2010 Feb 17th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of February 16th

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of February 16th.

Hello 500+ Hoboken condos for sale. No big surprise. What did surprise me is how many of the sold units (and dabo’s) were sold without price reductions – except, of course, the Garden St. Lofts. Look at some of the other 2 and 3 bedrooms that sold. They were fairly expensive units and they all went pretty quickly and not much below the list price. Maybe it’s a flight to quality? Well, Mardi Gras has come and gone and now is supposed to be the season to repent and renew. Maybe the housing market will also start to revive during this period and we will see a happy Spring.


Here are this weeks numbers vs. a weeks ago numbers:

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

14 new listings.

209 total active – $376,238 average asking price. Average 79 DOM.

2 dabos. Average 20 DOM

5 sold for an average sales price of $394,000. Average 164 DOM

12 price reductions.

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

19 new listings

250 total listings. Average list price $568,134. Average 98 DOM.

6 dabo’d. Average 169 DOM.

7 sold. Average price $545,557. Average 124 DOM.

11 price reductions.

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

1 new listings

53 active listings. Average price $957,945. Average 132 DOM.

1 dabo’d. Average 122 DOM.

4 sold. Average price $600,529. Average 120 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, due to MLS regulations, to receive the map with the actual links, you will have to request it using the request form on the post. It only takes a second.

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 listings. You can ask your own agent to do that. So what is an ongoing relationship? Is that not up to you? Have you been working with another agent on a regular basis? More importantly, are you happy with that agent’s service? If so,we respect that relationship.
If all you did is attent an open house or you’ve seen several properties with several different agents, that’s not an ongoing relationship. Despite what some agents in town would like to have you believe, simply showing a buyer a single property, or even a few, does not a relationship make. You are the consumer – you get to decide with whom you wish to work. If you think the agent who hosted an open house or showed you a property is incompetent or does not meet your needs why would you ever use that person as your agent? Unless you’ve signed a “buyers agency agreement”, which is highly unusual in Hoboken, find an agent you like, trust and whose advice you respect. It’s your money, no?
For more information you can always contact us at 201 993 9500.
Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!
  1. stan

    Thanks Lori as always.

    I am also impressed by the # of closings. Priced well moves, it moves. I just looked at the closed 2 br tax records. That 700 first (skyclub) took a 175k haircut from its 05 price, and the 803 willow took at 125k haircut from 2006.

    The 635 ‘6th street’ sales are curiously on Jackson, which would help to explain its new construction 370 square ft price.

  2. stan

    ^^ priced well, it moves

  3. Craig

    I agree that property that is priced well still moves relatively fast. It’s the horribly overpriced properties that are sitting. Sellers that bought back in the early 2000s can afford to sell for a price that is reasonable in today’s market, even if it means just breaking even. But those who bought at the height of the market are stuck. They can’t lower their prices to the pre-2005 levels needed for a sale in today’s market without taking a bath. So those properties will sit and those sellers aren’t going anywhere.

    We all know SkyClub is taking a bath, and I can’t say I’m surprised given its less than desirable location. But I wonder how the really overpriced waterfront properties like Maxwell, W, and Hudson Tea are doing. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of activity at the W other than the fools who bought pre-construction for $1100/sq. ft.

  4. TS

    Weren’t there 2 or 3 resales at W in the last year? I know 1 recently sold. Not sure what your expectations are for a 40 unit building.

  5. Lori

    The SkyClub has been more affected by the number of investors who bought there than by the location. Investors can walk away from an underwater mortgage much more easily than an owner who is living in the unit. I think that’s contributed to the number of short sales in the building. If it were just the location, the Harrison would have been similarly affected and it’s not.

  6. shortsequalmarket

    Thanks for pointing out a couple of examples of 25% declines since the peak for Hoboken. I Believe Lori showed something similar on 9th St last week. How many before it is a trend.

  7. Randy


    Is that the case for Maxwell Pace and Hudson Tea too?

  8. Lori

    I don’t believe so. SkyClub was initially sold at very low prices compared to similar properties at the time it was built. Remember, it was supposed to be a rental builidng and the market started to boom so they quickly changed it to a condo. Lots of people bought figuring at the low prices they could rent them out and make money. Then everything changed. I’ve yet to see a short sale at Maxwell. The prices combined with the taxes and maintenance at Maxwell would make it quite difficult for an investor to get an acceptable return on a rental at Maxwell. As for Hudson Tea, that’s an entirely different scenario. Again, it was a rental building. Then they converted to condos but it was a non-eviction plan so tenants who didn’t buy or vacate got to stay. Some are still there. Toll is now their landlord. As they vacate voluntarily, Toll sells their units. There have been individual sales as well after the initial condo offering. Some buyers bought high and now find themselves underwater and as a result there have been a few short sales. Given the size of the complex, very, very few. The units at Hudson Tea vary greatly in price for the same layout unit depending on exposure. Those with nice views have retained their value way better than those that face the other building. Hope this answers your question.

