2009 May 13th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up: Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week Ending May 12th

Hoboken News Affecting Real Estate

The election ended up in a run off between Zimmer & Cammarano.   The final vote takes place June 9th.  Turnout was abysmal.  Come on people – I don’t care if you rent or own.  This matters to us all.  Hoboken still has so much potential.  We need an administration that will help us turn things around and benefit us residents.  Please take the time to vote!

I posted the April numbers few days ago.   They showed a drop in sales price for the month although it’s not too tough to understand that the average is affected by the mix of units sold that particular month.  If nothing but tiny one bedrooms sold, the average is going to drop.  If a bunch of Maxwell units sells, it will rise.  Nonetheless, I got a call from an irate agent.  “I killed his deal”.   Just by reporting the sales figures for the month of April.  Evidently, his buyer read my post and decided the price he offered on a unit was too high and must have withdrawn or lowered his offer.  I didn’t get the details as the agent was too busy yelling at me to explain the scenario.  His buyer’s decision making on a property suddenly became my fault.  I think the agent wanted me to take down the post.  Of course, I’m not doing that.  I believe that you readers out there appreciate and deserve this factual information about the Hoboken real estate market. We need more open and honest information, not less.   I don’t make up the sales results, I just report them.  In fact, I try to keep my personal opinions to a minimum and let you all inform the debate.  I told the agent he was free to comment on the post.  He declined.  Would you not rather have the info good or bad?  Or do you want all real estate agents to be typical sales people who always paint a sunny picture even when it’s not in your interest or not true.  I am curious to hear what you think.

In the meantime, here are today’s numbers.  Nothing much has changed.  I’ve added the price per square foot info for each size class.  Enjoy.

Here are this weeks stats:

  • 577 active Hoboken condo units today – 576  last week.
  • 37 price reductions vs. 57 a week ago
  • 8  dabos (under contract) vs. 12 last week
  • 5  sold vs. 11 last week.
  • 39 new listings vs. 39 last week
  • 5  expired listings vs. 14 last week
  • 22  withdrawn vs. none last week  (All the new units at 1300 Park went rental instead of being sold).

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

202 total active – $418,660 average asking price. 92 average DOM.  Average price per square foot = $572

2  dabos after 179  DOM.

  • 719 Adams – first listed at $344,900 on Sept. 22;  reduced as follows – $334k  Oct. 20;  $318.9k  Nov. 11;  $299.9k  Mar. 9;  $294.5  Apr. 24 – dabo.

2  sold $415,000 average price.   103 average DOM.

  • 800 Jackson (MetroStop) listed at $450k on Nov. 5;  reduced to  $408.9k on Jan. 28;  sold for $385k.
  • 402 9th Street listed at $479k on Jan. 8;  reduced to $469k on Feb. 12;  sold for $445k.

8 new listings – average list price $438,612.   The lowest priced unit on a per square foot basis is 1206 Wash at $489 and the highest is 1125 Maxwell at $781.

11 price reductions.

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

315 total active – $636,747 average asking price. 110 DOM so far.  Average price per square foot = $527.

4 dabo’d.   51 average DOM

  • 452 2nd Street – originally listed at $579k on Feb. 9;  reduced to $550k on March 20 – dabo.

3  sold – $506,666  average price.   Average  93   DOM.

21  new listings – average list price $575,780.    416 Monroe is the low per sq. ft. at $390 and 78 Monroe the high at $605.

21 price reductions.

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

59 active 3BR condos – $902,759 average asking price.  116 DOM so far.  Average price per square foot = $510.

2  dabos.   88 average DOM.

  • 1500 Garden originally listed at $1,327,995 on Jan. 4;  reduced to $1,199,995 on Mar. 11 – dab0.

None sold.5 price reductions

6 new listings – average list price $648,633.  105 8th Street is the low on a per sq. ft. basis at $441 and 531 Bloom the high at $479.

Hoboken Condo Open Houses

If you are in the market for a Hoboken condo, our Hoboken Open House Google Map is your single best source for locating every open house in Hoboken. It’s posted on Friday every week. The info is updated weekly. If your google search seems to pull up an older version, click on the title link to get the most current map.  Thanks for reading!

