What thousands of property records show about the Jersey Shore

We pulled more than 500,000 New Jersey Department of Treasury tax records for Atlantic, Cape May, and Ocean counties to find out who owns property along Jersey shore towns most likely to be frequented by Philadelphians and their suburban neighbors.

We came up with 22 towns along the coast, then narrowed the list to about 110,000 residential and vacant land parcels. We excluded Monmouth County, which tends to not draw from the Philadelphia region.

Some findings:

  • Out-of-town ownership ranges from a high of 87 percent in Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Sea Isle to a low of just under half of all properties in Atlantic City because it has a large population of full-time residents.
  • When all the properties from the 22 communities are totaled, 72 percent are owned by out-of-towners.
  • Philadelphians top the list of Shore owners with a zeal few those from others areas match. And where they live in Philly indicates the Shore town they gravitate toward. They own 5,282 properties among the 22 towns.
  • South Philadelphians favor North Wildwood.
  • Those in Northeast Philly also like North Wildwood, but they like Wildwood almost as much.
  • Owner’s from wealthy Pennsylvania suburbs, including the Main Line, embrace the pricier Shore communities of Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Cape May in Cape May County.
  • Residents of Center City West (which includes Rittenhouse) favor Longport, Margate, and Ventnor in Atlantic County.
  • South Jersey ownership is not as prevalent, but is significant. Owners from Cherry Hill, favor Brigantine, Margate, Longport, Ventnor, and Ocean City. Owners from Moorestown, Marlton, and Medford lean a bit more to Long Beach Island - after all, it’s much closer to them.
  • Ocean County Shore towns, which include Long Beach Island, pull significantly from the Philadelphia area, but also from New York and Staten Island. Folks in Toms River are big shore home buyers.