2010 Jan 6th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week Ending January 5th

Hoboken Condos Inventory & Sales – Week of January 5th.


Wecome back from the holidays. This is a crucial time period to watch. Just yesterday, the NY Times reported a possible double dip in housing downturn due to a drop in the number of properties under contract (what we call dabo’s). On the same day, the New York Daily News had an article saying just the opposite. These reports are nationwide. The Hoboken real estate market, fortunately, has had better luck than most of the rest of the country. Yet my experience tells me that lots of agents told their prospective sellers to “wait until after the holidays to list“. At the same time, buyers often wait until the weather gets a little milder to pound the pavement looking for properties. So the next few weeks and even months ought to be telling.

What do I see here in the Hoboken condo market? As of today, inventory is still much lower than it had been a year ago. There was a tiny jump this week but not an avalanche in listings by any means. Sales and dabos are happening at a steady pace although some of the price reductions are shocking. Take a look at 350 7th Street, for example. The price went from $719,000 for a 2 bedroom down to $569,000. Same at 508 Garden, a 2 bedroom listed at an overpriced $639,000 that is now down to $530,000 and dabo’d. When was the last time we saw an over 1000 sq. ft. unit at the Upper Grand go for under $500,000? Or 2 bedrooms at The Shipyard for $499,000? How about studios at Hudson Tea in the high $300,000s? Then there is the affect that short sales in buildings like The SkyClub have had on the market and the comps, and appraisals. Short sales typically close for well under market value. They pull the rest of the market right down with them. These are the new, lower price levels it sometimes takes to get the unit sold. Yet I still hear sellers tell me “well my neighbor got X two years ago so I would like to list for X plus 10%”. Reality check anyone?

To see this report with the MLS links we are required to have you complete this little form.

As you know we took last week off so the summary contains the past two weeks combined measured against the week before Christmas and the detailed analysis shows activity for the past two weeks as well.

Here are the past two weeks number combined vs. two week’s ago numbers:


Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

13 new listings.

147 total active – $372,493 average asking price. Average 97 DOM.

3 dabos. 96 Average DOM.

7 sold for an average price of $367,000 Average 66 DOM .

No price reductions.

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

12 new listings

226 total listings. Average list price $575,534. Average 112 DOM.

5 dabo’d. Average 188 DOM.

14 sold – $478,756 average sales price. Average 93 DOM.

19 price reductions.

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

1 new listing

49 active listing. Average price $944,758. Average 138 DOM.

2 dabos. Average DOM 176

2 sold. Average price $672,500. DOM 87.

No 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. A word about that – if you have an ongoing relationship with another agent we are not going to email you. That means someone you’ve been working with on a regular basis and whose services you are happy with and to whom you feel loyalty. We respect that relationship. If that is the case, ask your own agent for listings. If, however, you’ve gone to an open house or you’ve seen several properties with several different agents, that’s not an ongoing relationship. Showing someone a single property, or even a few, does not necessarily a relationship make. You are the consumer – you get to decide with whom you wish to work. So we will ask you before we email you.


You can always contact us at 201 993 9500.
Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!
  1. Joe

    The condo prices you mention above are coming down because they’ve been mispriced for a long time. Short-sales are happening because banks believe prices have further to go down. Otherwise, banks wouldn’t sell for less than the mortgage loan–at least in this area of the country.

  2. link off

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks for the info. I think the links are off as when I enter my info it throws me to a November posting. Thanks

  3. JC

    Joe – I respect your point, however just because banks are willing to except a short sale in Hoboken doesnt mean prices have further to go. In 2006 banks got Real estate wrong thinking the party would continue allowing leverage at absurd levels. So I could have made the argument in 2006 that since banks are allowing this leverage ratio they believe prices will continue going up. And they would have been wrong.

    Banks also have alredy taken a loss on $100’s of millions of bad mortgages, so a few short sales in Hoboken is already factored into their numbers.

    I’m not arguing prices are going up, just pointing out that a bank allowing a short sale to occur doesnt mean prices will fall further.

  4. a

    file not loading for me. i think the link is bad

  5. Lori

    fixing it right now – thanks

  6. Lori Turoff

    OK – it works now.

  7. homeboken

    That unit at 2 Constitution will raise eyebrows in that building. The thing that gets me there is still the maintenance and taxes.

    Monthly HOA = $719
    Monthly RE Tax = $998 (11,977/year, or 2.4% of sales price)

    $1,717 per month before your mortgage.