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  1. stan

    sorry to hear about the experience. You didnt kill the deal, you provide a great service.

    Thanks

  2. WaitingInRent

    Of course the truth is better. Please keep the honest statistics coming. Covering things up or burying our heads in the sand doesn’t help anybody.

  3. buyer09

    IGNORE THIS FOOL LORI! A purchase of one’s home is often the most important and largest purchase in one’s lifetime. Given this, as an attorney, it is amazing to me that brokers feel entitled/desire to keep information secretive. It is simply egregious. There needs to more regulation and accountability in this field.

  4. Tiger

    I think he already commented Lori, that’s probably Mr Walk718 from the other thread, and I say, ignore him. Of course transparency is key, that’s why this blog is becoming more and more popular each day. People want to know what’s going on.

    I used statistics on this blog when I made an offer (and bought) my condo. I also refer my friends to it. Thanks again Lori for doing this! I read your blog everyday!

  5. Andy

    Keep up the good work!
    The guy who called you is probably one of the crappy realtors who plague or town. The fact is that there are some realtors who cherry pick comps or withold information to get the deal done. This site shines a light on these crooks who will do anything to make a buck.

  6. Buyer

    Lori, Good work! Please keep doing what you are doing. Until there is transparency, deals arent going to get done, period! So, thanks for helping us get this market fixed!

  7. stan

    that adams square development used to sell in the mid 500’s-600’s for 2br2 bths’, no?

  8. dave32

    Can someone explain how the inventory rolls from week to week?
    Last week there was 576 active units then 39 units was added, 22 were withdrawn, 5 expired and 8 went under contract. This would lead me to believe there should be 580 active units and not 577 active units. What else is going on here?

  9. Ari

    I’d like to echo the sentiments of the others here. Obviously you’re doing a service that is greatly appreciated. Shame on your fellow realtors for being angry at you for providing the public with information they themselves should be providing. Undoubtedly, this realtor’s buyer had not been properly informed about comps.

  10. TS

    Shame on those buyers who used this site to purchase their condos but didn’t use Lori’s services.
    Tiger?

  11. AL

    Great job Lori. Don’t stop please. If that broker or anyone else threatens you, simply write about it on this blog … write their names. I wonder if buyers would still select that agent.
    I am Italian but I’ll become American next week. I’ll have to take the civic test and had to study a little for it. If I am not wrong the first amendment of the American Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …”. Maybe that agent should take the civic test for me.

  12. Lori Turoff

    Thank you all for your support. No worries – I’m not stopping. If anything, I’m encouraged to work even harder to bring you good, honest, open info. Our work does result in plenty of business for us so while I don’t get paid to blog and I don’t sell ads and I don’t have click ads, it is financially still worthwhile. That, however, is not my motivation. I started an underground newspaper in my junior high school back in the early ’70s and have had an interest in exposing the truth ever since. My favorite class in law school was on the First Amendment and when I was a lawyer I was on the NY Bar committee on First Amendment law with Floyd Abrams who is a legend. Anyway, Al, you should know that the First Amendment applies to the government restricting free speech – not private entities. Now if the real estate commission were to try to shut me down . . .

    Dave32 – to answer your question, there are many transactions reported late and sometimes there are mistakes made by the agents who enter the data. Also, some units are listed twice – for example a 1 bedroom plus den will be listed as a 1 bedroom and a 2 bedroom even though they are the same property. The amount of time and effort it would take me personally to police every listing would be impossible for me. Our local board should be doing it but they don’t. So we make do with what we have. It’s pretty accurate. Of course, it would be nice if it were perfect. If you ever realized how user UNfriendly the entire MLS software interface is you would be amazed.

    Stan – Adams Square – it depends on whether the units were renovated (as the first sales were) or unrenovated (some of the current sales). You could probably tell from the pix but I don’t think they put pix up. Wonder why? They don’t want to show the unfinished product. They had furnished models when you went to the property.

