2010 Jun 16th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of June 15th

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of June 15th

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

Last night I attended another Hoboken Zoning Board meeting. This was what I heard:Elysian Park

An important goal of the Hoboken Master Plan is to encourage families to come to and stay in Hoboken by creating larger, family friendly living spaces. There was an application before the Board for a very small variance in the lot coverage rule in order to allow a builder to construct a 4 story building back on Monroe. Each floor would consist of a 1,400 square foot, 3 bedroom unit with a 10 foot deck/fire escape. Even at 4 stories, the finished building would not exceed the height restrictions for that zone. Rather than grant the variance to allow for the extra 10 feet of lot coverage, a Board member suggested that the design be changed to four 1,000 sq. ft. 3 bedrooms without an elevator. This comment made me wonder how much information the Board has about what actually sells in Hoboken. So I took a quick look at the MLS.

Since 2008, there have been about 203 3 bedroom units sold, currently under contract and currently active. Of those the square footage breakdown looks like this:

Looking at the elevator question I found:

It’s clear from the weekly stats that there are proportionally few 3 brs in Hoboken to begin with.  To sell a 3 bedroom condo in Hoboken today, it better be at least 1,400 square feet. If it’s above the 2nd floor it needs to have an elevator. Every day I work with buyers who have babies and children and these buyers tell me they won’t consider a walk up. Why don’t these facts get presented to the Zoning Board? Wouldn’t it help our community (and achieve the goal of the Master Plan) for the Zoning Board to know what sells if the goal is to lure families to Hoboken???

Speaking of what sells – we are still in the same situation we have been for some time. Not enough sales, too much inventory. Here is an interesting footnote that helps explain how these numbers get skewed. When we switched firms last week, our listings came with us. So while these properties have actually been for sale previously, they were all relisted as new this week. That’s just one situation that presents a false picture of the market. I’m sure there are others. Without knowing the back story on every property, though, it is hard to address these glitches. So here are this weeks numbers.

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Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

18 new listings

204 total active

2 Dabos

9 Sold

12 price reductions

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

30 new listings

275 total listings.

5 Dabos

14 sold

26 price reductions

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

3 new listing

58 active listings.

1 Dabo

None sold

4 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!

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  1. shortsequalmarket

    Good to see sales taking off now that the Memorial Day Week is over. There were 8 Dabos compared to 5 that week.

    Craig Don’t all these potential buyers know that prices will not fall so they better give up and buy?

  2. whynot

    shortsequalmarket – what a smart guy! so, where are all of these falling prices since the initial correction???? i also saw the sky falling the other day!

    as per everyone in the field and the stats each week, you just cannot seem to understand the following:

    ***the price of a nice place in hoboken in a good location has held steady since the initial decline. a lot of places even get multiple bids!***

    we all understand that you want prices to plunge, so you can buy! we all understand that, and that’s totally normal. it would help a lot of us! that said, it’s just not what’s happening out there in REAL LIFE.

  3. shortsequalmarket

    Prices are 415 Newark have been falling. I am glad you care about the remaining parking constrained window air conditioned units near the PATH but many do not.

    Even if you are right. Who cares. Open your mind (it appears that would be a new experience for you). Look into the future. Most of the subsidies that have stopped prices from falling faster are have ended or are coming to an end. I also read the county is passing on a tax increase.

    Limited sales, higher taxes, reduced subsidies = higher prices LOL.

    And yes I am in favor of lower prices. I think it is horrible that American families have been enslaved to their home due to countless government subsidies.

  4. Craig

    Shorts, there are many reasons why buyers aren’t plentiful right now that have nothing to do with waiting out further price reductions. A lot of people are out of work or worried they might be in the near future. I for one know I wouldn’t have bought if both my lady and I didn’t have rock solid economy-proof job security. Still others can’t get loans because of tightened lending standards. I wouldn’t presume that there are all these people waiting for another 20% reduction in prices before they buy as you appear to be doing.

    As for 415 Newark, that is an example of a building that I can see not holding its value well because it’s trying to compete with other buildings that offer more for the same asking price. I looked at a couple of units there. It offers a good location, but what I found

  5. Craig

    Sorry, I hit the submit button by accident. What I found at 415 Newark (Observer Plaza) was disappointing. Corian countertops, so-so fixtures, wall a/c units, and no laundry in the unit is unacceptable to me if I’m paying over half a million dollars for a property. For that kind of money, I better have central a/c and I best not be having to haul my laundry outside of my home.

    All those amenities can be found elsewhere for the same price people tried to ask at Observer Plaza. It’s not going to happen and the pricing there is starting to reflect that. As I have told you before, you can’t make snap judgments simply by looking at your computer. You need to get inside and look at these properties to compare them. If prices are dropping fast in a particular building or area, there’s a good reason why and that reason isn’t applicable to the whole city. So keep thinking 415 Newark and the northwest part of town are indicative of the whole Hoboken market.

  6. shortsequalmarket

    Except I have noted units from 415 Newark, to Upper Grand, The Shipyard (just closed at $560K), 536 Grand, and the biggest disaster (Sky Club) two closings at $440. It is easiest to compare when there are larger buidings for comparison purposes.

    Point being there have been multiple declines in all of these units during the last six months.

    Craig I agree with all of those reasons you gave for people not buying. I think sellers better realize that soon and lower their prices, cause as you say the buyers just do not exist.

    Did anyone read the comment from Toll Brothers? They wrongly believed that the strength they saw in April was not related to the Home Buyer tax credit. I mean after all they only sell luxury buildings. However, since the tax credit ended there sales are down 20%. They also said year over year they have 20% fewer developments and 20% fewer sales at each. They better raise prices soon to make people realize their units are scarce.

    By the way does the first part of Toll’s beliefs remind you of anyone who post on here?

  7. homeboken

    Meanwhile, Toll thinks now is the perfect time to take a half-dozen 1mill + listings to the MLS?

    I guess that sales office can’t handle the immense buyer traffic on their own so they have to hit the streets with the listings.

    I think this is just the start of the decline for that building. Toll is starting to realize that it has to liquidate some of the units. Just like an addict, admitting you have a problem is the first step.

