2011 Mar 16th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of March 16th

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of March 16th, 2011

I’ve heard from various sources, like CNN Money, that rent hikes are on the way.  It will be interesting to see how that plays out in Hoboken with its archaic rent control rules.  At least the City Council amended them to impose a reasonable statute of limitations.  Meanwhile, it looks like sellers have lowered prices enough that things are starting to sell with very few price reductions.  The warm weather is just around the corner.  Let’s see if that brings the buyers out in force.

Tax Appeals – Time is Running Out!

I’m still happy to send you comps if you are appealing your own taxes.  Let me be really clear about something, though.  If your taxes are not too high, you shouldn’t file an appeal. I’ve gotten several requests from people whose assessment is well below what it should be.  Keep in mind that the City has a 15% margin of error. If your assessment does not multiply out to at least 15% over the current market value of your property, you are not likely to be successful in an appeal. The “upper limit” multiplier for Hoboken is .3407. To see where you are at, take your assessed value and divide by .3407. For example, if your assessed value is $175,000, the result would be $513,648. Your property value based on the comps must be less than $513k to win an appeal. You can get more details on tax appeals and forms at the Hudson County Tax Board website.

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Here is this week’s condo sales report:

Disclaimer: The data relating to real estate transactions on this web site comes in part from the Hudson County MLS. While some of these listings are, in fact, our listings they are not ALL our listings nor do we hold them out as such. Century 21 Listings are identified with “C21″ after the address. Other listings are from the MLS and are identified with “MLS” after the address. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

8 new listing

4 Dabos

1 Sold

6 price reductions

143 Total Active 1BRs

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

15 new listings

7 Dabos

4 sold

12 price reductions

197 Total Active 2BRs

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

2 new listings

No DABOs

1 Sold

3 price reductions

39 Total Active 3BRs

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. bz

    Is there a central place for rental listings? How can I track Hoboken rental market?

  2. lorilol

    I am afraid Hoboken rental market will have even lesser impact on buying activity now. If buying apartment is even = renting apartment, then most people would prefer rent due to general insecurity with a job market, general lack of $100,000 down-payment, and general insanity of Hoboken taxes. Even when landlords will start to ask $3000/month for 2+2 we have to consider that most of those dwellings are going to be occupied by roommates, who are not buyers. I expect own-to-rent ratio to be skewed towards rentals for quite some time.

  3. Tiger

    I have a question re: Maxwells, do you guys think those apartments are worth it? I know Toll Brothers are charging 1.1 Million for a non-city facing 2BRs unit, 1.8+ for a similar city facing unit. I also heard they are not discounting them too much. I just wonder, are they that good?

  4. Lori Turoff

    Re: Rentals – Since most of them are not on the MLS and many are not shared among brokerages there is no realistic way to track them. The Hoboken rental market is quite strong right now but I say that from experience, not data. I’ve seen and shared on twitter quite a few articles about rising rents in Manhattan as vacancies drop. I expect the same to continue to happen in Hoboken. Remember, though, that many rentals in Hoboken are subject to rent control but not the ones in the large, commercial rental buildings like the Shipyard.

    Re: Maxwells – people are willing to pay the price so someone thinks they are that good. I always tell my buyers, real estate is a two pronged decision-making process. One prong is the objective, financial side of the purchase. But the other is an emotional, subjective one. Some people really desire to live in a what is considered to be a status building with spacious apartments, City views, attended lobby, very nice amenities and services. They are willing to pay a premium for that. Have you been in the units with the directy City views? Wow.

    Other people think the price at Maxwells is not worth it as they don’t value those things that much. Or they don’t like the fact that every kitchen has the same cabinets, every bathroom the same sink & faucet, or that the ceilings are not 14 feet. What do they do? Well, some of them buy a loft at Harborside, Garden Street or Hudson Tea. I also read that Buddy Valastro’s mother ripped her Maxwell kitchen out and installed one more to her own personal taste. If you have the money, that is always an option.

    I, personally, would rather live in a unique brownstone with historic details and forgo the parking, elevator and gym and view but in return my dog, Sempai, has his own beautiful backyard. Different strokes. There is no one answer. Buying real estate is always a question of prioritizing your desires and making compromises – no matter how much you have to spend.

  5. Joe

    Seems like a lot of inventory is being held back–not just in Hoboken but in NYC and boroughs. Owners looking for higher prices I guess. I’m not sure as to why they think they will get them but who knows.

  6. Lori

    Or maybe people who would have used easy credit to upsized realize now they news to live within their means and are staying put.

  7. Tiger

    Lori: Thanks a lot, I agree with you! I think you and I have similar taste, I personally don’t like a doorman, gym, and pool; if I get the money I’d rather spend it on a one-of-a-kind brownstone with history. I love the fact that my 1BR has a lot of history and 13 ft ceilings, but to each his own.

    Joe: Phantom inventory has always been an arguement since the introduction of this blog :-), one can argue both ways; a lot of stuff is held back, a lot of qualified and ready buyers, both waiting for things to change. There is no winning with this one since there is no info. I think following this blog week to week gives a good idea of general trends.

