2009 Aug 6th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Inventory for the Week of August 4th

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Hoboken Condos Inventory & Sales – Week of August 4th

Before we get to the good stuff:  Howie & I own 2 condos that are both available for rent for Sept. 1.  There is no fee.  Both great places in super convenient locations.  Here are the details if you or anyone you know is looking for a nice home with excellent landlords.  531 Bloomfield St.  322 Hudson St.

The inventory number of Hoboken condos for sale continues to drop, which has to be a good thing. There were some interesting new listings and, as always, some lessons to be learned from what sells and what doesn’t. If you’ve seen the new HGTV show “Real Estate Intervention” you’ve seen a glimse of my nightmare of dealing with sellers who refuse to see reality. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone but I just cannot understand what some of these owners are thinking or why any agent would want these listings.

The auction last night went well for 1300 Park. I hear the units there sold.

Here are this week’s numbers:

Here is the Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up from July 28th.

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

17 new listings. Average list price $449,817. Average $590 per sq. ft. (Several units at Maxwell bumping up the average.) A good deal is to be had at 1026 Clinton – $379k for a true loft with parking. 14 foot ceilings make any unit seem larger than it is even though this one at over 700 sq. ft. is a decent size.

181 total active – $397,965 average asking price. 107 average DOM. Average asking price $564 per sq ft.

2 dabos. 135 average DOM.

4 sold for an average price of $433,625 or $508 per sq. ft. in 66 days.

11 price reductions.

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

14 new listings – average list price $684,627. Average $533 per sq. ft. The one at 215 Adams is hardly new – it was first put up for sale in ’07 at $320k and two years later, is still on the market. Similarly, 322 Grand is a 650 sq. ft. unit resale asking $577 a square foot in a building where several still-unsold developer units have been on the market for almost a year. On the other hand, 319 Adams is asking only $419 a square foot, is 1300 sq. ft. and has parking and a terrace.

292 total active – $605,791 average asking price. 109 average DOM so far. Average asking price $506 per sq. ft.

5 dabo’d. 154 average DOM

13 sold – $515,211 average sales price or $454 / sq. ft. Average 89 DOM.

20 price reductions.

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

68 active 3BR condos – $954,567 average asking price. 116 DOM so far. Average asking price $520 per sq ft.

1 new listing. Priced at $1.2m.

3 dabo in 201 DOM.

1 sold for sales price of $820k in 58 days.

1 price reduction.

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. Like this report, to receive the map with the actual links, you will have to request it.

Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!

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  1. thoughts

    Wow. It looks like things are moving! I think Buyers are going to be kicking themselves if they don’t try to get a good deal now – especially with the low interest rates. You can never predict the future, but the sky hasn’t fallen yet and who knows how long this will last.

    Look at 319 Adams for sale at 419 a square foot and 225 clinton sold at 410 a square foot and there was another good sale – these prices are very good. I would guess 20 to 25% off the high – remember 550 to 600 a square foot???

    Now, look at the rents that Lori and Howard are asking for and the size of the places – are you telling me that renting is a better deal right now? Obviously, unless you been in the rental for a long time – although, I would still buy….

    VERY TRULY YOURS,
    MY THOUGHTS

  2. Lori

    1. We have reduced our rents! 2. Our places are in prime locations and very, very nice. There is an incredible range of quality in the rental market (and these are condo properties, not rental buildings). In most rental buildings, thanks to the rent control laws, landlords have NO incentive to make any improvements because they can’t recoup the investment. So you may get a place for $1,000 a month but you’re likely to be living in squalor. Why do you think so many rental buildings go condo? Especially the 4 unit 4 story buildings and the 10 unit 5 story buildings? These were rentals from years ago. The old landlord dies, the kids don’t want to be bothered so the sell the property. The buyer (like the Fields, LaBarbera’s & Petruzzeli’s of the world) realize that the way to make a buck is to get the tenants out (subject for another post); condo convert, gut renovate, and sell the units. Why do you think these same buyers have construction companies and real estate agencies? They can keep it all ‘in-house’ so the numbers are even better. What doesn’t make sense is why the Applied rental buildings are exempt from rent control (the Shipyard, 333 River) but individual condo owners are not.

  3. thoughts

    i thought prime location was only uptown – not mid or downtown with all of the bars and traffic?

  4. bz

    I see many sold units are well built with SS appliances and granite countertops. Do you think it’s worth the money to replace my white appliances with SS ones and my old but still-look-ok countertops with Granite? These things are the only things that I have control. As for location, layout and sqft….forget it.

    Yeah…looks like things are moving and inventory has been decreasing a few months in a roll. Good sign. Is it comparable to the national trend? I feel so and the reason is about the same…lower price and low interest rate. Maybe a better job market? A few my friends who lost jobs last year all found new jobs.