  8. whynot

    Live it, Love it, it’s the current truth:

    ***the price of a nice place in hoboken in a good location has held steady since the initial decline. a lot of places even get multiple bids!***

  9. Craig

    The Shipyard is just now starting to be priced realistically. Again, an example of huge price drops solely because of prior unrealistic prices. Anything similar already priced around $550k will sell without huge reductions. Those units were never worth the $600-700k plus people were trying to get. Sure they’re newer contruction and on the water, but some of the kitchens in those are not so great and wall a/c units for $600k? 536 Grand we’ve already discussed – many of the units there need some updating and the pricing is reflecting that. When new, Sky Club was largely bought up by speculators. The resulting short sales when they all bailed killed comps in that building. 2 bed 2 bath units with all the desired amenities and desired locations under $600k are holding value over the last 6 months and are selling within 5% of asking. The Oz is a perfect example of such units.

    Toll has some serious issues in Hoboken. Maxwell Place sits half empty at best. The demand simply isn’t there for the high-end market. The sweet spot is the sub $600k 2 br/2 ba inventory. Toll has to do something sooner or later to move units because their contruction loan reserve will dry up eventually. Maxwell place has 2 more buildings to put up – anyone want to take bets on that happening anytime soon?

  10. shortsequalmarket

    What happens to prices in places like Oz if Toll lowers to what you believe is realistic pricing in Maxwell? What if Sky Club drops to $399 what happen to pricing in 101 Clinton (is that the address you site). Are you claiming there is absolutely no consideration between these units?

    BTW multiple bids is meaningless. I can get multiple as long as the price is below market. However the market keeps moving down. Except of course on the one unit you might find otherwise upon. Foreclosure auctions have multiple bids and the neighbors complain the place sold too cheap.

    Homeboken looks like Toll must have had an awakening when they saw the May numbers. Denial aint just a river in Egypt, but they may be to the Mediterranean by now.

    Craig you like to say those places are not worth. You assert your values to why they were not worth it. However my point is that they are going down and many people believe a pool, gym, elevator, doorman, on the river, etc is the best way to go. Formica and all.

  11. whynot

    right now, this very second, and for the past year:

    ***the price of a nice place in hoboken in a good location has held STEADY since the initial decline. a lot of places even get multiple bids!***

    shortsequalmarket loves a lot of “what if’s”. if he could “what if” the future, he would be a very VERY rich person! He’s been talking about this second crash for a while now (at least 6 months)! so, when when when is it going to happen?!?

    shortsequalmarket’s new name is “wanna-be-buyer” – just fess up. stop trying to scare selles. oh, i forgot, you are on here to educate!! so noble! NOT!!

  12. cranky

    Lori, walkups exist and have buyers and sellers, but the pricing is different. I hope you are not representing any walkup sellers, I would think they’d be pretty miffed that you are saying their units are worthless and should sit empty. Just saying your comment could be alot more nuanced.

  13. Lori

    I was speaking about 3 BRs. I never said anything was worthless – you did.

  14. Craig

    “What happens to prices in places like Oz if Toll lowers to what you believe is realistic pricing in Maxwell? What if Sky Club drops to $399 what happen to pricing in 101 Clinton (is that the address you site). Are you claiming there is absolutely no consideration between these units?”

    – There is no correlation between those units because they differ on the desirability scale. The proof is in the pudding. 2 bedrooms in Sky Club can be had for well under $500k now. That did not prevent 101 Park for selling for close to the asking $700k. So as you can see, 101 Park didn’t have to lower its price to compete with Sky Club. I can assure you that whoever bought 101 Park didn’t even consider Sky Club as an option.

    “Craig you like to say those places are not worth. You assert your values to why they were not worth it. However my point is that they are going down and many people believe a pool, gym, elevator, doorman, on the river, etc is the best way to go. Formica and all.”

    – My values are predominant in the $500-$600k price range. That’s why the properties that meet my standards sell quickly within 5% of asking and the ones that don’t endure the reductions and long time on the market you note. I believe a pool, gym, elevator, doorman, on the river, etc. is the best way to go too. But I’m not willing to overpay for it, and now since 2008 neither is anyone else. Thus, the overpriced stuff like Shipyard is forced to come down in price to what people like me are willing to pay. The units and amenities in Shipyard are no better than Sky Club. Shipyard just has a vastly better location going for it. Unit for unit, that’s worth an extra $100k at best, no more. Hence why you can now get into the Shipyard for $560k vs. $460k for Sky Club – that’s all they were ever really worth relative to each other from the get-go.

  15. shortsequalmarket

    People use to pay $700K for highly desirable Shipyard. Did they use to pay more for Clinton?

    Whynot even if you are right about the past, something I vigurously disagree with. IT IS OVER WITH AND DOES NOT MATTER. If you bought earlier this year or if you plan to buy now you will have to deal with the fact that due to fewer buyers values are likely to fall.

    You sound a lot like Toll. Toll asserted he built luxury and his buyers were moved by consumer confidence not by tax credits. However when the tax credit ended the sales plummeted. Evidently this plummet has made them reconsider there sales strategy and they listed a bunch of units (Cite Homeboken).

    How many of your highly desirables have gone pending in the last 4 weeks? Four of the five Dabos for 2/2 last week were in the undesirable NW.

  16. Craig

    @shorts – I don’t know how many of my highly desirables are pending. Unlike you, I can’t tell what’s desirable by looking on the computer – I have actually see the unit in person (I have been in every building I ever mention on this blog). You have to first ask how many of them were on the market the last few weeks relative to the less-desirable units. Upper Grand and Sky Club constantly have units on the market. But comparatively, how often do places like 215 Grand, 101 Park, and the Oz have units for sale, and when they do, how long do those units last? The answers are not as often, and not for long. Go check the records for those 3 buildings I just mentioned. Tell me how long they were listed before they were sold, and how far under asking they sold for. Then compare what you find to the performance of Upper Grand. You’ll see the difference.

  17. whynot

    “likely to fall”

    Love it! Because they haven’t! It’s just fact.

    If they did, it would have happen.

  18. shortsequalmarket

    Whynot

    Prove it!!!!!!!

    Selling quickly, above asking, or for more than a different neighborhood is not proof!!!!

    I have seen a couple units at 215 Grand go quickly this year, but for certainly less than they would have gone for the year before.