  9. thoughts

    shortsequalmarket –

    from what i’ve seen, i believe:

    1. it was a trend (i.e. 20% or so), except for certain sections of the city; and

    2. it’s now bottomed out.


  10. Tiger

    thoughts, it might have bottomed (depends on where you are measuring), but if we are talking about an L recovery, which seems to be the most likely scenario, we will stick there for a long time. Typcally the ultimate bottom is followed by appreciation, but to be honest with you I think we have years ahead of us.

    Did you see the link that Lori posted to the left about the potential foreclosures that could hit us soon? Yes, maybe not Hoboken, but what guarantee do we have that Lehman 2 would happen? Hoboken has been hit once with Lehman 1, you think it would be as strong with Lehman 2 if it happens?

  11. Craig

    I guess with Hudson Tea you are paying primarily for the waterfront location because I really don’t get how it’s considered a luxury building that commands the prices it does. The finishes don’t seem to match the prices. Many of the kitchens I have seen there are unimpressive and what’s up with the parquet floors and wall a/c units? How do you pay upwards of a million bucks and not even get central air and wood plank floors?

    I forgot about all those investors in SkyClub. That is definitely the main reason for all the short-sales there. It’s gotta be killing the comps for the people who bought there as a primary residence though. Lori is correct that there have been few short sales at Maxwell, but they face a different problem. As the new buildings in that complex come on line they have to keep values up by holding the line on their original pricing. I’ve seen stories of people walking away from pre-construction signed contracts (and their deposits) there. I foresee the newer buildings being completed at Maxwell House sitting half-empty for awhile.

  12. Randy

    what about 700 grove?

  13. shortsequalmarket

    Bottomed out. Are you kidding. There are 40 new listings and 30 new price reductions each week. There is a 2/2 at Hudson Tea with unobstructed north views for $609. There is a 2/2 at the Shipyard for under $600K.

    Your definition of bottomed is sellers temporarily not reducing prices.

    If nothing sells by definition a seller loses. Many new listing seem to have a room with a nursery. I even saw on in Observer Plaza with a nursery and a crib in the master. There seems to be many young families throughout Hoboken desperate to leave. There is a giant step down when they decide their good credit is not as valuable as raising a family the way they choose (ie good school district, yard, ‘burbs, etc).

  14. shortsequalmarket

    I agree floppers at Sky Club are leaving the market sooner. If they are already stretched on their primary home it is easy to see how quick foreclosure comes when rent does not even cover interest on the loan.

    However the reason SkyClub should be cheaper than its neighbors is not due to short sales but due to the fact in a high rental building that has floppers the HOA is probably not funded correctly and a mortgage is difficult to get. I would not want to own in a building of renters and delinquent HOA.

    The short sale price is the true market price for that building, just like it is for every other building. Especially if they are pre-approved. It is not much more difficult to close a pre-approved short sale than a regular “equity” sale.

  15. Lori

    How many short sales have you closed, shortsequalmarket?

  16. shortsequalmarket

    None, but personally have had friend(s) “steal one from the bank” with a pre-approved short sale in a couple of months. Regardless, maybe I underestimate the value of my time, but two additional months in to save $25K or more would be a big deal. I think most are the same (not that they are cheaper but that demand pushes the price back up to market).

    The recent closing at Columbus for $475 is kind of proof it started out as an equity sale and rode the market down until it sold at market price $475.

  17. shortsequalmarket

    Oh yeah and if I am indirectly paying realtors $30K to close my short sale that seems like a pretty good return on their time too.

  18. Lori

    That sentence makes absolutely no sense.

  19. shortsequalmarket

    Not sure how most people who indirectly pay realtors 6% ($30K on a $500K sale) do not think that having their realtor do two additional months of footwork is an imposition. Therefore unless their realtor talks them out of a short sale they are going to bid relative to the comparable comps. If it was the place I wanted I would not let it get away (bid low) just because my realtor thinks is should be less do to the short sale process.

    Before you answer the seller pays or the bank pays remember they ask a higher price to cover the expense (so indirectly the buyer pays).

    Although I will agree that on fraudulent like cases where a realtors promote non arm length sales, that maybe they are hoodwinking the bank to sell below market.

