2010 May 19th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of May 18th

Bike to Work Week in HobokenHowie

It’s national bike to work week and Mayor Zimmer is now allowing city employees to bring and park their bikes inside City Hall. She also challenges all other Hoboken businesses to do the same and will feature those that do on the official Hoboken city website. There is also a new bike rack at the PATH although we could use way more (and how about some uptown?) and I have heard that more bike lanes are on the way. Maybe making Hoboken more bike friendly will help lessen our traffic problems and make it a more desirable place to live.

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of May 18th

Here are this week’s numbers vs. last week:

  1. (valid email required)

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

15 new listings

214 total active

6 Dabos

5 Sold

15 price reductions

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

16 new listings

270 total listings.

6 Dabos

9 sold

25 price reductions

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

2 new listings

63 active listings.

1 Dabo

1 sold

9 price reductions

Hoboken Condo Open Houses

If you are in the market for a Hoboken condo, our Hoboken Open House Google Map is your best source for locating every open house in Hoboken. It is the single, most complete listing available and we were the first ones to do it. We compile the information by hand from all possible sources to provide you with all the information you need in one spot. It’s posted on Friday every week.

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.

For more information you can always contact us at 201 993 9500.

Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!

  1. stan

    hey Lori.

    update brings me to week of 11/4 on the browser. Odd. Thanks.

  2. Lori Turoff

    Thanks Stan! It’s fixed. I have to go through all sorts of convoluted steps in order not to directly publish the links.

  3. whynot

    nothings cheap out there! we haven’t yet pulled the trigger. but, it looks like rates are going to stay low for a long period of time, so that’s really really good for us. :) :) :)

    despite the constant negativity, most sellers are not budging or are not being forced to budge since the initial price decline. we wonder if NYC and Brooklyn are seeing the same thing.

    i believe someone said that this was going to be a L shaped recover. if so, hoboken has been going steady across the bottom of the L for a while now. we’ve been out there looking and prices haven’t materially changed. it doesn’t seem as is sale prices have either, but it’s hard to tell.

    my husband asked me, what do people define as cheap in regard to price per square footage? looking at the prices in the past 6 months, where are we now and where are we going? also, should we agjust the price per square foot depending on location? if so, what’s the spread between the worst and best location? $50?

  4. stan

    why not- first sold listing 625 willow sold for 50k less than five years ago.

    the second one, 725 madison sold for 60 less than three years ago. Check out the tax records if you haven’t already. I’m sure there are more significant declines with the bigger units. Location, nice town, etc all make hoboken desireable so it will never be cheap in my estimation(compared to other locales).

    Cheap is relative,I define a good deal as better than the last guy got…..

  5. whynot

    stan – i said steady AFTER the initial decline of somewhere between 10% and 25%. of course they sold for less then years ago! please :)

    what about price per square foot in today market? also, what about the spread between the best and worst locations? i was just using my calculator. could the spread be $100? :(

  6. whynot

    we’re just wondering whether an extra $100 per square foot is worth it just for location in hoboken. it’s a large difference. :(

  7. boken

    I would say it depends on the unit of course, but to me location means a ton, especially if you are working or playing in the city a lot. If I can cut my walk from 20 mins to 5 – 10 each day to the Path, for sure that is worth the extra $$$. What else can you buy in life has more bang for the buck than that?

  8. Lori

    Price per square foot was at $464 for April. You can go back to the April sales results post and see the figures for the past 4 years, by month. Here is the link:


    As for what is location worth, have you talked to the agent you’re using about that? When I work with a buyer, I feel part of my job and benefit I bring to the table is to educate the buyer as to the differences in perceived market value from property to property. In my opinion, most consumers find location to be one of the strongest determinants of value. The same unit on 9th and Hudson is going to vary drastically in price from one on 6th and Jackson. But every individual puts his or her own price on that.

  9. whynot

    based on an average of the numbers, the price per square foot, at what we consider now the bottom, is around $465. therefore, we beleive the range (worst to best) is from somewhere around $390 to $525. that’s a big big big spread.

    boken and lori – i think you’re right, it depends on the person. :) :) :0) choices!

  10. Charlie468

    $465 per sq ft is still a lot of money. Talking to my friends who look around, they still say things are quite expensive. They think comparing to the past is not that important but absolute levels are. I know this is going to sound crazy, when I look at a long term graph of historical price/sq ft, the technicals say it’s going to $265 a square foot.

    I know I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this but that’s just what the chart says.

  11. Lori

    Charlie468 – What charts might those be?

    $390 to $525 / sq ft from west to east? Maxwell is selling at about $575 a square foot this year. Properties on Jackson for about $365. So yes, the spread is that large.

  12. Craig

    @whynot – Hoboken is never going to be a market that is “cheap” for the same reasons Manhattan never will be: demand and location, location, location. The best you can hope for is that it’s less expensive than before, but it will always be pricey relative to a city like Newark for example. It’s highly unlikely Hoboken will see much more of a decline in prices based on what I’m seeing. But it is a certainty that interest rates will rise sooner or later. So what are you waiting for? You’ve already missed out on a free $8k from Uncle Sam.

    Now what’s a good price per square foot in Hoboken? Well 2 bedrooms are far cheaper per square foot than 1 bedrooms, and I say if you can get a 2BR under $400/ sq. ft., you’ve done extremely well. In terms of location, the closer you get to the PATH and/or the water, the more expensive stuff gets and the spread can be quite large as Lori pointed out. If you don’t care about location, move to the western border of town for the best deal. There are fantastic deals on Monroe, Jackson, and Harrison streets. You can pick up a gorgeous, well appointed new construction 2 BR/2 BR with elevator and parking at Ava’s Court for the low $400s. You won’t get that much condo for that price anywhere else in town. The catch is the location across the street from the projects.