    I find it comical that you claim 0% correlation. Are you sure it is not .00001% correlation? I mean these are the same school district, same tax rate, same restaurants, etc, etc. It is not like comparing Bergenfield and Tenafly.

  19. Randy

    so I just went into contract on a 2 bedroom near the path. was this stupid? Should I be waiting?

  20. laki

    Craig,

    You cannot honestly think there is no correlation across different units? These things are incredibly correlated. In fact if you pick a random unit in Hoboken and a random unit in Chicago you’ll have a very high probability that their respective prices are positively, even strongly, correlated. Let alone two random units in Hoboken.

    This is just a verifiable mathematical fact. No opinions here. Just take any two pricing data series from different cities and run correlation in excel.

    But this argument gets even stronger for 2 units in the same town. If an expensive unit gets cheaper, all the other previously cheaper units are likely to experience some marginal pricing pressure because the supply in that price range went up. If Maxwell was to drop prices by 20% – you think that units that are currently one notch below Maxwell in pricing wouldn’t experience a downward pressure?

  21. Tiger

    Randy, no, not stupid. But home ownership is a big decision. I guess you need to sit down with yourself and think of the following:
    – How long are you planning to stay in that place? In this market, if it’s anything less than five years, it doesn’t seem to make sense to buy
    – Can you afford it? Is your job secure?
    – How much more/less will you be paying have you rented a similar place?

  22. Craig

    @Laki – units that compete for the same buyers have the most correlation. If a $1 million dollar Maxwell Place home takes a 20% reduction, it is still listed for a whopping $800k. Why would that impact a condo on sale for $400k? The two units aren’t being cross-shopped by the same buyers and are thus not in competition. Only when that Maxwell Place unit is reduced closer to that same $400k range would the lesser properties previously priced in that range have to reduce prices proportionately.

    To use a more extreme example, let’s say the Hoboken projects were converted to condos in their current condition. Do you honestly believe that they would have any market correlation with Maxwell Place just because both complexes are in Hoboken?

    The free market is driven by one thing: what comparable buyers are willing to pay for comparable properties in a comparable location at any given time. It’s illogical to assume that just because a $2 million property needs a 20% price cut to sell that a $200k property in the same area would automatically need a likewise 20% reduction to sell as well. The $2 million property example may have needed the reduction because it was likely overpriced against its comps, whereas the $200k property may be priced right against its vastly different comps.

  23. shortsequalmarket

    Craig

    Thank you for taking your argument to the tail to try to prove you are correct.

    However, my argument was far from the tail. Would dropping the price to $800K at maxwell place impact a $600K place on Clinton (absolutely). Would Sky Club selling new units with a view for sub $400 have an impact on a place on Clinton (absolutely)

    Even if you strongly feel, “I could not stretch for the Maxwell Place or would not want to be in the home of the speculators” there is at least one person who would. I would. I may the only one, but that means there is some correlation.

  24. shortsequalmarket

    I looked through old posts and found one funny thing. Somehow the consensus was that the first time homebuyer credit had only a minimal impact in Hoboken.

    Happily this government subsidy has finally died. Lets view the impact. The two weeks before the subsidy Hoboken averaged ~25 Dabos during the last three weeks it is abou 10. THIS MEANS MINIMAL IMPACT IS DEFINED AS ABOUT 150%.

  25. Morally_Right

    Randy,

    If you have to ask the question, then you probably already know the answer.

  26. laki

    Craig,

    A trivial example. Lets say there are 10 apartments on the market asking for $1M, 10 apartments asking for $800K and 10 apartments asking for $600K. And lets say one day all the apartments that were asking $1M drop their price 20%. That will definitely put a downward pressure on apartments that were previously asking $800K (supply doubled)… now at least some of those previously asking for $800K will reduce their asking price and this reduction will in turn increase the supply of apartments previously asking lower than $800K hence putting pricing pressure on all those previously asking for $600K and some of those will reduce the price. Etc, etc. It is a chain effect. Obviously the further away you go the lesser the effect, but the effect is real…

  27. whynot

    shortsequalmarket –

    minimal impact in Hoboken “…ON 2/2 OVER 500K” – do you try to make things up even on a Friday? what a $%$&%. Have fun watching TV alone tonight? freak :(

  28. stan

    Shorts-

    I wouldnt say the consensus said there would be no effect, It was jus the loudest saying it had no effect

    150k total income with 10-20% down opens up a lot of properties in town

  29. Craig

    @shorts – If you are arguing that a theoretical sample of one proves your correlation point, isn’t that “taking your argument to the tail”? Often it is the exceptions that prove the rule.

    @Laki – the chain effect you illustrate is theoretical, not factual. It assumes price reductions so severe that high-end properties now come into competition with properties priced hundreds of thousands less. It simply hasn’t happened that way. Some multi-million dollar units in Manhattan’s high-end market have incurred substantial reductions, sometimes amounting to millions of dollars. But that is still not enough to bring them into range of the next step down the price ladder in Manhattan. There has been no resulting domino effect that has caused mid-priced properties to drop proportionally as much as higher-end ones. If that had been the case, I’d be living in Manhattan right now, not Hoboken. The middle-end market is holding up much better than the high-end market right now because there are more buyers who can afford that range. When you see statistics that show such and such city is down 20%, that doesn’t mean each and every individual property in the area is down that much – it’s an aggregate average of the whole. And as we well know, extremes in samples have significant skewing effects on averages.

  30. shortsequalmarket

    No I am arguing that the number is not zero like others have written.

  31. Lori Turoff

    The way I see it is that it’s not only about price. There is also condition and location to consider. Let’s say there are 100 properties all for the same price. 25 of them are in a good location, and in good condition. The other 75 are either in a relatively terrible location, in horrible condition, or both.

    If there are 10 buyers and they all want the 25 good units, 10 of the 25 should sell and nothing else.

    If there are 25 buyers all 25 of the good units should sell and nothing else.

    If there are 35 buyers, all 25 good units should sell and the question then becomes will the other 10 buyers be willing to purchase the crummy properties? Or do they just wait it out for another good one to come on the market and then fight for it. (That’s exactly what I see happening, thus the multiple bids on the cream-of-the-crop).

