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2022/2023 
TRENTON NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET ASSESSMENT

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The Trenton Neighborhood Housing Market Assessment has two purposes: to look at conditions and trends in the City of Trenton and its neighborhoods, and to explore the strategic options available to city government and other stakeholders to address the challenges the city is facing.
 
The original report, “Laying the Foundations for Strong Neighborhoods: A Market-Oriented Assessment,” was published in 2014 by New Jersey Community Capital, the Center for Community Progress, Isles, Inc., and the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University - Newark.
In 2022-2023, New Jersey Community Capital, Isles, Inc. and Trenton Health Team collaborated to update the report, producing the “2022/2023 Trenton Neighborhood Market Assessment."
The reports are market-oriented assessments: since the housing market is a major factor affecting neighborhood outcomes, it is important to understand how that market is working to find the right strategies that will strengthen each neighborhood.

 

INDICATORS

We analyzed a variety of housing market indicators in this report. A detailed information note on the indicators is here.

  • Vacant properties

  • Homeownership rate

  • Median sales price

  • Percentage of home sales going to investors

  • Mortgage foreclosure filings

  • Tax delinquency (outstanding tax sale certificates)

  • Percentage of tax liens bought by investors

  • Violent crime

 

We looked at these indicators separately, to get a sense of trends, and also combined them into an overall housing market index for each neighborhood -- "Strong", "Moderately Strong", "Weak", and "Very Weak". 

For more details on Indicators, click here.
 

WHAT WE FOUND

The 2022-2023 report finds that the housing market in 21 areas is strong or moderately strong; in 18 areas it is weak; and in 16 it is very weak. This is not a significant change from 2015. A few neighborhoods showed improvement, including Hillcrest, Parkside and Chestnut Park 2, while parts of North Trenton declined.

 

  • Strong market areas tend to be a combination of historically or architecturally distinguished pockets (Mill Hill, Cadwalader Heights and Fisher-Richey-Perdicaris) and areas at the city’s edges, such as Glen Afton and Villa Park. In 2015, we noted that some of these areas were showing trends that should be carefully monitored, and indeed, in 2022/2023, North Trenton 5 declined from a Strong to a Moderately Strong market area.

 

  • Moderately strong market areas tend to be areas that are either at the city’s edges, such as Chestnut Park or Franklin Park, or adjacent to strong areas, such as the subsections of Chambersburg or Wilbur adjacent to Villa Park. In contrast to the strong areas, most of the moderately strong areas show signs of weakness in one or more indicator, suggesting potential future difficulty.

 

  • Weak market areas include the more centrally-located neighborhoods, including most of North Trenton and East Trenton; and parts of South Trenton and Chestnut Park. Some of these areas show strength in some indicators, however, suggesting potential opportunities. 

 

WHAT THIS MEANS

Market conditions in Trenton’s neighborhoods continue to present challenges, yet the trends since 2015 create opportunities for the City of Trenton and its community partners to make significant headway in improving not only the housing market, but more importantly, the living conditions of Trenton residents and their opportunities to build wealth. Over the coming years, the City and its partners should focus on three areas, each of which provides opportunities for both short-term and long-term improvement.

 

  • Rebuild homeownership by marketing to both City residents and newcomers to the area, providing homeownership counseling and education, and providing homebuyer incentives.

  • Improve rental housing quality by regularly inspecting all rental properties at least every three years, and provide for adjusting the schedule for individual properties so that properties can be inspected either more or less frequently based on their conditions and history of complaints.

  • Reduce the number of vacant properties, starting with the creation and publication of a citywide Abandoned Property List.

 

Individual strategies should not be seen or carried out in isolation. Neighborhoods are complex, multifaceted entities. The ultimate goal remains to change the trajectory of Trenton's neighborhoods for the better.

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