  13. Craig

    @Charlie468 – $265/sq. ft. for a typical 1100 sq. ft. 2 bed 2 bath condo would come out to about $292k. You might one day be able to get such a place in Hoboken for that – after it’s been in a fire and is being sold as is. Good luck with that.

  14. Lori


  15. Charlie468

    I know it does seem funny. That’s just what the chart says. Crazier things have happened. Like almost all investment banks wiped out in 2008 if not for the govt.

  16. Lori

    So where is the chart? Won’t you share?

  17. Andy

    Charlie, its not in your best interest to have housing trend to 265$ / sq ft. This is not the rust belt. And if it ever becomes as such, we’re all in a heap of trouble economically as a nation. I doubt you’d want to buy a Hoboken condo if prices ever hit that level. Things would be so dire economically in the region that it would be a loosing bet.

  18. Tiger

    Charlie468, a few years back Dainne Sawyer interviewed Whitney Houston. In that **hillarious** interview, there was a great onliner:
    “What? who said I spent 700 thousand dollars on drugs???? SHOW ME THE RECEIPTS!! I wanna see the receipts!”

    So, Charlie, Show me the receipts! I wanna see the receipts!

  19. carl

    Why would anyone live on harrison jackson or monroe st?

  20. carl

    Craig- So you consider a good deal in Hoboken 400$/sqft to live across the street from the projects.

  21. shortsequalmarket


    Not sure what market you have been looking at during the last year, but prices have absolutely fallen.

    I follow the 2/2 1100 sq ft, parking, and elevator market. Most of these units are newer construction units from Upper Grand to 536 Grand to Cypress Point. One year ago NONE of these units were listed below $525K (maybe higher). These units are now listed around $450K. Units in 711 Clinton have gone for less than $400K

    I know there will be tons of excuses. That location is bad, this unit had damage, one unit was sold without a realtor, etc, etc. However it went from never happening to happening many times. That is a falling price.

  22. shortsequalmarket


    Why do you assume high home prices are a good thing? I argue it is a bad thing. HIgher prices supported by mortgage bonds owned by the Chinese and guaranteed by the US government is not good. It is just interest earned by Americans being paid to a foreign government.

    It was only 1998 the 1,100 sq ft unit you mentioned sold for $199K. If prices fall from todays level and 15 years later (2013) that home is worth $299K I cannot see that as a bad thing.

    I do know our economy became dependent on consumption spending based on home equity. This is part of the reason we are in so much trouble today. High prices hurt the economy in the long run.

  23. TS


    From what I understood it was not that high home prices are a good thing, but that prices crashing to such low levels is an indication that something very bad has happened to the economy. And I see the point; not sure how you could miss that.

    As far as prices still falling – it could be so, I haven’t looked at data recently. But your “evidence” is problematic for two reasons: 1. it is not representative of the whole market, and 2. you are citing *asking prices*.

  24. bz

    shortsequalmarket — You can’t take the number out of context. In 1998 it is true that the housing price in Hoboken was very low compared to today. If prices fall from todays level and 15 years later (2013) that home is worth $299K, that’s only 50% price appreciation in 15 years, much worse than the national average. That would tell me that Hoboken is a disaster over the past 15 years, which is obviously the opposit of the truth. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be on this blog caring about Hoboken’s home sales price. In addition, the city has changed so much. Why don’t you do a comparison on the demographics, annual income, and amenities 1998 vs today? Also the comparison of these improvement in Hoboken vs towns around us? Then you can tell us how you feel about the numbers.

  25. shortsequalmarket

    Can you please define bad economy? Is it in any way related to 9.9% unemployment (600bps higher than 4 years ago), a $13billion dollar state budget deficit, or $3/gallon gas (100% higher than 6 years ago).

    I do not consider a 50% increase a disaster and the units I am comparing are similar to the new construction being built today. That is similar or better then national numbers. It also occurred with one of the fastest growing tax rates in the country meaning the Hoboken number I discuss is much better than a national comparison.

    So while the government has propped up the housing market by not allowing FNM, FRE, FHA etc to default, stopped foreclosures, etc it has also stopped mobility and hurt the economy.

    A $299K price would not be a sign Hoboken was in trouble it would be a sign that economic fundamentals are setting prices.

  26. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – i was saying after the initial 10-25% decline, prices have been steady. just look at the data. lori gave us a link the other day:


    steady prices sir. 😉

    why do you follow just the 2/2 1100 sq ft, parking, and elevator market? :(

  27. Lori

    If Hoboken were at $299/sq. ft. what would Manhattan prices be? Have you done any analysis of how Manhattan (and Brooklyn) prices affect Hoboken prices? Have you looked at the trends in the Manhattan market?

  28. David

    I was interested in Hoboken, and keep coming back to this site once in a while for old times sake. I don’t know what “chart” Charlie was talking about.

    The good thing about Hoboken is that there is a strong rental market. And in Hoboken (at least when I was looking), the rents did not support purchase prices. They did not even come close. (I can’t share it because I don’t have a website link.)

    I disgree with some people that sellers are coming to their senses. I’ve seen property purchased in 2007 being listed at the same price the owners bought them. (Ok, that was 9 – 11 months ago).