    If the price were to be reduced on the remaining crummy units, would the 10 remaining buyers be willing to buy them? How low would that price have to go? For some buyers, no price is low enough. They’re just not going to buy a bad property – especially in today’s environment. My observation is that the refusal by buyers to buy crummy units has been the biggest difference between now and the height of the market when demand outweighed supply and buyers would buy anything! Of course, if the price on the crummy units goes low enough some of the 10 remaining buyers may say it’s worth it to buy but not necessarily all of them or even most of them.

    Now let’s say you have 100 units and 50 of them are nice and 50 crummy. You still only have 25 buyers. Since there aren’t enough buyers to go around, the sellers of the good units may reduce the price to entice a buyer to buy that good unit over another good unit. That price reduction then makes the crummy units look overpriced so those sellers may decide to reduce the price too. It still doesn’t mean that the buyers will be any more willing to buy the bad units, especially when there are still good units to choose from.

    So the assortment of properties available at any given time and the condition and location of those properties is going to play a big role in what sells and what doesn’t. I think this often gets overlooked.

  32. Laki

    Craig,

    No point to argue any further. People can take a long enough time-period, take a large enough random sample of properties, note all the transaction prices on those properties and compute correlation/covariance matrix in excel on this data sample. This argument can be put to rest with this simple statistical exercise. This is not a matter of opinion.

    I state with a 100% conviction that majority of properties in this random sample will have a non zero positive cross-correlations. And this study has nothing to do with Hoboken. If you did this study in any other town you’d get the same result.

    If you wish to believe otherwise and stick with your convictions without having done the exercise i just described – that is cool with me.

  33. leafgreen99

    On an entirely different note: how do you look up property transaction information. I’ve read many posts in which links are posted but I can’t find any recent links. Would some one please share how this information is found on the web? Thanks.

  34. Craig

    @Laki – Lori’s example above pretty much sums up my perspective. I’ll go with the actual real world observations of a professional in the industry over your mathematical matrices and random samples. Some of you guys spend too much time on the computer. Get outside and go look at some condos!

  35. stan

    Odd- posts weren’t goin through.

    Google nj tax records, first page that comes up

  36. shortsequalmarket

    Craig

    Way to avoid the point by looking at condos. Most of the discussion here has been about the future of prices and the linkages between areas. Even if the sample is limited in what you call the “desirable” area, the “desirable” area is not a vacuum.

    So keeping believing your desirable area is unrelated to homes a few blocks away. There certainly is a lot of inventory just outside your area, and as they compete it is likely prices will fall. If I was in your desirable area and wanted to sell I would do it sooner rather than later. I would not want to compete against sub $400K units at Skyy Club or $800K units at Maxwell Place. IMHO, anyone who says otherwise has lost touch with reality.

  37. shortsequalmarket

    oops I meant to say by looking at the current, but not shadow inventory of condos. I think most would like all information available not a partial glimpse.

  38. Lori Turoff

    @Shorts – The entire subprime mortgage bond market, the CDOs and CDSs ware driven by numbers and formulas rather than the underlying fundamentals of the assets. Numbers can only impart so much information. To get the truer picture you need to know and understand the reality of the assets and the liabilities.

  39. laki

    Craig,

    You guys are trying to argue with the definition of the word “correlation”. The definition of correlation doesn’t refer to condos, hoboken, or anything else that you use in your arguments. Maybe you guys are trying to argue a different point (though I’m not quite getting it) for which you’re abusing the word “correlation”. But if you try to tell me that the word “correlation” has anything to do with someone’s experience than you’re just way off. The only place where experience might come in play is trying to dig out the actual historical transaction data. That’s all. After you have the historical transaction data, correlation is what it is. (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CorrelationCoefficient.html)

  40. shortsequalmarket

    Lori

    What do you think I do. I give multiple same building examples and all I get back are, “Those units are undesirable”

    Interestingly about a month ago I pointed out how prices at 920 Jefferson had fallen below $500K. I was told it was only $1,000 below. Now that the credit is over it appears that unit is asking $20K less. Funny how the real world followed my fuzzy subprime math predictions.

    I agree the subprime misused numbers like:

    *Prices will always go up
    *The median is rising (although it was just a mix shift in 2006-07)

    Many here will refute me with the plain jane median or some fuzzy warm feeling about desirable areas remaining unaffected forever more.

    My analysis goes well beyond subprime whole number analyses. I consider comparable properties over time, changing taxes, employment, expiration of subsidies, unemployment, etc. That is of course when subprime used numbers, we now learn no numbers besides dollar signs were used to get those AAA ratings.

    I admit many times I can be wrong, although I do not believe so. Others call that wavering and add a LOL. I am a realist and listen to all, too bad others here do not reciprocate.

  41. shortsequalmarket

    Whynot

    First off I quote Lori’s summary on the group conclusion on the impact of the first time homebuyer credit being small.

    Next, I looked into your point about two bedrooms (all 2 bedrooms of all bathrooms and qualities, you can look at each listing if you want)

    In the 3 weeks before the tax credit there were 36 Dabos and the last three weeks there have been 15 Dabos. The tax credit impact on 2 bedrooms has been about the same. Small impact on two bedrooms is about 140%.

  42. Craig

    Shorts loves referring to 920 Jefferson (the building’s name is “The Terraces”), so let’s take a closer look. Unit 606 is currently for sale at $475k. It’s an 1100 sq. ft. top floor 2 br/2 br condo in an elevator building with the works: granite, stainless, central a/c, parking, and private terrace.

    Sounds good on paper right? Well, not so fast. There are two issues: one, you’ll be living on Jefferson between 9th & 10th. That’s a convenient walk to…well, to nowhere frankly. Two, the parking is shared tandem. What that means is two cars occupy the same extra long spot. You have to either give your neighbor a set of your car keys to juggle cars whenever someone needs to get in or out or call your neighbor each time to move their car. Fun!

    Take that same exact unit and put it in the Oz at 70 Adams that has single dedicated spaces for its units. It would sell for $550k at least.