    Still, I can’t recall the last time a 2BR waterfront 1000+ sqft home trade for under $500k.

    And yet, there are still listings in this building for similar units for $700k plus. Hello???

  8. JC

    homeboken…there was another unit a little bit bigger that sold for $577,000. Not sure what why the huge price difference. interesting.

  9. homeboken

    JC – Do you happen to have the link from Lori’s post for the unit that sold for $577,000? You can tell a lot from the pictures.

    The one that sold at $499 has original everything (parquet floors, kitches, etc) However, you would be hard pressed to put $177,000 worth of improvements into an 1100 sqft condo, espicially one where you can’t touch the heating/ac or plumbing.

  10. JC

    yes, I see the differences now. The HOA there is absurd. The grounds are really nice and vast but between tax and HOA your’re on NYC price points.

  11. Jim

    I live at 508 Garden. That is for Unit 1 that is a 2 bedroom, not 1 as you mention.
    It was a short sale, and hasn’t actually closed yet. It is now scheduled to close the end of January… kind of makes me nervous to see they are saying it closed already.

    Unit 3 has been abandoned and we have been trying to foreclose for 2 years…. Thanks Mr Leo Genese.

    Its a great place to live when you get stuck in a 4 unit building with 2 deadbeat owners.

    I’ll be glad when I sell and get out!

  12. Jim

    Oh Unit 1 also has a deeded backyard.
    It is the 2 yr foreclosure on Unit 3 that killed Unit 1…

  13. Lori

    The risk of a small condo building is that when one unit ‘goes bad’ it pulls down the others. That is one of the rationales for the FHA requiring that no owner have more than a 10% interest in condo building when making an FHA loan. You’re right – it’s a 2 br (I changed that) and it’s not sold yet – just under contract.

  14. thoughts

    jim – that sounds horrible – sorry. is the purchase price on unit 1 worth it in your opinion? i assume its slightly lower than asking. also, is the unit below ground?

  15. Jim

    Personally I feel the person that buys that place and takes care of it is getting a really good deal. Very nice location and good place overall.
    Only thing I like better about mine is I have 10ft ceilings and he has like 8ft. It is below street about 60% in front and 30% in back to the yard.

    The new owners will do very well if they hold for 5 years…. assuming they close.

    Purchasers have 3 things against them: Unit 3 not paying dues for 2+ yrs and being foreclosed on, depleted Association funds, Unit 1 seller is no longer in US.

    Pretty sure someone I dated put a curse on the building, cause it used to be nothing but good times. Now it’s nothing but grief!

    No where to go but up, I’m hoping!

  16. a


    Assuming your unit doesn’t have a backyard,
    ever consider swapping your unit for the one with the backyard?

  17. Jim

    I plan to sell as of April 1. Mine will be priced right to sell from the start, and I will be pumping money into the Association so as to not scare buyers or banks away.

    PS my Unit rents for $3000 (when they decided to pay)
    PPSS Unit 1 bought his for about 380 back in ’03. Not sure how he ran up a bill to make it a short sale at $530….

  18. Tiger

    Jim, sorry to hear. I think regarding Unit 1, it’s probably the typical cliche story; the owner probably cached out in 06 and refinanced, spent the money and went into shortsale.

    They left the US so why would they care?

  19. thoughts

    Ya – 8ft ceilings and 60% below street is very tough – for the purchase price to be (assumed) around 525K – that’s paying a lot (lot) over the value of the apt in this market for a deeded backyard….

    i guess deeded backyards are worth more than i thought?!?


  20. Lori

    Really? Almost 1300 square feet, renovated and a deeded back yard on Garden overpriced at 525k? How you do figure? Even at the current average of about $470 / sq. ft. that multiplies out to 610K without adding the typical 20k to 30k for the private (large) yard.

  21. homeboken

    Lori – Assuming that Jim’s comments are true, and I have no reason to beleive they are false, then the unit was abandoned and association is dreadfully underfunded. Not sure if your buyers don’t look at things like that, but I sure would.

    What happens if a major repair is needed and there is zero money in the reserves and only 2 able unit owners?

    Times have changed, everyone needs to look at the full picture, taxes, insurance, mortgage, price, healthy of condo associate, age of building and crititcal building systems. 2-4 years ago, people would look only at price, that worked out terribly.

  22. Joe

    $470 per square ft is a bubble. Saying that’s cheap b/c it used to be $500+ per sq ft a couple of years ago is like saying back in late 2000 that Cisco was cheap b/c it was “only” trading at 40x earnings instead of 60x. It’s important to have a historical context of how real estate values have compounded over time (100+ years) and it is easy to see that the market is way way above trend.