    Also in Hoboken, property taxes eat away at investment profit. It makes so sense to purchase in Hoboken if you need double digit growth in the price of your home in order to keep up with the tax man.

    So, in the end, the price point of 299 or less per square foot does not seem that far fetched. I believe as long as people continue to look at housing purchases as primarily shelter, and secondarily investment, sale prices will start to track more closely with rent.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Hoboken. But I wouldn’t buy there, not at 465 per square foot.

  29. TS

    At 464 per square foot, what are your other options?

  30. RE Junkie


  31. Lori

    I know this comes from the NAR but their economists claim that both pending home sales and existing home sales are way up, especially in the Northeast.



  32. Morally_Right

    I came to the same conclusion as David, more or less.

  33. vreporter

    Andy: “And if it ever becomes as such, we’re all in a heap of trouble economically as a nation.”

    Andy, you are obviously asleep at the wheel. Maybe your mortgage refinancing at 4% later this year will convince you.

    As for $265/sqft – I wouldn’t bet against it in that condo category. Most of these associations are broke and that will deteriorate their franchise values faster than your real estate commissions. A dozen years ago, Hoboken properties in that genre were EASILY there! I’ll be back to help wipe the egg off your faces.

    Interest rates rising? ROTFLMAO!

  34. whynot

    here was go again, most of the wanna-be buyers (which i am one) trying to scare sellers into lowering their prices. this site is great, but it’s a real stretch people. 😉 grow up!

  35. shortsequalmarket


    Why do you follow the city median instead of specific similar examples. The median could have stayed the same but if all the purchases migrated from Jackson to Hudson that is equivalent to a big drop in prices. It is best to compare apples to apples and even in a town as small as Hoboken there is a lot of difference. Based on comapring apples to apples prices have fallen a lot in a year.

    Lori can you comment on if my examples are legit?

  36. lori

    Sorry Shorts but my opinion differs from yours. I don’t believe prices are falling and have not seen any data to indicate otherwise. Nor has that been my day-to-day experience in the market. I have seen a flight to quality – the better location properties are holding their value very well. The lesser locations and certain buildings have seen a drop. Overall, as I said when I posted the April sales results, I think things are holding steady as they have been for a number of months. What are your specific examples?

  37. vreporter

    As for Lori’s theory on tracking Manhattan, we discussed this last year and here we are:

    Jonathan Miller, chief executive of appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc.

    Mr. Miller estimates that there were 6,500 units of shadow space in Manhattan alone during the first quarter of this year. If those apartments were unloaded all at once, supply would potentially skyrocket by 70%.

  38. lori

    The “shadow inventory” he speaks of is new construction. Has there not been new construction (and thereby the same shadow inventory) in Manhattan for at least the past 25 years? What makes you think that every single developer would list every unit (assuming they are at a stage where they can even be sold) at the same time? There is always a stream of new units coming onto the market. Speaking of a shadow inventory is meaningless.

  39. shortsequalmarket


    Can you look through your old posts and comment on the statement

    “When was the last time we saw a 2/2 at Upper Grand for less than $500″ Now there are several. How about your listing on 9th and Jefferson, isn’t that below $500K?

    I believe there is a teeter totter effect. First the lower end dropped, then when it was such a value compared to the higher end, the higher end fell. Now we are seeing the area away from the PATH fall again.

  40. whynot

    I could not have said it better myself (except for keep dreaming!!! :) :

    “I don’t believe prices are falling and have not seen any data to indicate otherwise. Nor has that been my day-to-day experience in the market. I have seen a flight to quality – the better location properties are holding their value very well. The lesser locations and certain buildings have seen a drop. Overall, as I said when I posted the April sales results, I think things are holding steady as they have been for a number of months.”

  41. Lori

    $499k is hardly below 500. You can alway find an isolated example to justify anything. That does not indicate a trend. I’m sure I can find a bunch of listings that sold with multiple offers for over asking in the past few months if I had the time to comb through the mls. I believe you need to look at the bigger picture over time. I’m entitled to my opinion as are you all. I simply don’t buy the gloom and doom scenario. Do I know what the future holds? Of course not. But neither do any of you.

  42. Lori

    Look – a Hoboken home just sold for a near record price of $2.295 million. So is the slump is over?:


    Oh – and it’s on Willow!

  43. shortsequalmarket

    My point was it NEVER happened in Spring 2009 and now are there not only $499 cases there are a lot of ~$450 cases from 536 Grand, to Cypress Point, to Upper Grand, to 711 Clinton. There were also less than $600K units in the Shipyard.

    This is not doom and gloom. That would be a prediction. I am talking about actual lower prices in similar units during the last one year.

    If it was one case, I would agree, but it went from NEVER to a lot.

  44. TS


    I have no firm opinion on this, but you really need to show some actual closing records on like units to make your point. Just browsing I came up with this, which *seems* contrary to your claim of continued price drops at 1200 UG.

    1200 Grand, #203 sold for $561000 on 03/29/10

    The only other unit with the same square footage (1166sqft) in the building selling in the last year was:

    1200 Grand, #329 sold for $550000 on 07/23/09

    I don’t know the difference in these unit lines, I just matched square footage to make them comparable. So I could be off here – maybe someone with knowledge of the building could say whether there is any substantial difference in terms of views, etc.

  45. Tiger

    I see lots of talk and no receipts (i.e. records)!

  46. stan

    I recall seeing the grand properties in the 400’s as well at least according to listing price. Those were probably the 1000 sq ft units though.