  43. Lori

    The other differences between the Terraces and some other buildings nearby that make me think the location is not determinative. Prospect Hill, The Huntington, The Columbus and 904 Jeff (The Centerfield) all have pretty nice exercise rooms. The Terraces has none. Prospect Hill has a really beautiful common courtyard which is in the midst of being repaired and replanted but is sure to be very pretty again when it’s done. Some of these building have more of a formal lobby and not just a hall leading to an elevator. Most importantly, I believe, is the fact that the master bedroom of some of the Terraces units overlooks the High School playing field, an objection of some buyers. The same issue comes up frequently at Robert’s Court and sometimes at the Columbus. BTW not all the parking at the Terraces is tandem.

  44. stan

    Isnt the oz, 70 adams, going for sub 500k now as well? though i saw a place go in the high 400’s recently

  45. doug

    Lori,
    Any thoughts on the 412 washington street unit that just sold? I own a similar unit on the first floor. Just curious what your thoughts are about that building as far as location and overall marketability?
    Thanks

  46. Lori

    412 Wash is a very unique building as it is a converted factory and all the units are different. The unit that closed this week was on the top floor and had the cool arched windows you can see from the street, a mezzanine and interesting floor plan. It’s an older building/conversion so some of the units are a bit dated – especially the kitchens and baths. Those that have been renovated recently can be quite nice. There is one for sale now on the 3rd floor that looks very attractive and another under contract. Prior to these there were no sales on the MLS since ’07.

    I personally love the location but that’s my preference. I have heard buyers tell me they would not look at anything on Washington Street. The building doesn’t have parking although there may be an arrangement (as happens in some downtown condo buildings) that parking is provided in the municipal lot. I’m not sure whether it is included in the maintenance or not. The units don’t have central air which some buyers don’t like. It is certainly close to the PATH and convenient for commuters.

  47. Craig

    @Stan – Anything you see in The Oz for less than $500k is likely a 1 BR or 1 Br + den. I believe Lori has the listing for unit 4B at $395k.

    @Doug – I am very familar with 412 Washington as I had close friends in #3A and looked at #3B during an open house. The units I saw have great bones and if updated, can be quite nice. #3A is updated, #3B is not – the kitchen is still original to the building’s coversion and is circa late 80s style. Not too many condos in Hoboken have a dedicated laundry room like these, which is really nice. But alas, as Lori points out, there is no central a/c – a dealbreaker for me once the $500k barrier is crossed. Also, the common areas are unkept and quite unattractive with an obvious need for new paint. The location is fantastic – if you have a rear-facing unit. Lastly, there is no included parking – in municipal garages or otherwise.

    My opinion on 412 Washington is that if a unit is rear-facing, updated, and they do something about the common areas, a seller should be able to fetch a good dollar even in the current market. The lack of central a/c and parking can be overcome thanks to location, location, location. But 412 Washington will never compete price-wise with something like 101 Park, which has it all.

  48. stan

    I actually checked the taxes for 70 adams. 1200 square feet went for 490 in late 09, place just sold with similar square feet for 570k. don’t know whether that first one was a short sale or something.

    having been inside, it is a nice building

    man their taxes seem low there

  49. Lori

    It was not a short sale. The two units have very different floor plans and the $490k unit was not a true 2 br. It was a 1br with den (i.e., no windows). The one that sold for 570k was a true 2br and had 2 enormous closets.

    Most recently, 2J went under contract with 13 DOM (listed at $549k); 5B went under contract w 18 DOM (1 br listed at $419k); 4b sold for $375k with 22 DOM (1 br – this was my listing); and as was mentioned 3N sold for over asking at $570k with 1 DOM.

  50. Craig

    The Oz is a very desirable building. I wanted to be in there myself, but noting was available when I was looking. Despite the obvious excellent performance of buildings like the Oz in the market, shortsequalmarket and others continue to argue that all of Hoboken is following the trend of The Terraces (920 Jefferson) and Sky Club. The OZ is a perfect example of the fact that quality desirable buildings in good locations are holding value and selling quickly.

  51. shortsequalmarket

    Craig

    I have neve not said that closer to the PATH does not sell for more. What I have said is that in this area where it is easier to compare like units it is pretty clear prices are declining. (as they are in building like the Shipyard and Observer Plaza)

    The NW really is presenting a compelling case for my point right now

    First Columbus has a 1,300 sq ft unit with a balcony sell for $475 (but of course that was a short sell so it did not count)

    Next, 456 9th had a 2.2 sell for about the same (but it was a FSBO through the MLS so it did not count)

    Now there are two units at The Terraces listed for $479 by realtors at MLS. When I made my case for falling prices by citing all the units that were now less than $500K, but more in late 2009, it was pointed out that one of the Terrace units was listed at $499 so it really should not count as much less than $500K.

    So now what does all the true factual information I have given mean:

    a) Short sales are market prices
    b) FSBO on MLS are market prices
    c) Prices are falling
    d) All of the above

  52. shortsequalmarket

    Craig

    Lastly while I have proven that most units in Hoboken are falling in price during the last six months, I am more concerned about the future. Specifically we know that the tax credit created a buying frenzy more than doubling sales over what they are now during the prime Summer buying season.

    You like to believe that because you have deemed the market fully adjusted you are right. I use evidence to say there are significant issues with housing and buying a place now risk your financial well being (even if the net monthly payment is less than renting)

  53. Craig

    @Shorts – you keep going back to the same properties with issues and/or missing amenities to make your point. Let me make my point more clear: show us proof that prices have declined in The Oz in the past 6 months.

    I have never claimed the entire market is fully adjusted. What I have said is that after the big market adjustment that occurred from 2008 through 2009, the most desirable Hoboken properties are holding value since December 2009. Lastly, I agree buying a place now is a financial risk – if it’s your intention to flip it within a short time. However, if you plan to make it your primary residence for the next 5-8 years, you’ll be fine. History dictates that sooner or later real property will appreciate.

  54. shortsequalmarket

    OK, in a building I do not follow during a short time period that was propped up with a first time homebuyers credit it appears there were not enough sales to say prices fell at Oz. However, unlike you I do not live in a bubble and realize that falling prices everywhere else in Hoboken will eventually impact Hoboken’s Plaza Hotel (ie Oz)

    History dictated that home prices never fall on a national level. How did that turn out?

    History dictated that the Dow Jones would not be flat for 11 years, How did that turn out? (Although only since 1982).

