2010 Apr 5th

Hoboken Condo Sales – the March Results

Here are the results for March:

The look interesting because even though everyone says last year was the worst year and now things have gotten better, prices are down from last year, listings are up and (at least one good thing) sales are up a bit although not near what they need to be.

Here is a look at current performance compared to prior years:

The 1st Quarter results will be posted in a day or two – as soon as I have some time.

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  1. whynot

    With all of this bad news week after week, when do you think we will finally see another significant decrease in prices? From the initial market crash, we understand that prices went down approximately 10%-20% depending on location and other factors, but we are trying to wait until the next big decrease before purchasing.

  2. boken

    Great question! I wouldn’t be surprised to see another significant decrease once gov stimula via credit and lower rates go higher. I think this is just forward loading buys that would have happened later on.
    Whats troublesome is that either way I think you won’t see appreciation much in at least the next few year or more. And you need some of that to get paid back on the housing cots (closing, taxes, etc) to make the rent vs buy platform work out. So when you buy, make sure you love it and want to stay around! :)

  3. boken

    And a bit Thanks to Turoff team for the numbrs. Very informative

  4. whynot

    Thanks boken. We want to stay around! We were just so impressed by all of the young families walking around Hoboken this weekend. We did not get that as much in Brooklyn. We just do not want to miss the low interest rates. Basically, pay the same purchase price in the future, but get a higher interest rate. We are starting to read a lot of positive news about housing. I guess people are right. It is very hard to time the market.

  5. bz

    Thanks for posting the charts. The numbers are pretty much flat so far when considering all the data points, except the # dabos for March which jumped quite a bit, probably due to the soon-expiring homeowner credit and seasonality. The next big dip in price? Personally I don’t see that coming. But there won’t be price appreciation either. The trend in Hoboken will be like that on the Street, stagnating. There are good news and bad news. People are waiting (like you). Unless there’s a big improvement or setback in the economy, home prices probably won’t go too far off from what you see today. If you find something you like and want to lock into today’s low interest rate and take the advantage of future inflation, and plan to stay put for more than 5-7 years, then buy now. If not…just wait and see until you are comfortable.

  6. Tiger

    Thanks Lori and Howard!

    The more numbers I see, the more I am convinced of the L recovery theory; numbers will keep on fluctuating slightly up / slightly down for the next few years. Come 2013 or so, we will still be in almost the same place, basically ‘spreading’ the crazy 1996 – 2006 appreciation curve over a longer time period, making it more reasonable.

  7. Craig

    To whynot – I had the same viewpoint as you and I finally pulled the trigger and bought in January. I don’t think waiting any longer is prudent. If a relatively desirable market like Hoboken isn’t already at the bottom, it’s near. I really don’t see any more of slide than perhaps another 5% at most – with the exception of luxury units which have more room for reductions. Properly priced mid-level properties are moving well within 5% or less of asking price. The sweet spot right now is sub $600k two bedroom condos. They are selling well and most are not spending a lot of time on the market. There will be more buyers now that it’s spring, which will further stabilize prices.

    You are much better off buying now at a lower interest rate than waiting for another 5% price reduction. Why? Because interest rates are expected to be about 6% by the end of the year and a lower rate gives you more buying power. Let’s say that rates are 5% now and a rise in interest rates to 6% causes a 5% dip in list prices later this year. Compare a $500k home at 5% interest vs. the same home with a 5% price reduction to $475k at 6% interest. The 5% discount on the price is no bargain at the higher interest rate. The monthly payment on the $475K at 6% will be about $160 more a month and you will pay about $60k more in interest over the course of a 30 year mortgage. On top of all that, you miss out on the $8k in cash Uncle Sam would have given you had you purchased before homebuyer tax credit expires at the end of this month. My advice” buy now while interest rates still begin with a “5”, and if you can find something and go to contract before April 30th, even better.