    I only see five closes on tax records the last six months.

    1200 GRAND ST #506 1024 More Info 12/10/09 8705 295 490000

    considerably smaller than the above referenced units.

  47. whynot

    why does shortsequalmarket always make up things? :(

  48. JC

    That Willow property is beautiful.

    I know this is a week old and not sure if it was cited here or not but John Paulson bullish on housing and sees 8% – 11% higher in 2011.


  49. Lori

    Something that I think is obvious but maybe needs to be pointed out is that when there is excess inventory (500+ units on the market) the properties that have a “problem” won’t sell unless the price is reduced until they are below market. So, for example, if there is a 2br a the Upper Grand on a low floor that faces the empty lot and had tenants living in it so it needs a paint job and doesn’t have nice furniture, the buyer is going to select the other, similar but nicer unit for sale in the building. Most sellers find it easier to reduce the price than to do something else to change the likelihood of selling. Many times paying for painters, putting in a granite counter, redoing the floors and rent furniture may be what is needed. Of course, there is nothing the seller can do if the place has a bad view or layout.

  50. shortsequalmarket

    So here are some of my “made up” listings

    920 Jefferson 1128 sq ft $499 (Lori’s listing)
    920 Jefferson 1128 sq ft $479 (top floor with balcony)
    1200 Grand 1007 sq ft $499
    829 Garden 1022 sq ft $499
    1325 Adams 1133 sq ft $499
    1200 Grand 1007 sq ft $489
    915 Madison 1055 sq ft $477
    726 Adams 1216 sq ft $469
    1200 Grand 1027 sq ft $468

    I made a point to stay away from Sky Club or east of Monroe (They are even less).

    Now I know not all of these have elevators, W/D, or parking but most do. In the Spring 2009 I could not find one of these listings for less than $500K, not $1 less, not $30K less all similar listings were above $500K. One reason I feel that is validated is that a great realtor with a website posted,” When was the last time we saw an Upper Grand unit less than $500K” in the Jan/Feb timeframe.

    Are each of the nine examples hampered by:
    Tenants, bad views, bad layouts, shorts sales,

    Were none of the units listed last Spring affected by the above. Why are they all listing now.

    Once again if I asked Lori to show me the units listed below $500K like these last year she could not have showed me anything. Now there are at least nine open listings (and not all posted this week with pending offers)

  51. shortsequalmarket

    BTW Doom and Gloom opinions are:

    *The developed world’s social welfare system is collapsing hampering consumption and employment going forward
    *Prices could not even rise with loose FHA and tax credits, now the FHA is tightening and the tax credit expired
    *Until Christie caps property taxes in NJ the value of homes will be transferred to the government through ever increasing taxes
    *Despite over a year of zero percent interest rates from the Fed few businesses want to start up in the USA

    Now those are Doom and Gloom opinions. I feel I can even justify their impact on housing, but they are still my opinions.

    Prices falling causing units I would be interested increase from zero to double digits in a year is a fact.

  52. whynot

    shortsequalmarket –

    so, are you saying that the listing above would have been higher 6 months ago? if so, how much higher?

    Also, in regard to a past debate, you seem to say that areas of hoboken are drastically diffeent. does that mean hoboken is not one large market?

    by the way, we’re not looking in the northwest, so we haven’t followed your listings above. it is interesting to see. conversly, we believe that the places in hoboken that we’re looking have not decreased since the initial decline. we’ve been out there looking – that’s our proof! :(

  53. homeboken

    One of my favorite stats on the Wednesday Wrap Up is the total number of 2BR > 600,000 vs # < 600,000. This is a very broad indication of where the 2BR market in Hoboken is heading.

    Last week, 206 600,000

    Last year 201 600,000.

    That is a 43% drop in 2BR units > 600,000. Looking at the closings, the drop in “expensive” units is not from sales, rather, sellers are continuing to decrease prices.

    Lori provides great data, couple the above with the # of price reductions each week vs closings and sprinkle in the new listings add a dash of property taxes and you have a Hoboken market that is clearly still struggling to find solid ground.

    My point, and it is purely anecdotal, is that I am a potential buyer, I could close in 30 days if I found a place I wanted. But I will stick my cash in very conservative investments and wait 12 months. I am betting my $ that I am going to get a better deal then.

  54. homeboken

    my numbers didn’t post above let me try again.

    Last week # greater than 600k = 64, less than 600k = 206

    Last year # greater than 600k = 110, less than 600k 203.


  55. shortsequalmarket


    In the long run premiums for location and amenities will return to historical norms. This was actually one indication there was a bubble, before the crash. The premium had significantly declined.

    Now if you tell me that lower prices in the NW, with it’s much shorter bus trip into midtown, will not impact DT in the long run. I disagree.

  56. shortsequalmarket


    I am sure that is only because the current listers have:

    Short Sales
    Bad views
    Poor layouts
    Indebted condo associations

    I do not believe that either. It is hard for me to believe in the Hoboken market that all of the sudden all of the current listings are much more distressed than a year ago.

    BTW if they are a lot more distressed, than that is the market.

  57. whynot

    shortsequalmarket and homeboken –

    (if you’re able :) ) just answer Yes or No to the following question:

    Have the sale AND listing prices in the more desirable areas of hoboken (not the NW or SW) held basically steady for the past 12 months, which is after the 10-25% initial decline?

    I understand your arguement that the NW and SW will eventually effect the more desirable areas of hoboken, but that’s not the question and may or may not be true.