    Post WWII US economic history dictated that the unemployment rate would not more than double during a recession. How did that turn out?

    I gave a pretty long and detailed explanation on how you better consider the economic foundations of today versus history, two weeks ago, I stand by it.

  55. shortsequalmarket

    Can we get a price check on the Oz units mentioned in 2009? Interesting to see them moving into the mid 5’s

    Lori thanks for nicely pointing out not all parking is tandem. Interestingly if I overlook something in a post others claim I am misrepresenting or lying. I hope they can take notice of how to point things out. Of course it might just be a defensive mechanism.

  56. L&S

    Shorts – What is your motivation behind all these posts? You are clearly not looking to buy in the near term and have a very strong view on the world so why bother.??
    My $0.02 – The Hoboken and National housing mkt will be determined not by tax credit or rates etc. but the health of the economic recovery, if we get 3% GDP growth this year and 4.5% next year with unemployement remaining stable this year and dropping slightly next..then prices are at a bottom. If GDP growth drops below 2% in 2010 and is weak in 2011 or if we get a “double dip” then housing is going to drop again..10-15-20% ..who knows?

    I might have stated the obvious but I do find it interesting that most people talk in change in house prices on a monthly basis or sometimes even weekly.

  57. Lori

    I want to know what Shorts does for a living that he/she has so much time to comment. Not complaining though – all comments and points of view are most welcome here.

  58. Lori

    This is interesting – 536 Grand is a building that has been the subject of a bit of discussion here. There was a 2 BR unit (#207) listed for sale at $479k and reduced to $459k. It expired at $459k on May 22nd without selling. It has the original kitchen and bath (white appliances, Formica, older style cabinets) and a very long and narrow floor plan.

    It shows up today on the MLS today as a 1 BR (and only a 1 BR). Tell me that is a mistake? Or is the agent purposely listing it as a 1BR to get buyers to think “oh – look how great a deal this is – we can get an 1100+ sq. ft. unit with parking for $459k” then they go see it and find an “extra” bedroom? Nah – an agent wouldn’t do that – it must just be an error.

  59. Lori

    The other sales at 70 Adams:
    3N list $550k sold $570k 1222 sq ft (terrace)
    5F list $600k sold $581k 1144 sq ft
    2L list $629k sold $615k 1474 sq ft
    2M list $515k sold $490k 1241 sq ft (1br + den)
    2E list $539k sold $525k 1000 sq ft (terrace)

    All had deeded parking.

  60. Craig

    I too wonder why shorts, who is clearly opposed to buying real estate, bothers to read and comment on a blog that is about buying and selling real esate.

    Shorts, the Oz is not an anomaly. It is one of several buildings holding value in Hoboken the last several months. I provided you with several other examples like 215 Grand, The Huntington, 82 Clinton, 101 Park, etc. Sure, they lost value in 2008-2009, but they have held steady since. By ignoring these well-performing buildings and basing your argument solely on buildings like 920 Jefferson, 536 Gand, Upper Grand, or Sky Club, it is you who is living in a bubble. I think you need to get inside some of these buildings to see firsthand the differences between what you’re comparing.

    I suspect the homebuyer credit had little affect on the pricing in buildings like the Oz, as the household incomes of most buyers in them likely exceeded its cap. Now that the credit is gone, let’s see if 2 br units in the Oz plummet below $500k – not gonna happen. The properties you cite had no choice but to drop their prices below $500k. It was because in the current market with their lesser desirability factor, they can’t compete in same price range with the preferred properties I cite that now occupy the $500k – $600k + range.

  61. shortsequalmarket

    I cannot believe we are back in the

    Families earning $200K would not like an $8,000 gift from the government argument again. Even the 2009 cap of $150K would have more than covered the minimum income to qualify in Oz.

    I do not have exact figues but about 1 year ago I remember most units in buildings you mentioned being over $600K. I then remember your less “desirable” units being about $550. The less desirable seem to have had about twice the decline $100K versus $50K but they both have declined.

    I have not included Huntington cause there are only a handful of true 2/2 there. However if we are going to include that building I am noticing a lot of there 1.5/2 starting to show up. I also have noted many of the 1.5/2 are barely renting for more than $2,100.

  62. L&S

    shorts — why you care?? you take pleasure in reminding us all how much money we lost :)..or want the mkt to drop big time so you could buy. BTW – if the mkt does it cant be good for anyone, even if you worked in a HF that is short mtgs..

  63. Craig

    Shorts, even if I concede that the tax credit somehow artificially propped up prices for buildings like the Oz, the question then becomes why didn’t it do the same for the likes of 920 Jefferson?

    No one said the Oz never declined at any time. What I was saying is that buildings like it have held up better since 2008 and have not declined further since the calendar turned to 2010, while the less desirable units are still showing some movement. You just acknowledged that 920 Jefferson has declined twice as much as the Oz, so I think you’re starting to come around.

    When someone tried to list a nice 1200+ sq. ft. 2 br at the Oz for $550k in 2010, what happened? It sold $20k above asking. Unit 2E sold for a low $525k, but Lori’s listed size of 1000 sq. ft. is optimistic – it’s really 979. Do you think an offer above asking will happen at 920 Jefferson or Upper Grand anytime soon?

  64. shortsequalmarket

    Lower home prices in the short run would be a shock to homeowners and that is a majority of the population.

    In the long run lower home prices would be a big positive for the economy. Imagine and economy where many people were not spending 1/3 of their pre tax income on housing. There would be much more money available for investments in something other than housing. There would be more ability to save for the future instead of relying on your home for retirement.

  65. shortsequalmarket

    Craig

    Actually you just moved by acknowledging home prices have declined throughout Hoboken. Now all you have to realize is there is a link between all homes in Hoboken. (or even those giant probably soon to be empty) twin towers in JC.

    BTW Why is Huntington desirable relative to Terraces. It is across from the HS, no balconies, and has 8′ celings.

  66. Craig

    I never said home prices hadn’t declined throughout Hoboken. In fact, the decline was what I was counting on. If they hadn’t declined, I’d probably still be renting because I was previously priced out of Hoboken. All I ever said is that the top properties have held steady the last 6 months with some bidding wars even popping up from time to time.

