Hoboken is a city; PowerHouse area is a couple of blocks in a section of the prime neighborhood or a large city. If you're talking comparable units (lofts) and price, I think appreciation will be comparable. Hoboken prices have traditionally (over my 16+ years of experience selling real estate in Hudson County) been higher than those in Downtown Jersey City. The gap has been closing.
Some basics of real estate you should always keep in mind: location, location, location (which in Hudson County always takes transportation to NYC into account). And basic economics: supply and demand. Another real estate basic is that, with regards to appreciation, you make your money by buying right, when you have much more control. Buyers decide where to spend their money and they do NOT care what the seller paid. If you want to sell your property when the guy next door also wants to sell his, if he's willing to sell for less than you, you're cooked.
Now, this is, again, MY opinion about the future, and, if that was worth anything, the Soviet olympic team would be a powerhouse in the upcoming games, there would still be a big ugly wall dividing Berlin, and there would be 2 giant towers anchoring the downtown Manhattan skyline.
Oh, and BTW, these are questions you should be posing to your exclusive buyer's agent. The sellers have their agents to promote and protect THEIR interests. You should have one, too.
Joan Prout, MBA
RE/MAX Villa REALTORS
Jersey City, NJ 07302