  58. shortsequalmarket

    Just saw 81 Clinton listed for like $550, even six months ago weren’t similar units more (not sure). If so then yes prices are falling.

  59. homeboken

    whynot – The answer is no. To me the most desirable place is the uptown waterfront. Current asking price at 2 Constitution is easily 30% off the 2007-2008 highs, and yet, there have been ZERO sales in that building since the fall.

    Hudson Tea – We have discussed this many times, there are some studios, 1 BR’s, 2 BR’s etc that are being sold for 25-30% off the highs. Some are even being sold short.

    Maxwell – Tough to figure this one out since there are over 100 units being held off the market by Toll, if those were listed (which they will be eventually) it will be yet another nail in the coffin for uptown waterfront prices.

  60. whynot

    homeboken – for the last time, we all know there’s been a huge decline. that’s why we can now afford to buy. i was just asking about the past 9 months or so!

  61. whynot

    homeboken – did you mean 82 clinton (not 81) for 559K? if so, that’s been the basic listing price for that type unit (1150 sq. ft.) for the past 9 months or so. in other words, you’re above answer is wrong. the units around 1250 sq. ft. are listing for around 600K for the past 9 months. the units around 1350 sq. ft. are listing for more.

  62. whynot

    sorry – i meant shortsequalmarket for my last response abotu 82 clinton. :)

  63. homeboken

    whynot – pick any time frame you like to suit your argument. I suspect future price drops, that is drops significant enough to keep me from buying anything right now. I could be wrong, but you are basically arguing the past. I live in a world where I need to think about the future. And my money is not going into any form of NJ real estate for the next 12-18 months.

  64. whynot

    homeboken –

    i’m just a realist. your “suspicion” is just guesswork. to say that there haven’t been steady prices for the past year is just being disingenuous.

  65. shortsequalmarket

    Interesting that my first quote was during the last “year” now you shrink the time frame to a market period that traditionally sees the least declines.

    Most of those units were over $600K last year. Last year there were not a lot of units at 415 Newark listed under $600K, this year there are. As Homeboken points out 2/2 listings are up 50 units year over year. This year there are no government tax credits to spur buying.

  66. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – its not interesting, its just since we started looking! therefore, its all we know! also, please pick a “desirable” place in the Boken!

    :) :) :)

    interest rates staying or going lower! likely for over a year! can’t argue with that!

    :) :) :)

    employment getting better! can’t argue with that!

    :) :) :)

    economy getting better! most companies meeting or exceeding expectations! can’t argue with that!

    :) :) :)

    tax credit didn’t too much (if at all) for Hoboken’s 2/2! can’t argue with that!

    :) :) :)

  67. homeboken

    whynot – below are the summary stats for the NY metro commutable area. No detail available by city, but this refutes your claim of steady prices. 0.6% drop month-to-month equates to appx another 7.0% drop in prices by 2011. Mind you this is during the same period (March) where the govt is doing EVERYTHING it can to prop of housing prices.

    March 2010
    Month to Month: Down 0.6%
    Year to Year: Down 2.4%
    Prices at this level in: April 2004
    Peak month: June 2006
    Change from Peak: Down 21.5% in 45 months
    Low Tier: Under $281,772
    Mid Tier: $281,772 to $428,806
    Hi Tier: Over $428,806

  68. homeboken

    Unemployemnt getting better? I don’t think I can agree with you there:


  69. Craig

    It’s interesting how different people have different perspectives. For Homeboken, the uptown waterfront is the most desirable part of town. Not me. If you spend a lot of nights in Manhattan as I do, the public transportation options to NYC in that area are nowhere near as convenient as the PATH and they are not 24/7. I wanted to be within a 10-15 minute walk of the PATH and I wanted newer construction – that made the southwest part of town most desirable to me. Further, save for Maxwell Place, none of the buildings in the uptown waterfront have central air – which is a deal breaker for me. If I am paying $500k or more for a dwelling, I had better not see an a/c unit sticking out of my wall or window.

    Lastly @homeboken, I’d rather my money go into NJ real estate than into a landlord’s pocket to help him pay off his mortgage. I purchased to have a primary shelter, not as an investment. I don’t know about you, but I needed the tax shelter home ownership affords because Uncle Sam was cleaning me out. In terms of where the market is headed, here’s my example: An nearly identical unit to mine in my building just closed for $95k more than I paid in January.

  70. whynot

    homeboken –

    Stop the following immediately:

    *staring at your computer screen for answers
    *reading every statistic available

    Start the following immediately:

    *getting into the real world – what’s “really” happening on the street? two brokers have told you time and time again! they’re on the street or lying?

  71. whynot

    Craig – wow!

  72. homeboken

    whynot – Lori and her husband excluded, the realtor industry is not where I am going to get real information about the state of the housing market.

    I also wouldn’t ask a car salesman if now is a good time to buy a car.

    I show you facts and you respond with sarcastic quips.

  73. Craig

    @whynot – to be fair, the other unit that sold for $95K more than I paid is otherwise identical, but has a parking spot in the building and a tiny balcony, while mine has neither. So it’s worth about $30k more from the get-go, thus making the net gain about $65k when used as a comp. Still, $65k in apparent value gain after only 4 months ain’t bad. But my results are not typical as I got my unit from a desperate seller for way under market value at only $385/ sq. ft.

  74. whynot

    sarcastic quips?!? 😉 Yes!

    Facts?!? :( No! What facts?