    Regarding The Huntington vs. The Terraces: are you serious? I have to believe you’ve never seen either complex in person inside or out. You mean to tell me you don’t see any difference in the floorplans or exterior and interior finishes in those two buildings?

  67. shortsequalmarket

    Good point

    At the Huntington I see a HS next door, a lack of balconies, and low ceilings. The Huntington also has an abundance of studios. There are also a lot of small 1BR plus den masquerading as 2/2. My bad.

    Next that there is even any decline in prices during spring time six month time frame when there are gov’t credits for buying homes is amazing. Keep looking at the trees. Then look at only very specific trees. I see the forest and I will run out when I see fire while you will say this tree is fine.

  68. L&S

    Shorts – Lower home prices will not only be a shock to homeowners but to the full economy and that includes you. I am not in favour of kicking the can down the road but to believe that lower home price going forward will happen in isolation is a very naive view. As a country we have really spent all our “bullets” to stimulate the economy, if it does falter and leads to lower home prices you can expect a long hard road to recovery with an interim period that will look and feel like a nightmare. Yes – 2020 will be a great year and home affordibility will be very very high but first you need to get through the next
    10 years.

    Shorts = Its very easy to comment about tree and forest on fires..take a step back and understand what the consequences could be if the forest does catch fire. Its called social unrest and something the developed world has not witnessed in a long time.

  69. Lori Turoff

    I don’t believe the ceilings at the Huntington differ from any other MetroHomes or similar building. The living rooms are nicer than most with big windows, chair moulding, crown moulding and open kitchens. At the Terraces the kitchens are very small and the “walk-through” type – not big “U” shaped kitchens with a lot of counter space as at the Huntington. The Huntington has a very nice gym, a real lobby, and decent common outdoor space. Some units have private outdoor space too. There are very, very few studios. I’ve only seen 2. Hardly what I’d call an “abundance”. Very few 1BR plus dens, too. A viable alternative for a family or person who wants an office but can’t afford a true 2, I might add. It’s also one of the buildings furthest east and therefore close to Washington St. and the bus.

  70. Craig

    The interior finishes, layouts, and amentiies of The Huntington and The Terraces are not even comparable. The Huntington has a grand total of 6 studios out of 110 total condos. It has the same 9′ ceilings as most modern mid-rise construction. I wonder if someone should tell shorts that the Huntington is comprised of more than one building since he’s obviously never been there. The few studios and 1 br units are mostly in the building at 812 Grand with mostly 2+ brs everywhere else.

  71. Mike

    Quick question knowing you guys know alot real estate on here, I am about to go in contract in a unit on 607 1st Street for 215K, the place is 575sq ft is that a good deal or no?

  72. shortsequalmarket

    Mike

    What is your goal in buying such a small place that is closer to the Heights than to Washington St? Does it have parking? How much are the taxes and Maintenance?

    I am going to assume: taxes, maintenance, and interest is about $1,400. How much would this place rent for?

  73. Lori Turoff

    Did you use a realtor? Did they give you any comps? Did they talk to you about market conditions?

  74. Craig

    @Mike – How good a deal you got depends on which unit you bought and its condition relative to comparable nearby properties. I know unit #5 in that building is a foreclosure and is listed at $241.5k. Unit #6 is listed at $289k. Other nearby comps (310 Madison, 309 Monroe) seem to all be listed in the $240k range. So all other things being equal, it appears you did very well.

  75. Craig

    “What is your goal in buying such a small place that is closer to the Heights than to Washington St?” – shortsequalmarket

    This from the person who said he/she would move into the Upper Grand if the price is right. Are you somehow under the impression that 1st between Monroe and Jackson is more distant from all the action than the northwest section of town?

  76. shortsequalmarket

    It is. In the NW I am close to the NW waterfront, City Bistro, Madison, etc. In the NW you are a few steps from the Willow bus that take you to midtown in the morning. Further, the places I have been discussing are larger than 600 sq ft.

  77. Mike

    It is unit 2 and the monthly will hoa,taxes and mortgage at 4.75 will be around 1300 a month. Is the location bad? I did the walk to the path and it was about 10 min? Area seems safe with alot of new buildings coming up, and I am a single guy in my mid 20’s so I figure for now it is a good place and down the road I can sell or rent it out, any thoughts?

  78. shortsequalmarket

    Typically not a unit I look to rent so I am not sure about the rent you can expect. I think breaking even on the rent is going to be tough. Any vacancy, damage, or renter not paying and you will be hurting.

    There is a lot of building there, but there are no parks or grocery stores nearby and there is a lot of traffic.

    While I tend to strongly believe prices will decline, others here think that is unlikely. However, most see an extended period of flat prices, which means if you sell within the next five years you should add about $15,000 of closing costs to your expenses.

    Lastly, as a young single guy I would think there is nothing better than mobility. You will sacrifice that.

  79. Robbie

    Shortsequalmarket I diagree with you in regards to that location. I saw unit 2 in 607 1st street a few weeks back to show a prospective buyer and I really think the place should be selling for 250k and if you upgraded the kitchen and bathroom it would sell for 275-290k. I like the location too 1st ave is not bad at all I would rather live deep on 1st ave then live down past 8th.

  80. Craig

    Mike, don’t listen to shorts. He/she is against any purchase of real estate because he/she thinks the market will drop another 20% and that his/her rent will never be raised. According to the comps I cited you did very well. Your 10 minute walk to the PATH is one of the best things about your location instead of having to wait on the side of the street for a bus (which especially sucks during winter or late weekend nights). Congratulations on your purchase and enjoy your new home.

  81. Kandeep

    I rent to properties in hoboken, one that is 500 sq ft and one that is 525 sq feet and they both rent for between 1300-1500 depending on the market. So you be fine if you want to rent later on as well. Shortsell you don’t know anything about the market, Hoboken always has people willing to rent which makes the real estate market never as down as everywhere else.

  82. carl

    Mike–Just don’t walk North

  83. shortsequalmarket

    Robbie

    I respect different tastes. So I guess there is some demand for 1st and Harrison. However for me, there is a lot of traffic with very little in walking distance. The NW has more parks, supermarkets, and even 10th and Willow restaurant.