    Everyone – I’m going on vacation for 10 days. We will post as much as possible and certainly the wednesday numbers and open house map but I need a little break. Thanks again for reading!

    – Lori

  13. stan

    adams square-

    that would explain it. thanks

  14. Tiger

    TS, by the time I discovered this site I was already working with an agent, just a couple of weeks from putting an offer. I shame you back lol

  15. Redman

    No one can say President Obama is not a fast learner. With less than four months in office, he has learned that our national debt is unsustainable but I digress…see below

    [President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.

    “We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”

    Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”]

    I think if you are still on the sidelines…you need to keep in the back of your mind that mortgage rates will be going up soon and weigh that against the search for a bottom in prices…in my opinion you will never find the confluence of low prices and low int rates at these levels again…if the govt spends at the level that they are projecting, you will see high rates for many, many years to come.

  16. David

    Lori,

    I want to thank you for this info. I’m tired of brokers giving me BS. It is great to have enough information to make informed decisions on price.

    You wrote that the info “killed his [a broker’s] deal.” Well, the winners are the sellers and the buyers. The sellers know what their apartment is really worth (so brokers can’t “buy a listing”), and so do the buyers (esp out of town people who are not as knowledgeable of the market).

    Good job!

  17. stan

    “in my opinion you will never find the confluence of low prices and low int rates at these levels again…”

    you’ll have higher rates, and lower prices.

  18. patk14

    Exactly, just don’t get the “low prices” part of the equation. Prices have doubled in Hoboken since the early 2000’s. Have incomes and job stability doubled? So, they have retrenched 20% from peak but there is plenty of potential downside.

    I do agree that mort rates are likely to increase (possibly sharply) but that will have a very negative impact on home prices (govt has strong incentive to keep them low to support housing values). I keep thinking that if I were a seller, I would reduce my price to get a deal done ASAP and rollover my gains into my next place (locking in the current mort rates). If you hold out for yesterday’s prices, not only will you get a lower price, you’ll be paying a higher mort rate on your next property.

  19. TS

    Patk14,

    You don’t have to have double the income for double the prices as it’s disposable income that matters – and that becomes a larger % of your income as you earn more money.

    And doing a Wiki search I pulled up this: “The median income for a household in the city [Hoboken] as of the last census was $62,550 [Year 2000], while the median income for a family was $67,500 (these figures had risen to $96,786 and $107,375 respectively as of a 2007 estimate”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoboken,_New_Jersey#cite_note-8 (Footnote 9 for source)

  20. buyer09

    ok resident experts…what do you guys/gals think is the avg sq. ft for an apt near washington/8th that is 770 sq. ft. Obviously, it cannot be $440 per sq. ft…i’d like to make an offer and not insult anyone…asking is 480K

  21. patk14

    TS, you make some good points. My counters are:

    (1) My income has doubled over that same time period but, due to increasing taxes, my take home pay has not doubled. Most would agree that future tax rates under the current admin will continue to increase. Also consider the high increases in property taxes in our fair city.

    (2) My comp was reduced in 2008 and I expect it to continue to fall (financial professional) over the next several years. Job security makes me discount my future cash inflows at a higher rate and make me unwilling to commit to a large monthly fixed outflow. Hoboken real estate peaks were driven by speculators and novices who expected the good times to last forever. I’d expect a decline in average Hoboken income in 2008 thru, say, 2012.

    (3) Average resident income got a big boost from the waterfront high income developments. These are not the units that doubled in price throughout the 2000’s. The crappy unit far from the water doubled. Did those residents see a doubling in their comp? I doubt it.

  22. Lori Turoff

    Buyer09 – what are you looking at? A FSBO? There is nothing active on the MLS that fits those criteria unless it’s already under contract. The point is, you can’t ask a question like that in a vacuum. What is the unit like? Is the kitchen new or old? What floor is it on? Is there a w/d in the unit? Storage in the building? How many units in the building? Is the condo assn. in good financial shape? Do they have reserves? How much? Is it professionally or self managed? How many baths? How many bedrooms? Is there any exposed brick? Hardwood floors? Fireplace? What are the closets like? Is the bathroom new or old? Is it over a store? A restaurant? A bar? On 8th or on Wash?