  23. JC

    The HOA for the units are under $200 from the listing in the dabo’s. $200 x 24 months = $4,800 for unit 3. And, unit 1 has been empty for lets say 1 year: 12 x 200 = $2400

    Total reserves down $7200 from where it should be. $7200 split a few ways is not earth shattering at all in a worst case scenario. Especially considering any buyer will do a proper inspection of the unit/building.

    I think that price of $525k is a good deal, and the price reflects the risk associated with the buy.

  24. thoughts

    Lori – the place has 8 ft ceilings and is more than half under the ground – to be honest, it seems like a glorified basement with a backyard for 400/sq.ft.

    i think a “deal” on that place would be no more than 475K

    anybody have any thoughts?

  25. Craig

    “The risk of a small condo building is that when one unit ‘goes bad’ it pulls down the others. That is one of the rationales for the FHA requiring that no owner have more than a 10% interest in condo building when making an FHA loan.” – Lori

    The 10% restriction only applies to larger buildings and is misapplied when discussing a small 4 unit building like 508 Garden. Obviously in a building that size, owning one unit gives you a 25% interest and would disqualify the building. Thus the 10% restriction does not apply when the ownership of less than three units would disqualify an otherwise eligible project. See section 234(c) of the National Housing Act.

  26. Craig

    “Really? Almost 1300 square feet, renovated and a deeded back yard on Garden overpriced at 525k? How you do figure? Even at the current average of about $470 / sq. ft. that multiplies out to 610K without adding the typical 20k to 30k for the private (large) yard.” – Lori

    It’s a basement apartment that’s half underground. How much was deducted for that in the assessment that the asking price is reasonable? The backyard adds value, but doesn’t get you up to $525k to live in a basement in my opinion (and a buyer’s opinion sets the market in a buyer’s market, no?). The $470/ sq. ft. average Lori cites is skewed by insane prices at places like the W, Hudson Tea and Maxwell Place. A better measure would be to use the median, which eliminates such atyical outliers.

    I don’t know how others figure price, but I figure with comps. I’m under contract for 325 Adams. I didn’t get a deeded backyard, but I got a full 1300 sq. ft. in a much nicer, newer elevator building with healthy financials, and I’m paying in the high $300s per sq. ft. The runner-up was 75 Jefferson, which is on the market for $539k. It’s also more recent construction with a full 1300 sq. ft., deeded parking, a private terrace, and a common backyard. An identical unit in that building sold for $517k not too long ago. Both Units are a quicker walk to the PATH than 508 Garden.

  27. thoughts

    Craig –

    I agree with you, except that 75 Jefferson is a terrible location compared to 508 Garden. That’s why the units on that street sit for so so so long…..

    Better location choice is the 225 Adams…. That said, 508 Garden’s location is better than both.

    I said 475K MAX for 508 – what do you say??


  28. Lori

    Almost ALL Hoboken apartments with private yards are garden level – that is not the same as a basement. In fact, the Hoboken building department makes a distinction and while I don’t have access to the technical language, the rule has to do with the amount of window or air space that the unit has in front and back. 508 Garden has 100% air space in back and full size windows in the front – in other words, you walk out full size sliding doors to the garden. It is not entirely’below ground’.

    The average price per square foot for Hoboken in December was actually $474. I rounded down. If you prefer to use the median that is $468 so there can’t be too much ‘skewing’ going on despite your assertion. What do you base thatstatement on, by the way? I’m always interested in rigorous analysis. The difference between 474 and 468 is insignificant. The price for 1300 sq ft still comes to over $600k. You have no idea what the buyer of 508 Garden paid. It’s possible that it will sell for well under $500k and got a great deal. There is no question that Garden is one of the most desirable blocks in Hoboken. Always was, always will be.

  29. thoughts

    Lori –

    I think the discussion was based on a 525K purchase price – we’ll see the real purchase price was in due course. You’re correct, they could have gotten a deal….

    The other unit owner stated (and it looks like) that’s its 60%and 30% under the ground – to me, that’s not street/garden level. Is that correct?

    I agree that location is very good.

    In my opinion, because of the under the ground feeling, I would think a good price would be similar to a 2 bed 1 bath with a backyard – that means, around $450-475 – especially is this scary market.


