Brigantine Considered #6 American Ghost Town?

Brigantine Beach American Ghost Town
Brigantine Beach

Brigantine considered an American ghost town? Ouch. That’s what a national website called 24/7 Wall St. thinks. Sure, Brig has its challenges. But the real fear for all of us with financial skin in the game……is this how OTHERS think about our Brigantine Beach? Of course, perception often is reality.

Brigantine was voted one of NJ’s Best Places to Live in 2008. Still, far too many home buyers & businesses are reluctant to place a bet on this beautiful, yet mismanaged / misunderstood municipality by the sea. See Full Story > 15 American Ghost Towns

brigantine real estate
From Trulia.com

South Jersey shore home prices have recovered since the double whammy of Hurricane Sandy and the housing crisis. But not all towns rebounded evenly. In some U.S. communities like Brigantine, property values and foreclosures have worsened. While other towns were rebuilding and tightening belts, many areas of Brigantine sat in disrepair after the super-storm. Instead of a city wide effort to cut costs and rebuild infrastructure, pay raises and new jobs were handed out to a small group called the ‘friends and family’ of Brigantine City Hall.

16.2% of Brigantine homes are vacant. Since 2009, more than one-fourth of residents have left the dilapidated coastal city. Quote from 24/7 Wall St.

Some Brigantine homeowners are so deep underwater with their loan to debt ratio, they have no choice but to abandon their property.

Trulia: Average price per square foot for Brigantine NJ was $165, a decrease of 20.3% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Brigantine NJ for Aug 15 to Nov 15 was $188,000 based on 12 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 32.8%, or $91,750, and the number of home sales decreased 80.6%. There are currently 582 resale and new homes in Brigantine on Trulia, including 3 open houses, as well as 92 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. Sales prices have depreciated 37.4% over the last 5 years in 08203, Brigantine.

How did they identify the 15 U.S. cities with the highest vacancy rates? 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from mail carriers obtained by RealtyTrac. By combining zip code data, they reviewed housing characteristics for over 5,000 U.S. cities.

  • Indian Rocks Beach, Florida leads nation w/ 25.9% of housing units vacant.
  • Brigantine is #6 with 16.2% vacancy rate. Vacant properties in Brigantine: 1,793

According to RealtyTrac, a high vacancy rate usually means the housing inventory is far greater than the demand for homes — an unhealthy housing market. Over half of the cities with highest vacancy rates experienced double-digit population declines since 2009. Some towns shrank by more than 20% over past few years.

The Top 6 ‘American Ghost Towns’

6. Brigantine, New Jersey
> Vacancy rate:
16.2%
> Vacant properties: 1,793
> Total residential properties: 11,071

5. Highland Park, Michigan
> Vacancy rate:
17.8%
> Vacant properties: 2,716
> Total residential properties: 15,278

4 Detroit, Michigan
> Vacancy rate: 18.9%
> Vacant properties: 53,873
> Total residential properties: 284,601

3. Gary, Indiana
> Vacancy rate:
20.3%
> Vacant properties: 6,527
> Total residential properties: 32,074

2. Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
> Vacancy rate:
21.1%
> Vacant properties: 689
> Total residential properties: 3,267

1. Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
> Vacancy rate:
25.9%
> Vacant properties: 1,362
> Total residential properties: 5,260

Read more: 15 American Ghost Towns

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10 thoughts on “Brigantine Considered #6 American Ghost Town?”

  1. Amazing that if the population has dwindled so much that the city still requires the same number of police and fire personnel. It would be good to see a comparison of the tax rate and size of government of Brigantine vs. comparable sized shore towns in NJ.

