2009 Nov 11th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales and Activity for the Week of November 11th

Hoboken Condos Inventory & Sales – Week of November 11th

This week’s activity is similar to last week.  Inventory is thankfully headed downward again although we have a long way to go.  My question for the week is what’s up with Hudson Tea? There was a short sale of a studio that was originally listed at 534,900.  It sold for only $345,000.  There are plenty of comps in the building.  Why would the bank take so little? The market value should easily be higher than 345k.  The most recent comps sold for between $525 and $680 per square foot depending on view/exposure.  The 1500 Washington building with water & NYC views command the highest prices.  The interior units that face the other building the lowest.  This one sold for $457 and had a view somewhere between the best and worst – it faces due South and looks out over all of Hoboken.  Some people I’ve discussed this with surmised that the bank took what was owed on the mortgage.  But if only $345,000 was owed, and the true market value for the unit should have been closer to $450,000 then by definition, how is that a short sale? The mortgage was not less than the market value of the home.  I’m curious to know if any of you can explain this one.  Similarly, why would Toll list a studio for over $480k and sell it for $385K?  These comps are going to cause appraisal problems for future buyers.

Here are this week and last week’s numbers:

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Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

10 new listings.

175 total active – $381,327 average asking price. 74 average DOM.

4 dabos. 61 average DOM.

6 sold for an average price of $337,333 Average 84 DOM.

10 price reductions.

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

10 new listings

270 total listings. Average list price $595,035. Average DOM 84.

7 dabo’d. 93 average DOM.

4 sold – $518,875 average sales price. Average 36 DOM.

11 price reductions.

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

2 new 3 BR listings

61 active listing. Average price $974,787. Average DOM 107.

1 dabo’d. 60 average DOM.

1 sold. $665,000 average sales price. Average 1 DOM.

2 price reductions.

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.

Want to Receive New Listings & Price Reductions Daily?

If you would like to be emailed the new listings and price reductions each weekday in either 1br, 2br or 3br categories just email us at [email protected] letting us know which size(s) you would like and we’ll add you to the daily email list.
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Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!
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  1. potential_buyer

    Why would these places sell for so much less? Well, perhaps the banks feel they should get what they can while they can. Many folks out there are still very bearish regarding RE – perhaps this is an omen of things to come???

  2. Michael

    Maybe there is more to the story on this hudson tea short sale? Can you ask the seller’s agent what exactly happened here?

  3. 1sttimehomebuyer

    Hi,

    I’m a first time home buyer due to close next Tuesday. I make $100k per year.

    Am I eligible for the credit if I close next Tuesday? Or should I push back my closing date until Dec 1st?

    Thanks!

  4. Lori Turoff

    1sttime – My inner lawyer tells me it would be unwise to give advice to an individual on a specific situation. If you are closing Tuesday you have your own realtor and real estate attorney, no? They can surely answer your question.

  5. bz

    109 Jackson (3b/2b) sold for the asking price in one day?!!! Wow….it has to be nice inside since Jackson isn’t the most desirable street in Hoboken. Many 2b untis also fetched decent $/sqft. I’m encouraged.

  6. Lori

    bz – Regarding 109 Jackson, I know that’s what it says on the MLS and I just double checked and don’t see that unit appearing previously but I KNOW I showed it about 6 months ago. It had an offer on it pretty quickly back then. It was the same agent’s listing then and now and and at least this time, also her buyer. It is possible the deal fell apart and then came back – maybe someone thought they couldn’t get a mortgage and finally did – or something like that. I don’t think it was only on the market 1 day in reality.

  7. John Montoya

    Lori,

    I think the market is sending us a signal. I think it’s an awful sign. I’m thinking of getting out and selling my two investment condos. This is not good.

  8. Mark

    1sttimehomebuyer: from what I read, the new law is not retro-active. The only reason to wait would be the increase in income limits:
    New income limits: $125,000 a year for individuals
    Old income limits: $75,000 a year for individuals

    However, with your income you might have plenty of deductibles to come close to $75k, but as Lori said, don’t listen to anyone on the internet but talk to a professional.

  9. lori

    More info on the Hudson Tea short sale – it was tenant occupied although the tenant was paying over 2800 per month. That may have played a part.

    John – I think you over react but I wonder if you are selling your condos how you will price them? In line with your view of the drastic bear market? I find it interesting how common it is for sellers to over value their own place. My new favorite show (not really) is Real Estate Intervention – they’ve made a reality show out of sellers deluding themselves.

