2010 Mar 31st

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of March 30th

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of March 30th.

Spring has sprung, or at least it was supposed to. baby_bunniesAlong with it have come lots of new listings. Sort of like baby bunnies, once you have a few you just can’t stop from having even more. My instincts and life on the street tells me there will be more new listings after the Easter holiday. The real question is, will the Hoboken buyers come out of hiding and start making offers or are they still scared by the uncertainty in the market? There is no question that some properties out there are selling at numbers that even a short time ago would have been surprising. I’ll be posting the 1st Quarter 2010 results in a few days. Perhaps that will give us some better insight as to what is really going on.

I’ve noticed a few other interesting things lately. There has been some debate about Hoboken rent control. In fact, the Mile Square Taxpayers Association has filed a class action suit about it. Of course, any time rent control is even mentioned, tenants who enjoy rent control start crying over the loss of affordable housing. Does anyone know exactly what percentage of Hoboken housing units are subsidized, Section 8, or free market versus rent controlled? Another thing I have noticed is that every single new listing says “taxes under appeal”. The other day I read that Jersey City has to borrow $8 million to pay the successful tax appelants. So if everyone in Hoboken with high taxes appeals, won’t Hoboken have to borrow money or raise everyone’s taxes? The rent control and tax issues are intertwined. It seems that the buildings that pay the least in taxes (proportionally) are the 8 and 10 unit walk-up rental building filled with rent controlled units. The landords claim they can’t afford higher taxes because the rents won’t cover them. But the reason the rents won’t cover is because the units are rent controlled. Do the tenants have to meet any sort of income or asset test to be protected by rent control? Or is it like the old days in NYC when Mayor Koch lived in a rent controlled apartment for $441 a month which was worth $1,200 on the open market, much to the chagrin of many New Yorkers. Then there is the issue of whether landlords of rent controlled units have any motivation to improve their properties. The one thing I know for certain, this one isn’t over yet.

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Here are this weeks numbers vs. a week’s ago numbers:

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

17 new listings.

232 total active – $378,283 average asking price. Average 78 DOM.

4 dabo. Average 48 DOM

5 sold. Average price $343,100. DOM 45.

14 price reductions.

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

14 new listings

263 total listings. Average list price $572,520. Average 87 DOM.

5 dabo’d. Average 86 DOM.

6 sold. Average price $507,083 Average DOM 212.

23 price reductions.

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

3 new listings

52 active listings. Average price $904,144. Average 100 DOM.

1 dabo’d. Average 86 DOM.

2 sold Average price $565,000. Average DOM 101.

8 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 not, find an agent you like!

If you attend an open house or see several properties with several different agents, that’s not an ongoing relationship. That’s the nature of our job. 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. Unless you’ve signed a “buyers agency agreement”, which is highly unusual in Hoboken, an agent doesn’t have any “hold” over you. So 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!

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  1. Tiger

    Thanks Lori!

    Re: Rent control, [S]ain’t Happenin’! Just like various fire codes in Hoboken and similar areas, rent control is here to stay.

    If I ever become a landlord, I will make sure to address rent increases in details in the lease, just like all those new buildings do.

  2. stan

    Its amazing how the taxes work ( or don’t work) in this town

    306 Bloomfield #100001116 is a two bedroom with 10k in taxes(asking 560k) 510 monroe #100000848, also a two bedroom(asking 490) has 11k in taxes.

    1500 Hudson 100001143 is listed at $879,000 and has taxes at 10,600. When is that reval?

  3. Lori Turoff

    Someone was kind enough to tell me that a link was incorrect but I don’t know which link. Let me know and I’ll fix it. Thanks!

  4. shortsequalmarket

    Lori

    I also noticed listings with “Tax appeal pending”. I believe it is another sign of falling future prices. There are people who are over encumbered looking to reduce their burdens by all means necessary, sale, tax appeal, etc.

  5. shortsequalmarket

    Lori

    You raise an important point. The state budget is in dire straights because public compensation has been growing much faster than private compensation. If the income tax rate remains steady, there will not be enough revenue to cover the higher public sector raises.

    The day of reckoning was avoided in the mid 2000’s due to the housing bubble and overspending. There was a lot of transaction fees, capital gains, and sales taxes (due to people spending via negative saving).

    The question is will the public sector demands be tamed or will the public sector transfer housing wealth (via higher property taxes) into their paychecks.

    If what happened in the Bridgewater-Raritan school district is a sign to come, homes prices will fall. The “settlement” guarantees teacher’s raises while increasing property taxes 4.95%

  6. Lori Turoff

    Stan it could be that one of those properties renovated and another not. As soon as you pull permits, the tax assessor knows and will be knocking on your door to raise your taxes based on the improvements. Similarly, when I read other blogs about taxes and a reval there is always talk about the “brownstone owners” not paying their fair share. Yet once those brownstones are renovated, the taxes go through the roof – I have seen $18,000 to $20,000 on some. What I don’t understand is when entire rental building are paying only $8,000 to $10,000 yet that is what some 1BR condo owners in Hoboken pay. The only thing for certain is that it can’t continue as it has been in the past. There is simply no money left.