    Averages just give you a yardstick against which to measure specific properties. Without details, you can’t just do some math and say a unit is worth X. The answer is it depends. That is where a good agent comes into play. They can point out the factors that make a given unit above average or below average compared to similar properties. Are you working with an agent? If so, they are not doing their job if you’re asking this board this question. If not, feel free to give me a call.

    I tell all my buyers the same thing: You have to see enough units within a given neighborhood and a given price range so that you have the experience required to assess value. It takes time. It takes information. It takes a knowlegdable agent to point out the things you need to be looking at beyond the decor.

  23. b-ry926

    I’m new to this website, and just wanted to say that I find the information provided extremely useful and beneficial for buyers and sellers in this area. Thank you very much!!!

    Question for everyone: I just moved to this area because of a job change. I’m currently renting in Jersey City, but have been thinking about buying something in Hoboken, but not sure when. Because I’m a first time homebuyer, I’m looking for something in the low to mid 300k’s. I know the job market is tough, prices are falling, and interest rates are at all time lows. However, is now the time to buy??? Aren’t these low interest rates artificially keeping the price of homes from falling even further?

    I know the government has a vested interest in keeping rates low for the time being, but eventually inflation is going to hit us and rates will go up. As a first time homebuyer, the amount I can afford is X. Whether rates go up or prices come down, the amount I can afford isn’t going to change much anytime soon. However, is it possible for me to get priced out if I wait?? Won’t market forces take hold and find the actual value of homes in this area no matter what?

    It’s been noted that home prices have sky-rocketed in Hoboken over the last 10 years. Am I wrong in thinking that due to the current economic crisis, the extraordinary home appreciation, and inevitable increase in interest rates that prices will have to fall much much more??? I know I’ll probably miss out on a 4.5% mortgage rate, but I think I could save $40k-$60k if I wait about 18 months and prices drop another 15-20%. Either way, I think the market will need people like me (recent college grads with only a few years of work experience) to buy the inventory on the bottom of the property ladder.

    I’ve also seen rents come down, steep concessions offered by landlords, and the number of rentals on the market increase. I don’t have any hard facts, but just making an observation based on what I’ve seen and read. Aren’t these just investors and speculators who got caught trying to cash in on the last decade of appreciation??

    I know that was a lot of rambling but to sum up my view, I think I should wait about a year or so before I start looking. I think prices have to fall much more before we see any stabilization. If you disagree with my theory or have any other helpful suggestions please feel free to let me know.

    Thanks :-)

  24. TS

    Patk,

    I agree with (1), but still think you’re overstating things. My point was that you don’t need double the income to afford twice the price home (your original suggestion).

    Point (2) is irrelevant to the point I was discussing.

    Point (3) is DEAD wrong. The new developments in the back end of town displaced people with very, very low incomes with earners making 2-3x the income. (And these were median #s not average, so the skew is tempered).

    Again, I think your original claim/suggestion was wrong. You don’t need double the income to support double home prices.

  25. JC

    b-ry926,

    Sounds like you already made up your mind and honestly nobody on this board can tell you what you SHOULD do except for you. If you have a job you are not worried about losing over the next few years and a nice down payment then you are in a stonger position than many. I say, go ahead and look around (call Lori who runs the blog) and get educated on the market. While looking, maybe you find that dream place and if you do go ahead and make an offer you are comforatable with. If its all about the money for you then its pretty safe to say 12 months out prices will not be any more expensive. good luck

  26. Lori Turoff

    b-ry926
    My suggestion is similar – and I get asked this question all the time. Buying a place is more than just an investment. It will be your home. If all you care about is maximizing return, you could buy muni bonds and then go live under the Triboro bridge. A home is much more than that. You should buy a place when you have the downpayment (the more the better, IMHO) and are at a point in your life when it makes sense, you can use the tax deduction, and you find a place you love and plan to stay in for at least 5 years. None of us have a crystal ball, despite the many predictions many make in these comments. You can’t know what is going to happen 18 months from now. You only know where things are today. So rather than trying to time the market, find a property that is a good value and in which you will be happy living.