    Lets try this again:

    (if you’re able) just answer Yes or No to the following question:

    Have the sale AND listing prices in the more desirable areas of hoboken (not the NW or SW) held basically steady for the past 12 months, which is after the 10-25% initial decline?

  75. shortsequalmarket


    I cannot even believe what I read. interest rates are at all time lows and you say they are going lower. This despite western governments running huge deficits.

    So the 8,000 tax credit was available to couples earning up to $600K (or more), clearly not the people buying a $500K condo (right)

    NY and NJ discussing layoffs in the tens of thousand if not 100 of thousands

    NY and NJ discussing public sector wage freezes

    Most job growth in the last two months coming from temporary census hiring

    U6 unemployment (includes discouraged and forced part time) at a record high

    But yes companies are more profitable (amazing what can happen when you lay off all your workers and the government continues to extend unemployment benefits and refuses to foreclose allowing people to live rent free). What happens when that money dries up?

  76. shortsequalmarket


    Oh yes the standard I would rather pay mortgage then pay a landlords mortgage.

    So this means you would rather pay interest indirectly to a foreign creditor. You would rather pay HOA fees and flood insurance. You would rather pay an attorney and title company thousands of dollars to close at purchase. I would rather be locked in, pay 7% of total closing costs to move in case my job or family situation changes. I would rather pay for all repair costs.

    Now right now the net costs of owning (due to unnaturally low interest rates and excluding closing costs and depreciation) is sometimes less than renting. However that argument on not paying a landlord only looks at one side of the story.

    I also agree it is best to look as a home as a place to live. However, how many units were bought in Hoboken during the last five years with another purpose. A lot. There are large buildings that are over half rental of pending foreclosure. What will happen to prices as more people consider an Hoboken home a place to live?

    And yes prices over the last year have absolutely fallen. There were not Shipyard 2/2 less than $600K last year. There have been some recently.

  77. shortsequalmarket


    Please do not interpret as what I said as being against home-ownership. I have owned places before. Please interpret it as I am against the interpretation that owning a home is a free lunch relative to renting. There are a lot of expenses associated with owning a home and sadly because of the I do not want to pay a landlords mortgage argument too many people rushed into home ownership and now are in a very bad financial place.

  78. whynot

    shortsequalmarket –

    do you just make stuff up and hope people believe for whatever reason?????

    look at what you just said:

    *rates are going up – well, rates just went back down into the 4’s and the experts are saying that they will be low at least a year

    *8K credit helps people who make 600K – what planet do you live on? The tax credit has not helped any person (maybe one or two) in Hoboken purchase a 2/2 for over 500K since the credit’s inception!

    *the layoffs are in the public sector – this will in turn help with taxes! It’s what hurts NJ in the first place, so this is a good thing! These people are not buying a 2/2 for over 500K in Hoboken anyway.

    *employment is getting worse?!? Google the news on this subject! please

    *and finally, you agree, companies are doing better!

    :) please come with facts, not made up BS!

  79. shortsequalmarket

    Sorry I meant $8k up to $200K income, which is prime for a couple buying up to a $600K condo.

    I did google employment, here is what it said. Unemployment rate rose last month and first time claims are higher in the last two weeks than the two weeks before. You may want to check out bls.gov and not the rose colored glasses view of the world on CNBC.
    U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force

    Seasonally adjusted Rate Jan 2010 16.5%
    Seasonally adjusted Rate Apr 2010 17.1%

    I do remember reading the article in the Star Ledger that said the coming state and local layoffs would lead to lower tax rates. Then I came out of wonderland. The layoffs are being coupled with higher tax proposals (at least from Democrats)

    Really a NJ firefighter and teacher with a combined income over $200K would not be a potential $500 – $600K condo buyer. Then who would????

    Everything I say is a fact, if it is an opinion I say it in my post (look at the earlier posts). You have drawn all the conclusions on many fundamentally wrong facts.

  80. SJ

    I happen to agree with shortsequalmarket on most of his/her points. In my opinion, it is not in one’s economical interest to purchase real estate in this market, especially a 2 bdrm condo, unless one plans to stay there for at least 10 to 15 years. However, I do understand that there are some people that highly value calling a place their own.

    Oh, and interest rates will go up, which will inevitably impact RE prices to drop or flatline. The only reason interest rates won’t go up is if our economy falters (just like what has been happening with European debt issue) in which case unemployment will remain high and again, RE will likely either drop or flatline.

  81. shortsequalmarket

    Let me be kinder then you are. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I disagree with your conclusions that are sometimes driven by incorrect facts.

  82. shortsequalmarket

    Thank you SJ. Kind of a Catch 22 for real estate values, huh?

  83. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – i continue to disagree with your crystal ball. you should have used that same ball to short the market a year and half ago! you keep saying that the market will crash, it will crash!!! it already did! since then the market has been steady. interest rates will be low for a long period of timenow and the economy is certauily getting better.

    i think you been talking about this “second imminent crash” for over a year now??? please advise.

    i simply don’t believe that a tax credit (8k up to $200K income) which didn’t even exist a few months ago is what held the market up. no? also, i don’t beleive that the new tax credit (8k up to $200K income) will have much effect now in Hoboken in the 2/2 over 500K market. no?

    all you say is crash crash crash – but it’s not happening, is it?

  84. Lori Turoff

    Shorts – please educate me. What buildings are these that you refer to?

    “There are large buildings that are over half rental of pending foreclosure.”