  7. shortsequalmarket

    No money left

    I have been assured by the NJEA just placing a surtax on the $400K+ crowd will solve all problems. Well that and higher gas taxes, local sales taxes, etc.

  8. shortsequalmarket

    There is money left. It is the wealth of real estate in NJ, will they take that away too?

  9. teaorcoffee

    Well, I’ve been hearing stuff around town that isn’t really relevant now, but will be in a year. Now that it draws closer, people are realizing that Abbott funding has only one more year to go, meaning that there won’t be any more “free” pre-kindergarten in Hoboken (at least not in the form that we know it).

    I know plenty of people who have stuck around town just to take advantage of that “free” pre-k. Folks are already talking about making that move out to the suburbs that they put off (both because of wanting the pre-k and because they are somewhat underwater).

    I imagine there will be plenty more 2-bedrooms on the market a year from now.

  10. stan

    “What I don’t understand is when entire rental building are paying only $8,000 to $10,000 yet that is what some 1BR condo owners in Hoboken pay. The only thing for certain is that it can’t continue as it has been in the past. There is simply no money left.”

    Quite right

  11. shortsequalmarket

    Careful Tea or coffe your statement seems to agree with what I said in the past. Thoughts says you are wrong and people in NJ have no desire to be in the ‘burbs anymore. Except for all those people selling 2 bedrooms with one room painted as a nursery.

    I know they are all planning to move into those “bigger” homes in Hoboken.

  12. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – why do you believe that making a tax appeal means that a person is in trouble? why can’t it mean that values are out of sorts and the person would like to pay their fair share and save more money for their family? your conclusions are a little off base.

  13. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – your comments are also conclusionary and obnoxious. it’s okay to have an opinion, but you do not need to be so angry about other people’s views. in the past, people spoke of urban trends. you twist that to “people in NJ have no desire”. some people do and some people don’t, but the trend does seem to be urban if you look at the past 10 years.

  14. homeboken

    whynot – I have no dog in this hunt, but just because someone’s opinion differs from your own, does not make it obnoxious. Real Estate polarizes people like no other force in the universe.

    Politics, religion, pffft. Put a seller/buyer or renter/owner together and watch the sparks fly.

  15. whynot

    homeboken – i do not own real estate and i do always disagree with him, but stating opinion as definite fact is by definition obnoxious. reread his post. they are obnoxious and quite angry. i am not sure why and it is scary. maybe his needs a women to relax him. now that is obnoxious, but true.

  16. Lori

    How do you know shortsequalsmarket is a man???

  17. Tiger

    It’s a man’s world, Lori :-)

    Just kidding. Hope everyone is in good spirits and enjoying the WONDERFUL weather. This weekend is gonna be hawt!

  18. homeboken

    Crank the AC during those open houses this weekend.

  19. Craig

    Of course every re-sale has taxes under appeal. You want to know why? Because the vast majority of real estate in this city is vastly over assessed. It used to be that new construction had much higher taxes. No more. Newer construction now carries cheaper taxes because the assessment is based on actual sale prices. Those prices are based on current reality of the market, as opposed to the out of whack assessment calculations used for existing properties. That’s why so many sellers are appealing taxes. They have to in order to compete with the lower taxes on new construction!

    I was tipped off when the taxes at new construcion I was looking at (Vesta Hoboken) were $1200 lower than those of my much less costly condo I ended up buying that was built in 2002. According to Stack & Stack, city hall thinks my condo is worth about $729k. They are about $200k off. I submitted the appeal forms within a month of closing. My taxes will come down about $2200 as a result. The real question is what Hoboken homeowner is still dumb enough to not appeal their taxes?

    As for landlords crying they can’t make money because rents don’t cover tax increases, excuse me if I don’t shed a tear for them. They have the right to pass that cost on to tenants. Here’s the link for the application for a tenant tax surcharge:
    http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/rent/taxsurcharge_application.pdf

  20. shortsequalmarket

    I started off the sentence with “I believe” which is a clear statement of opinion. If I had started with “This means” you might have a point.

    Someone selling their home while simultaneously appealing taxes is not trying to save money for their family. An appeal is much easier based on a recent sale price. A comment could read, “asking price is below assessed amount, taxes could be lower if you appeal”.

    Appeal in process screams to me. My home is worth less and I need to sell and/or lower taxes for immediate financial relief.

    The WSJ had an editorial on the never ending housing downturn. People hate the bearer of bad news.