  2. It’s really ashame how this town politics and taxes are killing the value of Realestate been in the island for 11 years .good comment about friends and family raises ruining the town hope it will stop soon .its ia gost town and the business district is awfull because of it nobody can make a living except a few business still love the place not sure I can afford to be there much longer

  3. Isn’t there someone in the Brigantine Chamber of Commerce who might want to refute this negative story with some facts on the new building that has been going on since Sandy hit? I never cease to be surprised at the number and size of new homes popping up everywhere on the island. Someone please take some action to spin this story the other way! Where is the Brig Strong mentality?

    1. City and chamber must fight back against this kind of harmful PR. They need to either publicly prove this story as false…or ask author to retract. This negative publicity adds to other old tales….like brig is still full of Green heads….even though that problem has been dramatically reduced through high level of housing development.

  4. This article was a statistical joke. If it was submitted as a grad school thesis it would have gotten an “F”.

    How could you possible compare cities with many more second home owners (Brigantine) with cities with no second home owners (Detroit) ? However, the comments about poor governance really hit home.

    Decades ago when Brigantine rolled up the sidewalks in winter there were 3 times more businesses including 10 restaurants. Some of them were there since I was a kid. How did they make it through the winter?

    Part of the reason is the dramatic increase in the size of local government along with the associated costs.

    You don’t have to look any further than the City giving Ron Jaworski the boot in favor of local hacks or even worse the Loss of the Blues Festival due to an unresponsive City on every basic level!

    1. I don’t think the article compares cities with 2nd homeowners to ones without at all!
      This is what the article looked at:

      To identify the 15 cities with the highest vacancy rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from mail carriers obtained by RealtyTrac on some 26,000 zip codes.

      …a high vacancy rate usually means the housing inventory is far greater than the demand for homes — the telltale sign of an unhealthy housing market.

      However, the towns where vacated homes were likely second homes and not truly abandoned were also not considered. Foreclosure rates, the percentage of vacant properties with open loans, in foreclosure, and bank owned were also provided by RealtyTrac.

      If you ignore the data then you’re taking the position that mostly all of the second homeowners do not list or use their Brigantine mailing address. Is that the case? Do second homeowners in Brigantine not receive any mail?

      Regardless of the method of statistical collection can anyone argue that:
      1. Brigantine housing inventory is far greater than the demand for homes.
      2. Brigantine has an unhealthy housing market. (ask the realtors!)
      3. Brigantine home values have fallen
      4. Brigantine is losing population
      5. Brigantine overall economy is unhealthy. (Failed business no new business)

  5. The poorly run government, publicity, declining business, increased foreclosures should be a wake up call for the powers that be. However, Gov Christie is chasing his tail in New England, running in circles and not getting anywhere. I feel like this is what Jersey politicians do….nothing

  6. Accountability Now

    Sandy and casino closures have certainly affected the island’s population. However, each time I drive down Bayshore, Revere, and W. Beach I can’t help but notice the growing number of what appears to be abandoned older homes. What’s driving this – the cost of flood insurance vs. the extremely high (and many times not worth) cost of raising these homes? As someone commented above, this is occurring while the building of monstrous homes along the bay (and all over the island) continues, which indicates there is only a fixed amount of property on the water in NJ and property values will eventually recover, but not to the unrealistic 2005/2006 levels.

    I do not understand why the majority of northern and southern NJ beach towns (AC not considered) property values have recovered but Brig’s values continue to decrease. There has to be a concrete reason for this.

    I agree 100% agree with the comments made above regarding rampant nepotism, government officials with their personal interests ahead of what’s good for the long term development of the town, and unfriendly new business policies are somehow related to the decline in property values. The fiascos with Jaworski and the Blues Festival were truly disturbing. Did the city officials think a September Blues event would turn into Woodstock? If would have fed the economy, but they don’t think that way. Most likely it was viewed as additional work after “their busy summer” or the organizers did “know” the right folks to get approvals. What happened at the golf course is one for the record books. Here’s a question – If the City doesn’t operate the course profitably, how many years will the taxpayers subsidize it before changes are made? Keep pretending all is well and ignoring the issues will make them go away….

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