    Anyway, data looks encouraging.

  5. Interested

    bz – if the appliances still look good (i.e. from 2001 – at least), maybe you can keep them. the counters you may want to change ASAP….also, i’m sure there are a few easy small cheap things to do around the apartment that can do something….

  6. Lori

    Nothing looks worse than old cabinets with a new granite top. Most of the time, if you’re not going to redo a whole kitchen, it’s not worth the expense of new appliances and counters. The floors, backsplash, cabinets, sink, cabinet handles & hinges, faucet and appliances need to all look new to pull off putting in a granite counter and stainless appliances. Otherwise it just makes the rest look shabby. Of course, I’d have to see the kitchen to really tell.

  7. stan

    Buy now or be priced outr forever. cmon.

    “Wow. It looks like things are moving! I think Buyers are going to be kicking themselves if they don’t try to get a good deal now – especially with the low interest rates. You can never predict the future, but the sky hasn’t fallen yet and who knows how long this will last.”

  8. Tiger

    Thanks Lori.

    Still too early to call for recovery, but as I mentioned earlier the worst is behind us. Today on Today they mentioned that job loss has decreased by 60%(?) (not sure it was before my coffee), jobs are still being lost but at a much slower rate, particularily in our area.

  9. Tiger

    I am with Lori re: semi updated kitchen. In my humble opinion, especially in a place like Hoboken where kitchens are on the smaller side, if you wanna renovate then go all the way, or leave it to the buyer.

    Here’s a free useless Tiger tip: If you are to update the kitchen, stay away from dark counters top. My condo was already renovated when I got it, black granite countertops, they look great but are a lot of cleaning, even a cup of water leaves a stain.

    ….Or maybe it’s just my OCD :-)

  10. homeboken

    “Still too early to call for recovery, but as I mentioned earlier the worst is behind us. Today on Today they mentioned that job loss has decreased by 60%(?) (not sure it was before my coffee), jobs are still being lost but at a much slower rate, particularily in our area.”

    Call me when we start gaining jobs. I’d also like to add that every single job report that has been issued in the last 3 months was revised downward in the following month. There is massive manipulation of tha data going on by our government.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/08/dismal-unemployment-situation-in-chart.html

  11. thoughts

    everyone keeps saying how bad everything is – yes, the prices went down in Hoboken, but the weekly round up has never depicted a terrible horrisble crash in Hoboken like parts of AZ, LV and CA where there was massive growth and manipulation….

    when in history have we had depressed prices and low interest rates? one of these factors can change at the drop of a hat….

    for anybody to say that this is a bad time to jump in (in my opinion) is simply dump…. yes, that person may be correct, but jumping in at this point (if you listen to experts) is a smart idea…. how much more do you think you can gain waiting? 10-20K? please answer that! further, if you jump in and things get worse, at least you’re near the bottom and you took an educated guess with both main purcahsing factors in your favor….

  12. Eric

    Isn’t the conventional wisdom that it’s better to buy near the bottom on the downslope then it is to miss the bottom and chase it up?

  13. Andy

    Thoughts – I agree with you. If we were all experts we’d all be rich and wouldn’t be here. If you have the $$ and the stomach then I couldn’t agree more that you should buy a place. the tax return savings you will get from a primary residence deduction are excellent. Why let the govt keep your income taxes by renting. If you are in it for the long haul then your investment may not grow 20% in 5 years but its a roof over your head and extra tax return in your pocket every year. Plus the satisfaction that you own your own home. I have yet to meet anyone in Hoboken that can time the markets perfectly.

  14. thoughts

    Andy – I think you said it perfectly. But hopefully, if you buy low today, you can get a nice return five to seven years out, plus the tax savings, and plus your own place!

    I think you if you aim for around 425 a sq. ft. for a really nice place with a great location – it may become around 525 a sq. ft. or so in five to seven years. That’s a nice return. Thoughts?

  15. homeboken

    It’s all perspective and people act in ways that they think will most benefit themselves. “thoughts” thinks that he can get a nice return in 5-7 years, so he backs that up and buys.

    I think that if I buy now I will probably break even on price in 5-7 years if they sell, not including closing costs, taxes, HOA etc. So I rent. Who is going to be right? It doesn’t matter, we are both right because we are doing what is best for us.

    I am talking more about the macro-economy (jobs) in the above post. I think it is unjust how the govermnet releases statistics and then a month later revises their previous numbers significantly. I think there are real risks in the American economy and I try to offer a contrarian view to the main-stream media cheerleading.

  16. Eric

    425 is pretty low for a nice place in a good location even now, that would be a great bargain.