  30. Lori

    I’ve seen the unit and it does not feel “basement” like because you walk straight in from the front door (under the stoop), it has full size windows on the front that face east so it gets good light, and each of the bedrooms on the back have full size sliding glass doors that lead out to the garden. The patio area just outside those doors is only about 3 steps below the rest of the garden. This is a very typical Hoboken garden apartment and the renovation is quite nice with a huge living space and decent kitchen. It has central air, jacuzzi tubs, 2 full baths, a w/d in the unit and a great location. When it closes and the purchase price is public info we can discuss more intelligently whether the buyer got a good deal.

  31. jc

    Jefferson street and Adams street is not Garden street! Ask Lori how many folks come to her or any realtor in town with the request ‘no further west than Willow’. Personally I don’t mind Adams and sure it’s only 5 blocks further west but each block you move west from garden can account for x dollars lower in a comparable unit. IMO

    location is still a driving factor in real estate.

  32. Craig

    Really, $468 is the median? I stand corrected then. All I can say to that is seller’s agents won’t be too happy with my purchase as a comp.

    It’s all about what each individual prioritizes most I guess. Garden St. is very desirable, no doubt. But we wanted proximity to the PATH, didn’t want a rowhouse or anything with wood frame construction, and newer construction was a must. Anything built before 2000 was out. With very few pricey exceptions, those requirements ain’t happening east of Willow anywhere near the PATH. The southwest area offers an abundance of affordable newer non-rowhouse units within 10-12 minutes walk to the PATH. So that’s what makes Grand or Adams just as desirable to me as Garden is to others.

    As for 508 Garden being called a garden apartment as opposed to a basement, all I can say is that I once lived in a similar setup at 308 Hudson. It didn’t “feel” below-ground either. But the reality was big furniture pieces don’t make the turn into the door under those stoops and heavy rainstorms did not work out so well for me on a few occasions. But if you have to have a private yard, I concede it’s the way to go.

    I agree with Lori that any debate on whether 508 Garden is a good deal is meaningless until we learn the actual transaction price. The suggestion of $475k as a max is probably unrealistic, but I’d bet a month’s pay it will come in under $500k.

  33. thoughts

    Craig –

    I think you’re mistaken about location in regard to 1st/jeff – 508 garden is closer to the path than 1st/jeff – the two location are significantly different. It’s also a long walk to washington st from 1st/jeff….

    You can map the distance at http://www.mapmyrun.com.

    I don’t know many people that would choose to live in that area – hence, the much lower prices….


  34. Craig

    I’m sorry Thoughts but it is you who are mistaken. Each north/south block is equivalent to at least 2 east/west blocks. I in fact did map the walking distance at hopstop.com. Walking distance to the PATH from 75 Jefferson and 508 Garden is exactly the same: 12 minutes. 508 Garden is closer to Washington if your destination is 5th & Washington maybe. But if you are going to 1st or 2nd and Washington, it’s just as distant. Lastly, here’s another distance to consider: your deeded parking spot at 75 Jefferson is in your basement. Your parking spot at 508 Garden is nonexistant. It’s all about priorities. Different strokes for different folks.

  35. Guest

    The distances are one issue. The atmosphere of the neighborhood of each location entirely another.

  36. thoughts

    Craig – I think Guest said it better – different neighborhoods. Also, the most restaurants “per block” is between Wash and 5th and 6th. It’s a better location for most.

    Yes – 508 does not have parking.

  37. Jim

    508 is in a really good location. Close to Washington St (but not too close). Renovated Church Sq Park, and Mid-town parking garage 3 blocks away.
    Parking on the street can be challenging but there are tons of folks that don’t even have cars, so it’s not really all that much of an issue.

    Budget shortfalls are covered by the 2 paying units. Fun fun. The monthly dues are damn low so “special assessments” aren’t terribly painful.

    Life would be better with responsible owners, and people that are looking for “deals” and nothing else, scare me anyway. They will cause trouble when “life” gets in the way.

    I could have bought anywhere in 2003, but I wanted to live in REAL Hoboken. You are close to everything at 508, but not too close 😉

    PS Unit 1 is nicely done and there is a lot of light in all the units which always surprised me.

  38. Tiger

    To each his own, folks. I think Craig took a place that he feels fits his needs and priorities, a place that he’s interested in living in for the next few years. I wish more people would do that; do an **honest** assessment of their needs and priorities and make a good judgement call based on their own circumstances; not what’s ‘hip’ or what he could have stretched himself to the max to afford or even what others think.

    Congratulations Craig!

  39. thoughts

    Tiger – I think those days are over!

    Unrelated, I hear interest rates are climbing!

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