The real estate market has been red hot since right after the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Housing costs skyrocketed and home buyers were paying exorbitant prices for homes. This was especially tough on first-time buyers.

Now that interest rates have gone up, some of the markets have cooled down, but there aren't many bargains out there in New Jersey. We have the fifth highest rents in the country behind Hawaii, Washington, D.C., California and Maryland.

They rank even higher than NYC, according to

An alarming new trend over the last few years has made it even more difficult to find affordable housing. Corporations also known as institutional buyers have come into some areas and scooped up large chunks of the homes.

For example, corporations own most of the housing units in Newark. Many worry that this will hurt cities and neighborhoods.

Google Maps
Google Maps

There is a pride of ownership that keeps towns and neighborhoods safe and secure, which is lacking when people just rent from a faceless institution.

However, that is how the free market people with the capital buy goods and use them for their purposes and advantage. Of course, in New Jersey the free market is always a target of the state government.

New laws are being proposed to stop the gobbling up of homes in places like Newark, to give the average home buyer an even chance at purchasing a house.

Center Street and Park Place in Newark
Center Street and Park Place in Newark (Google Street View)

Earlier this year, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka proposed new ordinances that would include programs for first-time homeowners. One of the proposals will create a municipal “land bank” that helps turn abandoned properties into homes for local residents. This isn't just happening in cities like Newark. 

If a young couple is competing for a house against a corporation with greater resources, the deck is not stacked in their favor. We'll have to see if the state steps in for new rules in the real estate market to find out if this trend will continue.

LOOK: Cities with the most expensive homes in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of cities with the most expensive homes in New Jersey using data from Zillow.

Wow! Aaron Rodgers new home in New Jersey: Inside and out

Here's a look at New York Jets Aaron Rodgers' new Montclair home with 8 bedrooms and 9 baths — and sweeping views of the rest of New Jersey and the Manhattan skyline.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

More From Lite 96.9 WFPG