  85. Lori Turoff

    PS – Sorry everyone. I had a minor medical procedure yesterday and by the time I “recovered” from the valium and was able to sit down and do some work, the server was down. That’s why I couldn’t respond to your earlier comments. My statements would have made no sense. Twice I started working on the WWWU numbers and lost all my work. It’s back up now and I’ll get them done shortly.

  86. Craig

    @ shortsequalmarket – I think it is you who are looking at only one side of the buy vs. rent debate. Do you like living in a place you can’t change with boring white walls you can’t paint? Do you like your housing cost increasing each year? I didn’t. I like that I can make my home my own and change it as I choose to suit my taste. I like knowing that my monthly housing payment will never rise. Further, I like living well. I can pretty much guarantee that there are no rentals in town with interiors as nice as mine with the improvements I have made.

    Lastly, I didn’t like paying the insane housing costs here and still getting crushed by income taxes. Now I pay those same insane housing costs, but I also now get a big fat check from Uncle Sam for my trouble. I don’t care who I’m paying interest to as long as I’m getting it deducted from my income taxes. Buying was primarily a lifestyle choice for me and any potential financial benefits are gravy on top of that. If those reasons aren’t enough for you to buy a home, that’s okay too. To each his own.

  87. whynot

    Also, our rent versus own calculator says own! I think we’ve already had that debate on here and shortsqualmarket, again, did not have the currect rental figures! garbage in garbage out! 😉

  88. stan

    “I like knowing that my monthly housing payment will never rise”

    In Hoboken, and NJ for that matter, this has proven to be incorrect, unfortunately. Ask anyone who received the recent tax increase here. (realizing its quarterly)
    IMO, this is one of the biggest factors in choosing which municipality you live. Hoboken, or another desireable place off the top of my head like Montclair(and all of essex co), which have no control over their municipal budgets, one of my biggest considerations is how much are costs not in my control going to cost me in the future.

    Throw in idiotic ideas like stiffing the town with St. Mary’s, and you could envision a future where property taxes start to exceed mortgage payments. I hope things change with a cap, reval etc, but I won’t hold my breath.

  89. Tiger

    >> Further, I like living well. I can pretty much guarantee that there are no rentals in town with interiors as nice

    Agree. No landlord or management company will go out of their way to make upgardes, especially if they can getaway with paying the least money for what seems to be the same thing:

    You can buy SS appliaces for less than $2K (Amana)
    You can buy SS applices for $7K (KitchenAid)
    You can buy SS appliaces for $20K (Dacor)

  90. whynot

    Tiger – Growl! 😉

  91. Craig

    @Stan – A few thoughts in response to your position on the real estate tax issue.

    1. It’s true that property taxes can go up – but then so does the homeowner’s deduction for those taxes. The more taxes Hoboken wants, the more of my income Uncle Sam gives me back to pay them.

    2. Renters in Hoboken are not immune from tax increases. Landlords pass increase on. Even a rent controlled Hoboken landlord has a statutory right to pass the expense of increased taxes on to the tenant in the form of a supplemental rent increase. Right before I left my rental, I received a renewal with a $180 monthly increase to cover real estate tax increases in addition the typical 1% or 2% annual rent increase. That number was non-appealable and non-deductable as a renter.

    3. Believe it or not, sometimes taxes go down. Homeowners have the right to appeal their assessments upon which taxes are based. I have appealed mine and as a result, my taxes are being reduced about $2200 annually, or $183/mo. Renters have no such appeal rights.

    So as a renter, my monthly bill would have increased by about $180 this year, while as a homeowner, it’s being reduced by about the same amount. Go figure.

  92. shortsequalmarket

    It is nice to deduct, I do not deny that is why my statements were always about “Net Expenses”.

    I only started posted here in January, maybe later

    Does your rent-buy calculator include closing costs (in and out) and potential depreciation

    There are stainless steel appliance, granite counter tops, W/D in unit, swimming pools, gyms etc in the following rentals: 800 Madison, 1000 Jefferson, Sovereign, Berkshire

    Sky Club is attrocious, between mortgage, HOA, and taxes hard to believe not half of the units are in default (but I am willing to admit it is not that high if I see proof)

    I cannot paint my walls black, my life is over, but I am glad I saved $50,000 worth of depreciation during the last year in the NW. It will be my comfort.

    Lori I hope you are feeling better.

    Lastly isn’t it amazing what happens (so many posts) when one person substantiates listing prices in the NW have fallen $50K in the last year. Why is this such a threat? Why is this responded to by calling people misguided or worse?

    Taxes go down when prices go down, haven’t most who are arguing saying that will not happen going forward.

  93. Lori

    I am. Thank you : )

  94. shortsequalmarket

    Renters have the best ability to find a lower housing price. They can move or renogotiate.

  95. shortsequalmarket

    The 8K for $200K came into existence in November, it lasted 6 months. It was $8K up to $150K joint income for much of 2009.

    Why would a couple living in Hoboken making $150 to $200 not have this apply to them? It even offered up to $6,500 for non first timers. Do you think people making between $150 and $200 only buy places over $750?

  96. stan


    what about the amt?

    #2-passing on tax increases is possible and over the long term is probable. Although with all the free 2 month, zero brokers fee low security deposit fliers I see for ‘luxury buildings’ I highly doubt anyone would sit for it. In fact rents have declined in the last 24 months, . The non appealable rent increase is actually quite appealable, most management companies would rather keep the good tenant than wait two months to fill the apartment. One in the hand as it were. You appealed, you left.