  10. bz

    John Montoya – Don’t panic. We all have a voice in our head screaming the fear in a terrible downtown like this one. I have properties myself and thingking about selling them all the time since the begining. But things always get worse before they get better, do they? I sold all my stocks back in March when things were the ugliest. You know what? I missed the 30% rebound. I know housing isn’t like trading stocks, at least not that fsst. But if you can carry it through the rent, don’t sell. You will most likely not get what you want in price and at the same time you are helping increase the inventory to further decrease your condos value. Housing will be back on track. It maybe a slow process, but I’m sure it will because the foundamentals are still pretty good in Hoboken. We all have to be a little more patient.

  11. JC

    At $345k the buyer has a unit that is completely covered by the $2800 in monthly rent assuming 20% down. Seems like a decent deal to me.

    By the way, $2800 for a studio in the Teas seems expensive, but I dont know comps.

    This and the $385k Toll sale is just proof that every deal is unique and appraisors or buyers/sellers cant just look at comps for pricing with out proper investigation.

  12. John Montoya

    bz,

    If I wait to sell then I will be competing with more sellers who are still waiting on the sidelines now thinking if they should sell. I don’t wanna be the last one out the club as it burns down. I have been there before with the tech bubble. I will take a loss but it’s better than losing a lot more.

    I don’t know where $2,800 comes from. I’d like to know who those people are so I can rent to them too. Those sound like Manhattan prices to me.

  13. bz

    John Montoya – The club isn’t burning down. It’s just the fear in your head. All the faith we have for Hoboken is (and has always been) closely tied to Manhattan job market. 2008-9 was the worst year in recent history. But look at the stock market and banks’ profit now, compared to a year ago, it has been a lot better. Housing is sticky, not like stock which only values the future value. Homes have their intrinsic value as homes and an asset and tend to lag the economy for a period of time.

    By the way, tech bubble is due to pure expectation, not sound fundamentals (people were buying an average Joe’s .com company like crazy when there’s no profit at all). But in this recession, the stock market tanked because the fundamentals had weakened, not non-exist.

    Of course, this is my view. You can interpret the current situation in any ways you want. I just don’t want to witness people sell-off just because of the panic. I wish I had cash now, so that I could take the advantage of people like that.

  14. Joe

    i think the 2 br link for new and reduced priced is the same link coming up?

    can this be fixed

  15. Andy

    BZ, I wish I had some cash lying around too. There are tons of once in a lifetime opportunities out there because people are panicking. Rates just dipped below 5% again this year. Some investors are going to make millions all over again. It might take a little longer but it’ll happen.

  16. Lori

    Joe – I’ll fix it asap but you can always look up at the summary at the top of the post. The same links appear there just not broken down by bedroom size.

    John – 2800 for a studio (which is the size of most 1brs and has a wall dividing the sleeping area from the living room) is pretty much the going market rate. It’s a very nice building with great amenities like the free fitness center, shuttle to the Path, 24 hr. doorman, it maintained beautifully and is in a good location. People will pay for that.

  17. JC

    Andy/BZ….anywhere specific you are seeing opportunities? If its here in Hoboken would you be confident rent covers your expenses? I’m assuming 20% down average. If you put 40% down then it helps, but thats a nice chunk of change for any size unit.

    The hudson tea sale is very unique. Tenant paying $2800/month which equates to 10x annual rent to purchase price ratio. Extremely low for Hoboken in my opinion.

  18. Lori

    I see good deals all the time. The thing to keep in mind is that the good deals tend to be in the part of Hoboken which suffered the most price depreciation – the west side of town. That also happens to be the place you are least likely to get and continue to get good rent. IMHO you have to find a place east of Willow and as close to the PATH or at least the Washington St. bus as possible, not on a high floor (1 or 2 max), with storage and a w/d in the building and decent living space in the unit. At the same time, you don’t want some over the top high-end renovation that will look worse for the wear when you want to sell in the future. Just keep it simple & clean and well maintained. That is what just about every renter asks for.

  19. JC

    $2800, wow! I guess that makes sense, I used to live in one of the shipyard building uptown and paid $2600 (after their crazy dog fees) for a 1 BR.

    Lori (or anybody) do you generally see any 1 BR’s renting for above $2,000 that are NOT in a full service building? Im talking about a brand new 800 sq ft parlor level condo in a gut renovation brownstone. Historic detail, terrace, on Garden St midtown.

    I appeciate any feedback on pricing.

