2% increase since the previous year. However, the median hourly wage is $26.83. That indicates that more jobs are paying less than that but there are enough higher-paying jobs to significantly influence the average.
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Finally, to truly understand how much it costs to live in Hoboken, you'll want to get a handle on the various taxes you'll be paying regularly, mainly income, sales, and property tax.
The New Jersey income tax rate varies depending on how much you earn and whether you are filing independently or jointly as a married couple. You can find the New Jersey tax rate schedules here, which show you how to calculate what you owe.
Here is an example if you need help understanding how to calculate your tax.
Say you make $50,000 per year. You would write your income on the fourth line down because it's more than $40,000 but less than $75,000. Multiply that by the tax rate of 0.05525, which would be $2,762.5. Subtract 1,492.50 on the second line, and your state tax would be $1,270. You can use that same sheet and formula to determine your tax obligation for any other amount of income.
The sales tax rate in New Jersey is 6.625%. Hoboken or Hudson County has no separate city or county sales tax, so the effective sales tax rate would be 6.625%.
New Jersey has an “ad valorem” tax, which is assessed based on the property's value. Real property is assessed at a certain percentage of its real value as determined by the county assessor, which is 100% in all New Jersey counties.
Property tax rates are determined at the school, county, and municipal level and are calculated by taking the dollar amount needed to meet local budget expenses and dividing that by the total value of assessed property in the district. The state of New Jersey does not participate in setting property tax rates. Individual property tax bills are then determined by multiplying the property tax rate by the property's assessed value.
Therefore the tax rates change periodically depending on budget demands. The general Hoboken property tax rate is 1.6%, which would translate to about $12,560 for a home worth $785,000. In 2018, Hoboken's average property tax bill was $8,351, although home values and tax rates have increased since then.
Although Hoboken may be more expensive than the national average, it’s more affordable for most residents than Manhattan, which is why it attracts so many commuters. For instance, the COLI in Manhattan is 255, which means it’s 155% more expensive than Manhattan, whereas Hoboken is only 60% above the national average.
Plus, the average home price in Manhattan is $1.1 million, whereas in Hoboken it’s $785,000 and most homes have significantly more square footage. So if you’re moving to Hoboken from somewhere else in the country, you may find it more expensive, but if you’re relocating from Manhattan, it’s a bargain.
So now that you have all the data, you can make the decision about whether you can afford to live in Hoboken. When you’re ready to make the transition to this popular city in Hudson County, trust Catlow Movers to help make the process smooth and stress-free. Call us today at 201-653-1808 or fill out the form on our website to request a quote.
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