    #3 your taxes went down individually because of a successful appeal. With all the successful appeals this year in Hoboken, the tax rate will be raised, its not a vacuum. They will get ther pound of flesh. Either a reval comes (which would jack up rates on the longterm owners) or they raise the rate across the board to make up the shortfall from all the successful appeals.

  97. stan

    not to say owning doesnt have its advantages or that i disagree with your stance, its just that the otherside of the argument has some compelling points

  98. Craig

    @shortsequalmarket – you’re too hung up on depreciation. Most of that has already happened the past 2 years and there isn’t much more to go, which is why some are of the opinion that now is the time to buy. Real estate is the safest investment you can make because sooner or later it will appreciate. Have you ever heard of property depreciating and then never eventually appreciating again?

    Let’s take a look at one of your comparable rental examples: 800 Madison (part of the Upper Grand complex as is 1000 Jefferson). Putting aside the fact those buildings are not PATH walkable, the kitchen finishes do compare to mine. However the bathrooms do not. They lack the furniture quality cherry wood vanities, waterfall fixtures, and jaccuzzi tub I enjoy. They offer typical builder quality white particle board vanities. The closest unit in size to my 1300 sq. ft. of space is the 1247 sq. ft. L unit, which starts at $3940/mo. That’s over $1000 more a month than I pay to own after tax deductions and you can bet that sucker will be over $4k at the first lease renewal. Does renting that still sound like a better deal to you?


  99. homeboken

    craig – just to help you adjust the facts, the link you posted is not an advertisement for rent, it is a summary.

    Actual craigslist postings for 800 Madison show the 2BR/2BA going for monthly rent of 2925-3260.

    The above also comes with 1 month free bringing net effective rent to 2704-3000. $99 parking spaces are also being offered.

    No comment on rent vs own, my stance is pretty well documented, just showing that you have inaccurate data.


  100. Craig

    @Stan –

    1. I’m not worried about the AMT. A good accountant can take care of that. Even with it, you still end up paying less taxes than those with no deductions.

    2. Rents have not declined in the desired luxury buildings (see the 800 Grand example above). The other incentives you mention are offered instead in order to hold the line on rents. If you really believe you can appeal your rent increase, try it and let us know what happens when your lease is up.

    3. It’s true the city can jack up tax rates to compensate for all the appeals and perhaps it’s inevitable they will sooner or later. But again, the more they charge, the more I deduct. I can’t deduct a rent increase when Uncle Sam takes his pound of flesh.

  101. Craig

    @Homeboken – don’t fall victim to savy marketing. The closest unit in size to mine at 800 Madison is the L unit (still 53 sq. ft. smaller than mine). It is priced at “from $3260″. The “from” means you’ll never actually get one at that price and many landlords already include the free month of rent amoritized over the term of the lease to arrive at their advertised rents, so you can’t double deduct it. Oh, and did that ad forget to mention the non-refundable $500 fee for a dog the Upper Grand charges? I keep my dog for free at my condo.

  102. homeboken

    Craig – check your facts before posting next time, that’s all I am saying. You were trying to advertise rents that are $700-$900 above actual ask.

    You are pushing mis-informaton out there. You claimed that the units would be renting for > 4k upon renewal. They will in fact be renting for appx $3k (net effective). The rent/own argument is much closer than you think. It really comes down to each individuals situation.

  103. Craig

    Below is the link for the actual pricing sheet for 800 Madison effective 5/7/10 (more recent than your CL ad). 2br/2ba range in price from $2995 to $3665. That’s for 1064 – 1227 sq. ft. Then there’s the fees. Application fee – $75, administration fee – $250, pet fee – $500. Funny how their craigslist ad is missing all this info.


  104. homeboken

    OK so we agree, you were $1000 off at worse, and $400 off at best.

    I just did a quick CL search, you found a more recent doc, congrats.

    Bottom line the rent/own line is closer than you thought. Only after the mortgage interest reduction do the scales tip in your favor (you stated above that you pay about 1000 less after mtg interest).

    How’s the pool at your condo?

  105. Craig

    $400-1000 off? Not quite. My more recent doc proves my info was accurate. Remember, we were comparing their units that are closest in size to mine: 1300 sq. ft. It costs $3665 for their 1227 sq. ft. K unit. It’s at least another $100 for their 1247 sq. ft. L unit, bringing it close to $3800. Even without the tax deductions I’m paying less than that. With them, it’s not even close. When you renew Upper Grand in year 2, the free month discount is gone and your rent increases, meanwhile my mortgage never changed. So how do you figure the rent/own line is closer than I thought?

    There is no pool at my condo. I did not desire one. I do not swim in public pools, as I do not enjoy bathing in other people’s urine.

  106. shortsequalmarket

    800 Madison and 1000 Jefferson have bathrooms with granite countertops, paneled doors, and subway tiles in the bathroom. Exactly the same as the owned buiding in 1100 Adams.

    Real estate had NEVER had a nationwide decline since the Great Depression. A statement that turned out to be useless for buyers in 2005-6. Now you make the same.

  107. shortsequalmarket

    Your mortgage may not change but your taxes, insurance, and HOA do. Many people have negotitated lower rents with landlords who are deperate to keep tenants. My sister did, even though her landlord had an increase in HOA.

  108. stan

    “They lack the furniture quality cherry wood vanities, waterfall fixtures, and jaccuzzi tub I enjoy”

    btw, this could be the funniest line i have seen in some time. Are there leatherbound books? Does it smell of rich mahogany?

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