  20. Lori

    JC – I don’t do many rentals other than for my clients. You must also keep in mind that the rental housing stock in Hoboken varies drastically. (Rent control plays a big part in this but that’s another story). I have seen the most disgusting places I can’t believe anyone would live in them that go for $1,200 and I have friends renting a $5,000 a month duplex loft with parking that is drop dead gorgeous. That being said, the property you describe would fetch a very decent rent. If it were mine i would ask for $2,000 without questions. Renters will pay a premium for good location (Garden St.), outdoor space (a terrace), convenience (new reno so I assume s/s, granite, w/d, dishwasher, maybe central air?) and a low floor. The updated but not gut renovated railroads on the upper part of Washington rent for 1,800 on the high floors! Don’t kid yourself – from what I’ve seen in the Hoboken rental market you get what you pay for. If you want nice, it is over 2k. An OK place for a young kid is around 1,600 to 1,800. Most of what I’ve seen for under 1,600 and certainly for under 1,400 makes me want to put gloves on before I touch anything.

  21. Mark

    Lori: I disagree. I paid $2,950 for a 2BR/2BA 1100sqf unit with small balcony in 333 River Street which is in a much better location than the Tea Building. $2,800 for a studio is outrageous.

  22. Lori

    You are lucky. Applied cuts different deals with different people. Lots of people complain vociferously about 333 River. I’m glad you like it and got a good price. That doesn’t change what units rent for at Hudson Tea though. Nor does the fact that you may think it too much. Again, the studio is not really a studio – they are all listed in the MLS as 1brs. The building has a huge, well equipped gym, beautiful views, friendly competent doormen who remember your name and act like professionals, Eli Manning down the hall, a club room, a kids play room, the shuttle, nice elevators, pretty hallways, parking, the ferry to Manhattan outside, 14 foor ceilings, and it is a condo building where many of the units are owner occupied (i.e., it’s not a rental building like 333). Some people don’t want to live downtown where the bar scene heats up every weekend so “better location” is very subjective when it comes to uptown vs. downtown. Have you checked out the rents at the new Shipyard buildings? You will be even happier you got what you did.

  23. JC

    thanks so much.

    Yes, Stainless, granite, W/D, central air, hardwood floor, recessed lighting, great layout, plenty of closets, and terrace in the back. Maybe I can hope for $2400 in a few years :) when its time to rent out.

  24. Lori

    PS – if you read this blog regularly you will know I am no fan of Toll Brothers. I sincerely like the Hudson Tea building and were my life different, would probably live there.

  25. Lori

    JC – I should also say that how your place shows when you go to rent it makes a huge difference in the response you will get. But from what you are describing, I would be happy to rent it for you!

  26. JC

    thanks Lori.

  27. mike

    the unit that sold in Hudson Tea is a 1BR not a studio. And $2,800 is not an accurate rent for that type of unit. I live in the Shipyard and pay $2,200 per month for a 1 BR with a balcony.

    Whoever said that unit is being rented out for $2,800 is lying.

  28. mike

    Lori – that is not the going rate for a nice 1BR.

  29. Lori

    It said over 2800 on the MLS listing. If the agent or seller was lying that might be fraud. I suspect it is correct. The waterfront buildings are all about exposure. Different views comand vastly different prices for rentals and sales. Condition also matters. The original shipyard building are getting old and can look dated. Applied didn’t go for luxury when they were built. Hoboken was just starting to turn and many people thought Joe Barry would fail. I guess he got the last laugh. Similarly Hudson tea was built as a rental then converted to condos and I think it was a noneviction plan. Some tenants bought. Those units were not renovted unless the owners did so. They differ vastly from the renovated ones done by Toll. So you really need to see the actual unit to make judgments.

  30. Lori

    Mike I guess it depends on how you define nice.

  31. hobokenlifer

    I agree with Mike. I’ve owned a few units in Hoboken for over 10 years. There is no way a 755 sq ft unit in Hudson Tea with Southern exposure is getting $2,800 a month.

    That is not the “going rate” for that type of unit. I would say $2,400 MAX.

    That being said….I still do not understand how this unit was sold for only $340k. I would have bought it for $440k. Something smells fishy!!

  32. fan

    My friend lives in a pretty large studio (550 sq ft) in Manhattan upper west side (70s). It’s in a doorman and elevator building for $2,000/mo.

    No way a studio anywhere in NJ is getting $2,800/mo. Anyone who believes that is a fool or a realtor.

  33. Lori

    1500 Washington rented 735 sq ft alcove studio units listed on the MLS:
    Year & Rent
    3500 06
    2500 07
    2700 07
    2750 07
    2450 08
    2900 08
    2500 08
    2500 08
    2600 08
    2400 09
    2100 09
    3000 09
    2600 09
    2350 09

    1500 Hudson
    2450 07
    2650 08
    2800 08
    2100 09
    2350 09

    Want the links – email me.