  20. thoughts

    shortsequalmarket –

    i. don’t follow your short sale rant – but i’m not sure it interests me

    ii. we’ll see who’s right about the bottom. that said, we both totally agree that’s hoboken is down more than 5% an up to 20% or so in certain areas.

    iii. where is disagree is about urbanization – i just got back from a walk on washington street – there are a THOUSAND young hoboken families walking around – i believe that 95% are going nowhere. that’s much different then 10 years ago and is in line with the trend in NJ.

    by the way, are you a broker?


  21. thoughts

    Lori –

    I was walking around Hoboken and (for the hell of it) stopped and looked at:

    213 CLINTON ST, Hoboken (unit 1)

    The listing says 1300 sq. ft. and the Century 21 website says 1400 sq ft.! I could be wrong, but the place seems like no more then 1200 sq. ft. That said, it was really nice and good location, but no parking….

    Two questions:

    1. Are there any ramifications for listing the incorrect sq. ft.?


  22. thoughts

    sorry –

    2. What do people think of the list price of 679K? The place is very high end inside, has a nice yard, good location, but is more like 1200 sq ft. – there was not much living space inside….


  23. Confused

    “– there are a THOUSAND young hoboken families walking around – i believe that 95% are going nowhere. that’s much different then 10 years ago and is in line with the trend in NJ.”

    i. a THOUSAND? So, based on a family being at least 3 (husband, wife and child) there were 3,000 people on Washington Street Saturday morning? wow, that must have made for some crowded sidewalks.

    ii. Where is the data to back up these statements?

    Once again, you make all these statements and have nothing to back them up.

    Will you ever get there?


  24. Lori

    I haven’t seen that property yet so I won’t comment on it specifically. As for sq ft to me the most authoritative source is the tax record. That should agree with the floor plans rendered by the architect and included in the master deed. Remember that sq ft determines percentage ownership which often determines maintenance fee when it’s proportional to ownership interest. Often an owner won’t correct understated sq ft for fear of increasing maintenance and possibly taxes. Then they go to sell and it comes back to hurt them. Are there ramifications to overstating? It could be construed as a fraudulent misrepresentation I suppse.

  25. thoughts

    confused –

    i didn’t literally count – don’t be an #*^#% on a sunday morning. it’s unbecoming….

    anyway, how did the yuppies finally take over the government and the school board? because they all moved out?!?

    further, in regard to the “urbanization trend” and “green trend” – google it or better yet – ask any real estate appraiser….


  26. thoughts

    by the way, 213 clinton is having an open house right now, so i popped in again – AMAZING!! SO So nice – if it had parking for people, it would be the best around…..

  27. bill

    213 clinton looks real nice and well priced assuming.

    The front of the building and rest of the units are of similar quality

    Its not underground

    Common yard?

  28. Lori

    It is not a common yard – the yard goes with the basement unit.

  29. HobokenSeller

    So based on the current market, since I have to sell this year, is it better to hop on the spring bandwagon or wait until folks start taking their places off the market in July?

    I know the market slows down by then as well, but it seems like more real buyers are around rather than just all the “browsers” in the spring.


  30. thoughts

    HobokenSeller –

    I walked around on Sunday and open houses were totally packed!!! and people seemed (seemed) really interested. I also think (my opinion only) Hoboken is hot (or warm) compared to other areas on NJ/NY and will be going forward. I have friends that looked in suburban areas in NJ that were not on the train line – towns were dead for sellers.

    I would list ASAP (for 90 days) and try to get some interest – people are out there – if you get none, then you can de-list and re-think it later.


  31. thoughts

    HobokenSeller –

    Can you tell us about your place?


  32. homeboken

    Seller – There is always a market of buyers out there, always. The only thing to consider is the price range that these buyers will seek when looking at your place. You can sell your home very quickly, if it is priced right. If you are seeking maximum return, then I would wait, but if you have to sell, price it to sell.

  33. HobokenSeller

    I’m holding out for that time machine that will allow me to go back to 2006 and sell baby!

    Haha, since that will never happen I have to sell in 2010.

    My budget forces me to sell this year. So I need to decided when is the best time to strike with the least amount of month on month with no rental income (my place is currently rented) Their lease is up March 31.

    Just trying to see if I should hold out until summer and then put it up or strike in the spring (with 1000 other folks)

    I know I wont get what I would have, but naturally I’m trying to maximize my returns, while putting it up for a “priced to sell” realistic number.

    So far, I am leaning for a spring time release (April 1)


  34. HobokenSeller

    Oh another thing, my realtor is very realistic. He doesn’t play the game of pricing high.

    I am concerned however that no matter what price I put it at people will offer 10%-20% less because they are “conditioned” to do so.

