By Lori Turoff – [email protected]
Is Manhattan Real Estate Fairing Better Than Hoboken?
There was an interesting article in the Sunday NY Times Real Estate section about Manhattan condo & co-op inventory. The point made was that while prices have remained flat so far in the 4th quarter, inventory has risen indicating a sharp deterioration in the market as the economy and consumer confidence falls.
Unlike Manhattan, in Hoboken, condo sales prices dropped in October. Inventory has been growing steadily in Hoboken as it has in Manhattan. Back in February, when I started tracking the number of active Hoboken condo listings, there were 384 condo units for sale in Hoboken. Today there are 526 condos for sale in Hoboken.
The Hoboken Condo Buyers Are Missing
More startling, last year, during the month of October, 78 Hoboken condos went under contract and 62 Hoboken condo units closed. This October, only 18 Hoboken condo units went under contract and only 9 units closed. Due to the time lag between the time a property goes under contract and the actual closing (typically 45 days) the real declines will show up in the November and December numbers. The bottom line, however, is that the Hoboken condo market has come to a near stand-still. As long as the credit markets are frozen and consumers remain nervous about jobs, bonuses and the economy, the picture is not likely to change.
Is There a Silver Lining?
Is there a bright side to the market turmoil? Some owners simply must sell. They may be relocating for work, have outgrown their current space, are in contract somewhere else or the like. Buyers may find that they can get a Hoboken condo at a substantially discounted price right now. Assuming they are buying for the long term, say at least 5 years, that might not be a bad thing. Just as some people are forced to sell right now, there are buyers who need more space for a growing family or are moving to the metropolitan area and find Hoboken more affordable than Manhattan. Who knows, we may even find some of the people forced out of Manhattan will downsize and come to Hoboken.