  21. shortsequalmarket

    BTW I know that some feel their is an entitlement to ever higher home prices. After 30 years of government sponsored loans with continuously looser criteria people began to feel that higher prices were guaranteed. #1 red flag.

    When people point out flaws they seem to get a lot of anger directed back.

    I personally think families and the country are better off with lower home prices. I know we though we were better as a nation protecting our equity and using higher home prices for consumption. I think this was really really bad for the country and families.

  22. Lori

    An appeal in process may simply mean I am paying more than my fair share.

  23. shortsequalmarket

    It could.

    Once again I stated “I believe” which is an opinion. However, with all the mortgage distress (given less in Hoboken), unemployment, etc it seems to be another symptom. Mind you that if they are successful in selling their home the benefit they will receiving is practically rounding error.

  24. Smith1234

    An appeal in process means “This tax number looks high, but you should still be interested in this property since it is higher than it should be and you will probably pay less.”

  25. shortsequalmarket

    Why do people look for prices why home prices should remain high and will go higher?

  26. Andy

    This is going to sound completely uninformed but what happens when people do appeal their taxes en masse and the city has much less income than the 98mm budget they approved. Don’t they just raise taxes across the board? Our city hasn’t been able to successfully shrink its budget ever to my knowledge.

  27. homeboken

    Lori started to touch on an intersting point I want to see if we can spark some real discussion.

    The appeal process is not a zero sum game. For every appeal, the tax rolls drop. Now I agree that many properties are over-assessed, but eventually what happens is that the municipality in question increases the millage rate to off-set. You end up with a lower assessment but an equal tax bill. You can’t appeal the mill rate.

    I work in the multi-family industry and I have successfully appealed taxes in dozens of counties, but an interesting trend I am seeing now, is that the county treasurer has no funds and thus the assessment office can’t issue my rebates. Basically, I won the appeal, but the economic effect is zero.

    The question is, at what point do mass tax appeal become harmful to the community?

    It is much like the Econ 101 example of people at a baseball game. Imagine a stadium filled to capacity, everyone is sitting and enjoying their view of the game. Now the guy in front of you decides he wants a better view, so he stands up. This forces you to stand. Eventually, the whole stadium is standing. Now you all have the exact same view as before, except you are working harder to get it (standing vs sitting). I contend that there is an inflection point where the marginal benefit of an appeal goes negative and begins to damage the community as a whole.

  28. homeboken

    Ha Andy and I had the same thought at the same time.

    Great minds Andy….

  29. Lori

    That’s why JC had to borrow $8mil. Maybe a citywide revaluation is the only real way to go.

    Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy the beautiful weather and be safe. I’m taking off (for a change).

  30. Craig

    Hoboken doesn’t issue cash refunds if you win a tax appeal. They simply credit the reduction towards your future tax bill. Any city that is facing problems paying refunds to successful tax appealers has no one to blame but itself.

    Anyone who hasn’t lived in a cave the last 2 years knows what happened to the real estate market. These municipalities should have re-assessed all the real estate in their borders to bring taxes in line with the current marketplace. They would then know what tax revenue they have to work with when setting budgets. If these tax assessors don’t do their jobs, then citizens have no choice but to take matters into their own hands. This is what you’re now seeing en masse.

  31. homeboken

    Craig – I agree, and it is in every property owners best interest to appeal their taxes. However, in the long-term, you can’t expect a lower tax bill without reduced city spending.

    If spending remains the same, and assessed values drop, then the mill rate must increse. The equation has to balance or you end up with a deficit (see JC example above).

  32. shortsequalmarket

    Andy

    With any luck Christie proposed constitutional amendment goes in place. The City goes bankrupt. Then they can renegotiate all of their contracts the taxpayers cannot afford.

    Police are needed but I am upset they get a day off for giving blood 12 days a year with someone else receiving OT to cover them. I know the Malibu Diner might be a little less safe if changes are made, but the current path is unsustainable.

  33. Tiger

    I always felt that our police force is bloated in terms of size and size.

    I went to Stevens, Stevens PD are actually in better shape, they walk and they bike. Have you seen a Hoboken cop walk more than half a block from their car? (Dunkin Donuts does not count)

  34. shortsequalmarket

    Actually they usually park illegally to avoid the long walk to the donut section of Shop Rite.

  35. Tiger

    LMAO! Yes YES YES! That’s what I call ‘Donut emergency’.

    A couple of weeks back I was on the corner of 7th and Washtington (bus stop) waiting for the signal to change to cross Washington, there were too cops waiting as well so I didn’t j-walk (and I rarely j-walk washington as it’s a two way street) I kid you not, they both j-walked, almost got run over, and went to Dunkin Donuts. Damn iphone was in my pocket, otherwise it would have been a classic video 😀

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