2011 Feb 8th

Does Hoboken Condo Size Matter?

January Hoboken Condo Sales Results

I have a new format for the monthly condo sale numbers.  I hope you like it.  The first chart shows this January versus last January and the percentage change year-over-year.  The second chart breaks this months results down by condo size so there is a column for studio and 1 bedroom condos, one for 2 bedroom condos and the last for 3 bedroom and larger condos.  I think it’s interesting to look at the market this way.  The supply of three bedroom and bigger units so drastically smaller than the others.  Meanwhile the number of families looking for larger properties keeps growing.  Have you seen the census results?

There is no question from the above that prices in general are down from last year.  The light at the end of the tunnel may be that the number of new units hitting the market is also way down – by more than half – yet the pace at which they are selling seems to be constant.  Recovery in housing is all about soaking up the unsold inventory.  We may be doing that here in Hoboken.

Looking at the second chart, I find it interesting that the price per square foot seems backwards.  Typically one would pay more per square foot for a small condo and less for a big condo.  The theory is that there is a point of diminishing returns for the extra space so the extra size is cheaper than the bare minimum.  Here that’s not the case.  I think that goes back to my point that there are a dearth of large condos for sale in Hoboken but a big demand for them.  I think it also is influenced by the quality of those apartments.  The older, more run down properties that just don’t sell tend to be in the small 100+ year old buildings that were converted to condos from rentals.  Odd floor plans, narrow living rooms, flights of stairs and lack of amenities has caused the price of these properties to take more of a hit, in my opinion, than the new construction condos that offer parking, elevators and gyms.

Please let me know what you think.  Do you like the new format?  Shoot me an email at [email protected] or fill out the little pop up box at the bottom of your screen.

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  1. Craig

    I definitely prefer the new format. I complaint of mine was that where real estate stats were concerned in Hoboken, averages were always lumped into one number. That shouldn’t be, because 1, 2, and 3 bedroom properties have vastly different pricing that skew each other if lumped into one stat. Further, the buyers for one of these types is not cross-shopping the other. Thus, any relevant stats for each should be reported separately.

    I definitely agree that the older housing stock is not moving, but the larger new inventory goes fast. I could have saved $100k by choosing an older building. But I’ll end up with a bigger return on my investment in the future thanks to my 1300 sq. ft. unit with the desired finishes and amenities in a modern elevator building.

  2. jC

    Great format and i too was surprised about the backwards sq footage pricing. Also i agree most 3BRs are updated in comparison to 1BR’s. I look forward to seeing the Q to Q and year to year stats going forward broken down like this.

  3. Realist

    You are using the wrong denominator in your % change calculation. For example, DABOs dropping 20 from 2010 is a decline of 32.7%, not 48.7% shown in your table. The table should be rerun for accuracy.

  4. Lori Turoff

    Woops – so sorry about that. It is correct now. Thanks for picking up on my error.

  5. Realist

    Thanks and I forgot to mention that the data are very helpful to see.

  6. Lori Turoff

    I’m glad everyone likes the new format. Going forward, I will try to provide more analysis on a size-based basis. Of course, it’s three times the work for me!

  7. D$

    Love the new format!

    Interesting that the 3BR median is so much higher
    than the mean. Is this skewed by some Maxwell, Garden St., Harborside sales?

    Also interesting the DOM for 3 BR is not too much shorter than the others. Doesn’t support the notion that buyers for these properties are out in force (relative to 1BR and 2BR) …

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