  8. Lori

    You are very welcome and I’m glad you find our work useful. I agree with the comments that you can’t time the market. Your decision to buy should be based on your life situation – not just price. Having lived through the Carter years of 18% interest rates, I also agree that being able to lock in 5% or so is wonderful. Hoboken is a great place for young families and singles. It’s even fun for older people like us 😉

  9. whynot

    Lori – You may not have noticed, but all of the families are leaving! Just walk around Hoboken on a nice weekend and you will see. They want out and fast! :)

  10. Lori

    Really? You could have fooled me. I guess the teems of kids over at Elysian Park the past few days have been a figment of my imagination…

  11. Craig

    I think the smiley face indicates whynot was being facetious in response to those posters who claim such things. Took my niece to Church Square Park on Sunday and the place was overrun with kids, as it is most days the weather is nice. If one has adequate space, I see no reason why one can’t raise kids here – as long as they can get into McNair for high school.

  12. Lori Turoff

    – as was my reply. I’ve lived here 11 years and the number of families in Hoboken has grown exponentially.

  13. shortsequalmarket

    Why do you consider it bad that listings are up. I think that is great news. There are more choices for prospective buyers. Who could think that is bad?

  14. shortsequalmarket

    BTW I agree Hoboken family volume has grown a lot. Too bad many of them have set unrealistic asking prices or they could be at the suburban home they desire.

  15. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – that is the point, except in your mind, the majority do not desire a suburban home. as we look around for places, the majority of people looking are young families or young couples about to start a family. also, there are plenty of young families that purchased pre-2004/2005. if so, according to the tax records, they can still sell at profit and make it up on the surban purchase where prices are down greater than hoboken.

  16. Seller

    people that are trying to buy or sell like they are buying or selling a car are nuts… this is your life… just buy when you can afford and if you want to stay for awhile and where you want to be.

    Forget about if you are going to make millions. Enjoy your life.

    If you bought in 2006 at the top and sell in 2012, those folks won’t even notice the bubble if they didn’t loose their jobs.

    People make too much of this and act like it’s a sale at macys.

    rates are low, prices are low, and uncle sam is giving money. If you’re holding out for more, than you are just asking for too much and are asking for trouble…. You’ve already missed the lowest rates…

  17. Craig

    “rates are low, prices are low, and uncle sam is giving money. If you’re holding out for more, than you are just asking for too much and are asking for trouble…. You’ve already missed the lowest rates…”

    Bingo. I bought my place for $10k lower than the seller paid in 2004, I’m locked in at a fixed 5% rate, and Uncle Sam sent me a check for $8k. Anyone who is holding out for a better deal than that is kidding themselves. Another 5% reduction in prices by the 4th quarter of this year ain’t gonna be a better deal if your mortgage is at 6%.

    A bird in hand is worth more than two in the bush.

  18. Rick

    Just chiming in on the whole “families want out of Hoboken” thing. I don’t think you can really generalize something like this. It’s just too personal. Some people want to raise kids in a city environment and some don’t. And in fact, I represent something in the middle. My wife and I bought a condo in 2007 thinking we would raise kids there for a long time, but kinda’ quickly got sick of the city life (small quarters, noisy neighbors, etc) and sold last year and moved out to Bergen County. Hoboken will always be a great place to have kids for some and not for others. It offers a lot of parks, restaurants and kid-related activities in a small and walkable area (exactly what some parents want), but lacks quiet, lush greenery, and a private lifestyle (just what others want). From my own experience, I noticed a serious increase in families in my time in Hoboken (2001 to 2009) and it kinda’ leveled off in the last few years. Bottom line, there will always be tons of young people starting (and many keeping) their families there and there will always be others in the same group who take their families elsewhere, but from my perspective, I didn’t notice a fleeing trend at all.

    In an unrelated story, just wanted to give my props to Howie and Lori. I sold my condo FSBO a few years ago and while I didn’t end up selling to one of their buyers, they were always great and so professional to work with. Anyone looking for an agent in Hoboken would be nuts not to give them a call! I’m not even in Hoboken anymore but I STILL can’t stay away from your blog. Keep up the good work, guys.

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