Keeping It (Real) Estate: New Jersey Property Picture Looks to Rebound

After the bottom dropped out of the market in 2006, the national real estate picture began a slow upward climb. According to a recent article in the July 2015 edition of Realty Today, however, New Jersey has lagged behind this upward trend most notably due to a high number of foreclosures and a smaller state population. 

Nonetheless, experts predict this will soon change and cite several reasons why they expect an uptick in the Jersey market. It’s believed that low down payments and interest rates will attract buyers, particularly from neighboring New York. Aggressive marketing of properties on social media and SEO optimization also get the word out on properties and allow prospective buyers to track options. Real-time agents are also available online to provide property details. Although families continue to be the primary buyers, demographics show an increase in singles purchasing homes. 

All of these signs pointing to a rebound come as no surprise to Omar Boraie, president of Boraie Development LLC. Mr. Boraie is the visionary behind such urban refurbishing as New Brunswick’s One Spring Street Condominium, which opened in 2007 and sold out in two months. However, Mr. Boraie is quick to give additional credit where it’s due to companies such as Johnson & Johnson. “If Johnson & Johnson didn’t decide to live in New Brunswick, none of this would have happened,” says Boraie. 

Boraie Development’s current projects include The Aspire, a seventeen-story residential building with 238 units. Mr. Boraie believes that luxury accommodations will bring many professionals back into the fabric of New Brunswick and other New Jersey cities and contribute to real estate growth in the state. “Every morning I look out and see Johnson & Johnson. I see Rutgers. I see the medical school. I see the hospital expanding ….It’s the combination that is building downtown New Brunswick,” says Boraie. This combination, indeed, appears to be part of the winning blend that will bring New Jersey real estate back on the upswing.

Rising and Falling Houston Real Estate Prices

Houston, Texas has been consistently ranked as one of best performing real estate markets in the United States in the last decade. Historically the fate of the real estate in Houston has always been closely tied to the performance of the oil sector. Houston houses most of the nation’s big oil and gas companies such as British petroleum, Apache oil, Marathon oil, Conoco Phillips, and Tenaris. With the recent drop in oil prices the companies started laying off staff, the companies are set to cut about 23,000 jobs combined in Houston in 2015. As the energy sector started booming in early 2000’s employment rates in the oil and gas sector rose exponentially and as predicted Houston started experiencing a significant boom in its real estate market. With everyone rushing to Houston construction of commercial and residential real in the area increased significantly but with the downward turn in the oil prices most companies are slowing down construction.

The oil price per barrel dropped 40 percent in 2014 and its expected that it is going to continue to drop to around 50 percent in 2015. The United States energy information administration predicts that the price of oil will be around 57 per barrell in 2015 but predicts that it will rise to 75 in 2016. The real estate market in Houston historically has a tendency to fluctuate with oil prices, the last time there was a significant drop in oil prices in the 1980’s the real estate market in Houston was significantly affected by the layoffs of the oil companies. However in the last decade the Houston economy has been diversified, although the oil industry is still one of the best performing industries in Texas, over 100,000 jobs have been created in manufacturing, heath and engineering, and its expected the creation of this jobs will stabilize the housing market in Houston as the oil prices continue to drop.

For the Houston real estate market to survive amid what Wikipedia says is the expected drop in prices it needs to have investors who think outside the box. Haidar Borbouti has proved to be one such investor. Haidar Barbouti bought the renowned highland village in 1991, amid the Houston real estate downturn in the late 1980’s. He is credited with the massive changes to the upscale upscale shopping centre. Highland village was the first mall to house Starbucks in Houston, Crate and Barell (a home goods store) has a 30,000 square foot shop in the shopping centre, Apple- one of the leading technology companies also has one of its biggest stores in Houston housed at the mall.

Haidar is a renowned foodie and owns his own restaurant, housed in the top deck of the shopping centre; his upscale restaurant is set to bring changes to the Houston dining scene, with its focus on wholesome food.
Highland village is home of several of Houston upscale eating establishments including P.chang china bistro, R A Sushi, and the renowned steakhouse Smith and Wollensky.