    Also, I don’t know about 425–>525 in 5-7 yrs. That’s a huge come back when we’re not sure when the bottom will be. Let’s say it bottoms winter 2010, that’s still a long way to get to 525 in less than 4-6 years, even if you timed it perfectly. Especially because I don’t think there will be a huge spike up like in past cycles. People are too gun shy.

  17. Andy

    Homeboken – you said it perfectly. Both you and thoughts are right because you’re doing what YOU think is the right thing. You have to feel comfortable with how you spend your money.

  18. thoughts

    Guys and Girls –

    I think we’re all correct, as my thoughts assumed that (i) you want to buy in hoboken and (ii) you will live there at least five to seven years.

    I’m just one of those people that likes to own my own place. I’ve never been hurt be real esate and like putting together a home that fits our family’s style and needs. That said, if you’re only staying in Hoboken for a few years or so, don’t have a strong desire to own a home, and have decent rent – I wouldn’t buy no matter what the state of the real estate market is….

  19. Lori

    While I tend to agree with the optimists above, if you focus on what fueled the last housing price spike – easy money – I doubt that will reoccur. So prices may be at or near bottom and will start to move in the opposite direction some time soon but I can’t imagine the increases being in the double digits as they were in the past. There simply aren’t enough buyers who can get the financing or the crazy loan terms of 5 years ago. That’s going to put a damper on the recovery. Bottom line, though, I do think we’ll be in positive territory in 5 years. So if you buy now, only break even in 5 years after transaction costs, and get the tax write-off is that so bad? I know, there is an opportunity cost of the money you need to pay for your downpayment but the ‘risk free’ alternative of where to put that money has no return. Investing it in anything else involves risk so there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn anything – you may even end up with zero. I’m a big proponent of the psychic/social benefits of owning one’s own home but I guess that doesn’t do it for everyone. Still, everyone has to do what feels right to them given their own circumstances.

  20. homeboken

    Lori – You make valid points. The flip side of the agrument is that some people value liquidity and mobility more than “pride of ownership”.

    And the tax write-offs are great, but again, there is no gurantee they will always be there. I see our government increasing our deficit to historically high levels with no regard to the cost. I think that mortgage interest deductions will begin to phase out as a bridge to fill that gap. I can’t recall the article I read this morning, but it stated that tax receipts for this year are going to be down 18% as compared to last year. Yet we have added UST 1 trillion to our deficit. Someone, someday will have to pay that bill.

  21. Andy

    Lori, just got in my email from marketwatch.com a whole article on dual agency commissions. Def worth a read for those out there who still have questions.

  22. Lori Turoff

    Why don’t you post it here, Andy.

  23. Andy

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-expose-unscrupulous-realty-agents-2009-08-07?siteid=nwhpf

  24. lori

    Thanks. Getting rid of the mortgage deduction – the one meaningful tax break available to the bulk of the middle class is going to face some real strong political, grass roots & lobbyist (like the NAR) opposition. I wouldn’t be so confident that it will change any time soon.

  25. homeboken

    Frankly, if I find myself in direct opposition to what the NAR thinks is good for the nation, I am confident I am on the right side.

    The mortgage interest deduction is a 100% cost to the federal budget. I didn’t say it would be wiped out, but I think it could easily be phased based on income.

  26. Andy

    Well, i think the 8k first time credit is first to go but our economy is rather dependent on housing as part of GDP. I doubt they will do it on the front end by reducing the deduction but on the back end by raising the tax on high income earners and you’ll probably see the capital gains tax go up as well.

  27. homeboken

    Andy – You could be right, I think the only safe bet is that taxes are going to increase in the future, who knows what form they may take.

    I think that the nation screwed up priorities about a decade ago with regards to housing. The perception changed to one of “home-ownership is the American dream” or that owning your own home is somehow a right. I work in the multi-family housing industry so perhaps I am biased, but my personal opinion is that a vast majority of Americans don’t have the wealth, knowledge or work ethic needed to own their residence.

  28. WorldBFree

    Anyone seen 122 Madison (1bd)? I really like the way its staged although it looks a little narrow and obviously the location isn’t ideal

  29. lori

    122 Mad? It’s a 2 br penthouse for $579K. Sure that’s the address?

  30. shopping around

    Lori – When figuring out price per square footage, are you suppose to take 25k-30k off the price, if it has parking, before you divide the size?

  31. lori

    I would not do that unless I were comparing a specific unit with parking to another without parking. For example, two units in the same building, like the Huntington, where one has parking and one doesn’t. If the units are not similar to start with, then that brings up all sorts of issues like, do they both have elevators, central air, w/d, etc. so when looking at the entire market, I would not make any specific discounts for parking or any other factors. Hope this helps.

  32. WorldBFree

    122 Madison also has the 1st floor unit on the market (in the new listings this week)

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