  27. Willy

    b-ry926,
    I disagree with some of the replies you are getting, for the following reasons. In this current state of the property market, a first time (lower/mid end) buyer has more at stake than anyone due to the greater weakness for further drops and little rise with the general conditions. It is very easy to think that the lowest rises the most (percentage wise). Although inflation will not be an issue for a long time to come, deflation certainly will. Asset prices just don’t hold up well and lower end assets actually fall. It’s like comparing Sky Club to Maxwell Place. Lower end property is defined by many things other than price and location. And to sum it up, I just don’t by the “home” thing. That’s like investment brokers telling their clients about being “diversified.” This property market is not like other recessions, it is a deleveraging. Lots of good discussions on that topic on many forums. So employment, taxes, amenities and all the property factors work in counter direction. Your one year time frame will not be regretted. Inventories are going to continue expanding the choices you get, even in Hoboken. Plenty who have been waiting are diving in now, but that is just a blip on the landscape in comparison to where we have come from and what is potentially left. All the opinion about not being able to predict such and such is an excuse to say don’t act intelligently.

  28. Tiger

    Willy,

    Deflation? They are spending money faster than they can print it, and you honestly think the dollar is gonna hold it’s own (and in fact get stronger) compared to other currencies? The only reason why we haven’t dived even deeper in inflation is the fact that the world economy as a whole is suffering.

    You should be happy if we don’t get into hyperinflation, let alone deflation.

  29. Lori Turoff

    Willy – “inflation will not be an issue for a long time to come”???? How do you know that? Why is it bad to be diversified? What I learned in Business School from one of the most brilliant finance professors I have ever encountered was if you can’t beat the market, buy the market. I still think there is validity in that. If you don’t think there is psycholgical, social or cultural benefit meaning or benefit in owning property then you must rent. If you read history, much of our legal system comes from a reaction against feudalism which was just a way for the few to own property at the expense of the many. Private property ownership is one of the underpinnings of capitalism, no? I think there is much more to it than you do but you’re entitled to your opinion.

  30. TS

    Willy: “And to sum it up, I just don’t by the “home” thing. That’s like investment brokers telling their clients about being “diversified.””

    I’m confused as to your point here. You’re saying that diversification – one of the fundamental tenets of modern portfolio theory, and which has a mathematical backing for its rationality – is mistaken?

  31. buyer09

    Lori – Yes, it is a FSBO. It has exposed brick, 1.5 baths, renovated kitchen and bathrooms, but not floors – although the owner is willing to do the floors. It is on 811 Willow Ave. The second bedroom does not have a closet. It is not above/next to any businesses. Storage and laundry in basement. Nice size yard and deck, but the entrance to both is off of the master bedroom. The condo ass’n has 30K in reserves. It is on the first floor. 10 unit building. Closet space is def. an issue – only two closets in the whole place, but locked and dedicated storage in basement. Overall, very charming and well kept. New boiler. Central A/C.

  32. JoeCuse

    This web-site is incredible educational – i am actually hoping on buying a brownstone in hoboken in about a year – so I expect to become a frequent visitor. Nonetheless, an unrelated question:

    I signed my lease in Hoboken about 14 months ago, its a two bed room ~$2,600 brownstone. I intend to renew for a year. I want to go back to the landlord and show that rents are significantly down from a year and half ago and that my rent should be reduced. Where can I show good proof of this? In fact, I don’t even really know, how much have rents gone down in Hoboken?

    Thanks in advance.

    -Joe

  33. Helping Hoboken Moms Sell Their Condos » Where are all the family-friendly condos?

    […] hit in October 2008, but I hope we are not about to see a ton more 2BR/2BA units dumped on an already saturated marketplace. I have a lot of friends who need more space but are dreading a long commute to/from the suburbs, […]

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