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The Queen City Of The Hudson Is A “Reed Covered Hut By The Water”

By Barbra I. Miller

Derived from the native term “Uppu-qui-ipis-in” which means “reed-covered hut by the water,” Poughkeepsie today has expanded beyond huts into a permanent community of some forty-three thousand souls. Poughkeepsie is actually the name of both a town and a city, both municipalities right next to one another because the city actually used to be the western part of the town (and, incidentally, was an independent village in its own right before that). Except for legal purposes, and such services as fire and police, the two communities are often viewed as one, with a combined population exceeding seventy-five thousand people. The town is actually home to much more people than the city, which counts only some thirty-thousand-plus citizens.

Thus, it’s expected that their respective real estate markets will be quite different. A closer examination of the latest demographical figures shows that the town is much more affluent than the city, with a median income of over fifty-five thousand dollars a year as opposed to well under thirty-thousand for the city. Indeed, the Town of Poughkeepsie is able to provide for its own emergency services, which are staffed by fully paid civil servants, and not volunteers as is the case with many a suburban community.

As for the City of Poughkeepsie, it’s been severely battered by the economic malaise afflicting the rest of the state and the country as a whole. Average listing price in the two-week period between January 20, 2010 and February 3, 2010 fell almost thirty thousand dollars, to two hundred and fifty-one thousand dollars, though almost five thousand of that has been “recovered” as of February 10. However, the actual median selling price, based on two hundred and thirty-four homes sold, is almost thirty-three thousand dollars short of the median listing price, at barely two hundred and twenty thousand. Average per square foot in the city cost one hundred and thirty-two dollars.

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Poughkeepsie was once the “Queen City of the Hudson,” but has suffered economic setbacks for the past twenty-plus years and was just beginning to recover in fits and starts when the recent recessionary woes struck. This has obvious implications for local realty, both residential and commercial. The Town of Poughkeepsie, however, seems rather more vibrant in comparison. International Business Machines, Incorporated, was once the most notable employer around, and while the company still maintains a campus in town, most of its production has been moved elsewhere. Vassar College in the City of Poughkeepsie is arguably the most notable employer now.

Should you purchase any Poughkeepsie property? Well, there’s no way it’s reclaiming its glory days, so the local real estate market is never going to be a hot one. But if your goals are more modest, and especially if you live in the city yourself, of course, Poughkeepsie property can be a solid investment.

Now even with all that said, however, we must end on this note, that of the legal disclaimer: Neither the author nor the publisher shall be deemed liable for the contents of this article, which constitute mere opinion only and should never in any way be misconstrued as professional advice of any kind whatsoever! Always consult the relevant professionals, properly licensed and/or otherwise qualified, when making business decisions of any financial consequence.

About the Author: Barbra I. Miller writes frequently on real estate topics for various online publications. Please visit

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