  34. homeboken

    Someone is paying $3,500 for an alcove studio at HTB? Geez, that landlord must be tickled or the resident has never searched for comps.

  35. Andy

    Some people (foolishly) will spend to live in the same building as a celebrity. All of those Luxury towers are being rented by people who just don’t care about wasting money. This one guy who used to work at a fund w/ me moved to the Shipyard and was paying over 4k a month from Manhattan. He didn’t want to do any research or take any time so he just agreed to pay it. It was less than what he used to pay in Manhattan. It happens I guess. Not a smart move but not everyone is financially responsible.

  36. Lori

    Maybe it’s a question of perspective. We moved to Hoboken from Manhattan over 10 years ago. At the time, we lived at 95 Horatio back before the Meatpacking District was even a “scene” like it is today. Even if Drew Barrymore lived in the building, the trannies were out on the corner and Greenwich St & 14th had many of “those” kind of clubs. Our loft was 800 sq. ft. – sort of an alcove studio with a funky layout. If you stood right at the window you could see the River and Hoboken. We were about to have our rent increased to over $3,000 so we moved to Hoboken. One of the first places we saw was a full floor of a very large brownstone on upper Washington Street. They were asking $1,700 with a broker’s fee. We were thrilled. Twice the space at half the rent. Remember this was in 1999. I thought $1,700 was great deal and was happy to pay it compared to the $3000+ is was facing. The unit had a cheap Home Depot kitchen with no dishwasher, the original bathroom with a clawfoot tub with the hot and cold reversed so my guests scalded themselves, not a single closet, high ceilings and nice hardwood floors. The layout was a giant railroad. Our “bedroom” was smack in the middle but my husband and I each had a huge office which was important at the time as I was running our travel business full time while he worked on Wall St..

    A few weeks later I met my downstairs neighbor who had been in the building for a while. He was paying $700. The people above me who also acted as the “super” paid $500. That’s when I learned about Hoboken’s rent control laws. We had rented the unit where the owner of the building had lived. She passed away, the niece and nephew inherited the building and they redid the floors and were free to rent it to us at the market rate. Fortunately, the landlord turned out to be an incredible creep, we got into a huge fight after I walked in one day to find his ‘cousin’ wandering around in my home and he let us out of our lease. But my point is that coming from the city 10 years ago, I halved our rent and doubled our space. Have things really changed that much since then? If anything, there are fewer rentals in Hoboken other than the big luxury buildings so rents are probably higher now than they were back then before all the little buildings converted to condo. So I can certainly see why some people, especially those coming from the city, are willing – no happy – to live in an luxury building for under $3000.

  37. mike

    Hudson Tea at $2200 per month….NO ONE IS GOING TO PAY $3k for a studio

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/apa/1441391458.html

  38. JC

    It looks like that studio (website says $2250 by the way) is on the first or second floor.

    If there are any studio’s with direct NYC views on a high floor, then a premium is added. Maybe $3k? I wouldnt pay it, but who knows.

  39. tom

    I live in the shipyard sovereign. This building is empty. We often comment about how strange it is that its so empty. I got a one month free deal which brings my 1 BR to $2000 for 850 sq/ft. I moved from manhattan and thought this was a great deal. Nice luxury building with doormen (they dont really do anything and people come in and out at will with no supervision) would easily be around 3000 on the UES manhattan. The Vanguard has 1BRs at 800sqft that you could prob get 1700/month for. I know 2 renters in the tea building that pay 3400 for 2 br and I think that has come down to under 3000 now. Rents are dropping like crazy. This is a good thing people.

  40. jc

    Just passed ‘the lexington’ building on grand and 6th. They are advertising 1 BR for $2300 with fee paid. Again seems high but if this is accurate then maybe $2800 in th teas is within arms length

  41. Tiger

    That’s very interesting Lori, I can see it happening again. However, with the the internet and all, I would hope people would at least take 5 minutes and google it? It doesn’t take much effort to know the ‘average’ rental for luxury condo anywhere really.

    It’s funny you had a sketchy landlord story, I lived with two roommats on 7th and Washington in 2003, our landlord was sketchy as hell. Towards the end, he actually let some people in without our knowledge, and we got robbed! I was a student at that time and lost $400 worth of stuff, each of my roommrates lost the same. A big ouch! (also still ticked about my backpack! they stole my Structure bag (remeber that brand?)

    Hoboken PD, useless as ever, determined it was 100% our landlord fault, but couldn’t do anything.

    Anyway, I left the place first then my roommates. Towards the end the landlord never returned the deposite! Something to think about for all renters out there: Document everything.

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