  8. Craig

    Like Lori, I too think Hoboken’s rental market is closely tied to the performance of NYC’s and will thus start to see some increases. Both markets share the same traits: high demand and low vacancy rates.

    Ironically Hoboken’s rent controlled properties have been seeing annual increases all along while the market rate units have held the line on pricing or actually decreased during the economic downturn. Of course the RC units only increase at the rate of inflation (typically 1-2%), while market rate units often see as much as 10% increases at a pop.

    A good rent to buy ratio is considered 15, and that’s where Hoboken is now. So it is a good time to buy there. But that fact has little affect on the rental market because Hoboken has always been a rental town. What is it, like 70% of all residents in Hoboken rent rather than own? Renting is cheaper on a monthly basis up front, but after you calculate all the tax deductions, the cost is nearly the same on the back end. Buying has the benefit of insulating you from increased housing costs year after year. Yes, taxes go up annually, but then so does your tax deduction for them.

  9. Lori

    Craig – curious where you get that 70% figure and even more curious what part of the rental market in Hoboken is subsidized (i.e. Marine View, Applied, Church Square). That would really shed some light.

  10. Craig

    Lori, that 70% figure was a conservative educated guess, which is why I put it in the form of a question. The only data available is usually sourced from the 2000 census and is thus outdated. That 2000 data shows renter percentages varying from 73-77% depending on what reference source you use, such as hotpads.com or this document:

    http://www.arch.columbia.edu/files/gsapp/imceshared/sy2065/Hoboken-Demographics.pdf

    As for Hoboken’s subsidized rental market, in addition to the buildings you mentioned, the Housing Authority projects are on the list as well. The number of subsidized housing units is probably a small percentage of the total number of rental units in town.

  11. Lori

    Your guess is as good as any, Craig but my guess would differ. I’ve lived in Hoboken for 12 years and have spent 8 of them selling real estate. This is based solely on my observation, but I would bet that of the entire housing stock the breakdown is:

    50% to 60% condos & private homes
    20 to 30% subsidized housing (Applied, Marine View, Church Square & Section 8, i.e., the “projects”)
    10 to 20% luxury rentals exempt from rent control (all the Shipyard buildings, The Upper Grand, 1000 Jeff, 77 Park, etc.)
    10 to 20% rent controlled rentals

    Now I am on a mission to find out the real numbers.

  12. Craig

    You’re the pro Lori, so I defer to whatever data you can come up with. I too am curious as to the current actual numbers. One thing to keep in mind: Even if we assume 50-60% of the housing stock is condos and private homes, many of them are not owner-occupied. Those that are rented out count towards the overall percentage of renters in terms of who actually resides in Hoboken.

    For example: of the 8 units in my building, 7 are owner occupied, and one is rented out by its owner. So even though that rented condo has a private owner, it counts as a rental for residency status purposes, since the actual occupants don’t own it. There is a smattering of such rented units in condo buildings throughout town. Among condo buildings, you can count on the Sky Club as one having a large renter population because of all the non-occupying speculators who bought there. MLS and tax records won’t reveal such units as rented by its residents – only Census data will.

  13. Lori Turoff

    Well now I am really curious so I’m doing some investigating. I will let you know what I learn as I honestly don’t have the facts. I don’t know that anyone does. Yes, I agree, there are condos that are rented out. I don’t know how you can count those. It’s a big issue and it needs to come to light.

  14. bz

    What does it mean if a unit is under rent control? You can’t increase the rent beyond a certain %? I agree with Craig that many condo owners rent their home out. Are these units subject to rent control? Does the city know that they are now rental units?

  15. Craig

    Lori – I just went to the U.S. Census website and looked up the data. The 2010 data is not posted yet for Hoboken. The 2000 data revealed the following:

    Occupied housing units 19,418 (100.0%)
    Owner-occupied housing units 4,396 (22.6%)
    Renter-occupied housing units 15,022 (77.4%)

    http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_00_SF2_DP1&prodType=table

    Since 2000, much of the housing stock built has been condos rather than large rental buildings. But many of those newer condos are not owner-occupied. So I’m betting that the 2010 census results will reveal the percentage of renter residents in Hoboken still far outweighs owners. It’s likely the percentage of renters is still in the 70s range.

    bz – Hoboken’s Rent Leveling and Stabilization Ordinance, passed in 1973, limits how much a landlord of any multifamily building built before 1987 can raise the rent each year. Usually the increase is limited to between 1 and 7 percent, the amount of the federal Consumer Price Index. Landlords can also get 25% vacancy increases if a tentant vacates and at least 3 years have passed since the last vacancy. A percentage of some landlord costs such as sewage, water, and property tax increases can also be passed on to a tenant. Any housing built after 1987 is not covered by rent control and is priced at market rate.

  16. w

    rents in hoboken are high!

    a nice (NICE) two bed in a good location (i.e. walk to path) – $3250
    a nice two bed in an okay location – $2800
    a nice one bed in a good location – $2400
    a nice one bed in an okay location – $2100

    maybe more!

    P&I at todays rates if you borrower around 400K = $2,100 plus HOA plus taxes minus tax savings = buy!!

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