    Kandeep, not sure why you told me I had no clue. I said it might be hard to cover a $1,400 payment and then you confirm that to be true. I do not think realizing one month of vacancy and $1,000 worth of repairs is unrealistic per year. Therefore with flat prices this place is a long term money drain as a rental.

  84. guest

    Robbie – how well do you know Hoboken? It’s 1st Street, not 1st Ave.

  85. L&S

    $1,000 of repairs a year!! I guess that is based on how you care of the place you rent. Remind me to never rent my place to you.
    Your estimates for everything is always to the downside which is why your arguements are always discounted. I have rented my place for the last 4 years and cumulative expense has been less then $200 for repairs ( a blocked toilet twice)..

  86. lori

    I have to agree that %$1,000 a year in repairs is excessive. What you do need to factor in is that if you hold a rental property for 20 years you will eventually have to renovate to continue to maximize the rent you can obtain.

  87. Craig

    607 1st Street is between Monroe and Jackson, it’s not on Harrison. That location is about a 10 minute walk to Washington Street and there is plenty of retail along the 1st street corridor, so I’m not sure how shorts can credibly argue there isn’t much within walking distance. Lastly, if shorts thinks $1,000/yr. in repairs is realistic, one has to wonder if that’s what she/he’s costing his landlord in repairs a year. If so, I don’t think shorts will be offered a renewal when his/her lease is up.

  88. stan

    LS-

    from your experience over the last four years do you miss any months of rent with changing tenants or do you have one lined up when the old one moves out. thx

  89. L&S

    i am a bad example, i changed tentants only once – so have been very very lucky. Since that switch happened after a year I did not need to repaint the place or anything major. I had the new tenant lined up but there was a 15 day gap.

    Shorts – notice, I did not give the bull story but admitted that I am probably the exception and not the rule when it comes to renting your place

  90. laki

    My 2 cents.

    $1,000 per year in “repairs” is probably too low for a typical hoboken condo. The wear-and-tear on a place over the long run has to average more than $1K per year, even though you might not incur that cost most of the years… i.e. you might have 10 years of very low cost like ($100 per year) and then in year 10 you’d have like 10K of cost… If this wasn’t true you’d be seeing plenty of buildings that are 200 years old. But you don’t, because after X amount of years the place just wears out and it is not worth much so it gets gutted or even completely leveled so that a new building can be built. If you were to do constant work on the place to keep it in the same condition as it was originally, you’d be incurring a non-trivial amount of cost over the long run. Think about all the things that are “wrong” with most buildings that are 100+ years old. Think logically about how you would incorporate that deterioration in the total cost of ownership.

    Kinda like buying a new car. Even if you don’t spend any money “repairing” it, the true cost of maintenance is incorporated in the constant bleeding of market value because each and every day the car is worth slightly less than the day before because of the wear and tear.

  91. Lori

    As a landlord of multiple properties I have to disagree with you Laki. For example, I have been renting out a unit in a luxury condo in Manhattan for about 15 to 20 years. During that time span my rent has increased from around $1,800 to over $3,200. I’ve done no work. None. I’ve replaced filters in the a/c unit. They cost about $2 at home depot. It’s a 25 year old building. I am now redoing the floors and kitchen which will cost about $10,000. I’m doing it only because it will be a bit of a guarantee that my unit not go vacant a month given that it’s a building with hundreds of units so there is some competition. (It never has). So I make a $10,000 capital improvement which goes into my basis and makes my property worth that much more if and when I sell, at a very considerable profit I might add.

  92. Lori

    PS – you don’t see any 200 year old buildings in Hoboken because the majority of the older brownstones were built in the 1890s to 1920s. Do you live here?

  93. L&S

    Lori – completely agree with you, it is called depreciation and capitalized expenditure. BTW – those expenses will be incurred whether you own and live in the place or rent the place out. The only incremental expense if you rent is if the renter does not take care of the place or if your the renter turnover is high because of which you need paint the place more often.

  94. Laki

    Lori,

    Just to make numbers round, say an apartment is worth 300K. You seem to be saying that apartment should not incur $1K of wear-and-tear in a year? $1K per year is 300 Years. Let me repeat that: 300 years! I would guess that if one doesn’t maintain the building in 300 years the building itself would collapse and would not be worth more than the land that it is is sitting on.

    For your Manhattan building – are you paying any Maintenance fees and if so what are those fees going towards?

    Also if Hoboken didn’t have any buildings more than 110 years ago – lets look at the world. How many buildings exist out there that haven’t been re gutted or re-constructed at least several times that have been around for 200-300-400 hundred years? Out of all the brownstones in Hoboken how many have not had any major work done on them and out of those how many are in good shape? How many of them will be in a good shape if no work is done on them in another 50 years?

    Just some food for thought.

  95. L&S

    Laki – HOw is your example different if you own the place or rent it out.? Shorts – implied that renting the place will cost you $1,000 a year of incremental cost when compared to owning a place. What point are you trying to make? We all know that a house fixtures depreciate in value infact the life of most appliances is 10-12years..

    If you are implying that the renter does not have to bear this cost then you dont have a clue how rents work..

    Owners who rent the place out look at the rent minus expenses (expenses include interest, tax, condo fees, etc). In Hoboken rent does cover these expenses and leave you extra for principal paydown, at least mine does, will not speak for the mkt.

  96. Laki

    L&S I wasn’t trying to point anything out just that $1,000 per year of “repairs” is conservative over a true long run. I haven’t said anything above and beyond that in this thread.

    But there are clear differences when you own vs rent. When you own a place you pay taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance, if you have a tenant you take on a risk of that tenant not making payments (frequently takes a year to kick them out), etc. There are many more things to consider here than simply looking at a mortgage payment vs rent payment. Off course owning has its benefits too (such as interest detectability).

    If you rent your annual rent is pretty much your only cost (unless you trash the place in which case your security deposit is gone). There is very little to worry about past making your monthly payment. Owning is a bit more complicated.

  97. L&S

    Laki – of course owning is more complicated. Will give you that however at the end of day, the renter is paying for my principal and I will own an asset that has value, maybe lower than today but more then what i paid for it, since my equity was the initial down pmt, the rest is paid by the renter.

    The $1,000 estimate was in response to Shorts suggesting that if you own and rent a place out you will incurr $1,000 of incremental cost. I am stressing the word incremental.

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