    I’m not looking forward to those offers….

  35. Tiger

    Goodluck Seller.

    Last week Lori mentioned that many were sold very close to asking price, as long as the asking price is reasonable. Any good buyer agent would compile a comprehensive ‘comps’ file, which should be the basis for an offer.

    I think you pricing realisticly will increase your changes of getting good offers. Good luck!

  36. Lori

    It’s too bad Hambone must have been dealing with hamheaded agents. Any agent worth his or her salt when working with a buyer will have comps to substantiate an offer. Merely reducing a list price by some arbitrary percentage is meaningless. If a property is a good value compared to other similar properties on the market in the same price range then it’s priced right. Look at the competition and you’ll know what the price should be. Your comment is filled with misperceptions and misinformation, Hambone.

  37. thoughts

    Hamboney –

    Not that I love brokers, but to stick up for them:

    1. the following in not true at all – “meanwhile on the buying end the agent is saying to offer 10-15% less than the asking price”. it’s usually the opposite b/c they want the deal to happen!!!

    2. they split 5%, which may become negotiable – not 6%

  38. Lori

    Did you miss the part above where I said “when working with a buyer”? Agents don’t set the list price – the seller does. And the sellers often don’t follow their agent’s advice in that regard. I can’t tell you how many sellers price their homes based on what they paid plus a margin to cover their costs – a fact which should be irrelevant to any buyer. There are negotiations because properties are so often not priced properly. Also, many, way too many, agents not be honest with at seller and tell the seller that the seller wants to ask too much because the agent wants to get the listing thinking the price will just get reduced after a period of time but the agent will still get the deal. So properties are priced badly all the time.

  39. thoughts

    lawyers get $1,250 or so in NJ – in NYC they get more

  40. homeboken

    Agree with the above. Setting a list price at “price paid, plus closing clost, plus some variable profit percentage is a bad idea.

    Similarly, offering 10-15% off every list, even if you think the house is priced correctly is equally dumb.

    I contend that in the above two cases, the seller isn’t really interested in selling and the buyer isn’t really a buyer. Both are trying to “get a deal”. If you are really IN the market, the above strategies are killer.

  41. Craig

    Lori is correct in that there are only huge price drops on properties that were improperly priced to begin with. A properly priced property will typically sell at 95% or more of asking price. You can’t blame agents for list prices. The seller sets the price, not the agent. Yet despite their knowing the pricing is wrong, few agents will debate the seller on price because they want the listing.

    Hambone – I too think commissions are a bit high in some situations, but keep in mind that the money can be split as much as 4 ways, so it doesn’t go as far as you think. The listing agent, buyer’s agent, and both agencies they work for each get 1/4 of that commission. Also keep in mind that agencies don’t provide health insurance to their agents, so these people have to pay for their own benefits. Still, the commission for a $500k sale is $25k or $6250 each before taxes. If the place sold after a week or two on the market, that’s a lot of money for not much work done. But if it was on the market for 6 months with lots of advertising, open houses, and viewings, it becomes a little more fair. This is why I favor variable commissions that are based on how long the sale takes. Still, if you ever tried selling a property yourself, you know that you need agents and thus have to pay them.

    Thoughts – NJ lawyers in high overhead areas like Hoboken charge $1,250. But if you retain a lawyer from outlying places like Hackensack (as I did), Secaucus, or Bayonne, you will pay $850-$950.

  42. Tiger

    Craig, true, in fact, in other states you don’t need a RE lawyer at all; you just need a Title company and pay something like $300.

  43. homeboken

    If a realtor starts complaining to you about having to split comissions with the buyer/seller agent, plus the agencies, having to buy their own insurance etc… Don’t bother.

    This isn’t slavery. If the job isn’t worth the money, they are free to leave. Just like any other job.

  44. lori

    And we are also free to earn a living as we see fit. Plenty of my clients are more than happy to compensate me for my work.

  45. homeboken

    Lori- exactly my point. The moment you hear a realtor complaining, you can be sure they don’t have enough volume. Low volume means low income. Low income means they will put their personal interests ahead of the buyer/seller.

    When I hear a commercial broker complain, I can’t run away fast enough.

  46. Lori

    I agree. Maybe the new continuing education requirement will chase some of the non-producers away. I’m sure we’ll have to pay for the courses.

  47. thoughts

    homeboken –

  48. thoughts

    i know plenty of commercial brokers who work hard, do a good job and don’t get rich – especially in this environmental…..

    tiger – i would love to see people in NJ try and close a deal by just paying a title company $300 – with the boom, came terrible title companies….. also, mortgage companies are hard to deal with….

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