2011 Sep 28th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of September 28th

What’s Happening in the Hoboken Market?

This is the single most asked question I hear.  The 3rd quarter results will be surprising to many.

Overall, some pretty significant improvement over the past few years.  My buyers are often surprised when they are out-bid on a nice property but it happens all the time, especially in the larger and higher end properties.  Sure, there is volatility in the stock market.  It doesn’t always carry over into the housing market, though.    Interest rates are ridiculously low – often under 5%.  Sure it’s hard to get a loan if you have bad credit and don’t have a 20% down payment.  That hurts the first-time, one-bedroom buyer in Hoboken much more than the families who have outgrown their starter condo and are looking to trade up to a place where they can raise two kids.  It’s all about supply and demand.  The market is telling us too many buyers out there are looking for the same home – a nice 1500 square foot 3 bedroom (or convertible 2) with parking, central air, an elevator, maybe some outdoor space and a location without too much traffic or crime.  There simply are not enough of them in Hoboken.  What’s changed?  Hoboken is a great place to live (that is has been for a while) and a great place to grow up.  The desire to get out of town as soon as your kids are school age has ended.  People don’t want an hour or more commute.  They don’t want to live in the ‘burbs” when they can have Hoboken.  Many of them are willing to pay top dollar for that lifestyle.

The quarterly stats will be posted at the beginning of October.

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This Week’s Condo Sales & Activity:

1 Bedroom & Studio Condos

7 new listings

5 price reductions

132 active

3 dabos

3 sold

2 Bedroom Condos

20 new listings

8 price reductions

172 active

4 Dabos

15 sold

3 Bedroom & Bigger Condos

3 new listings

5 price reductions

32 active

1 dabo

2 sold

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  1. Craig

    I agree with Lori that teh Hoboken market is starting to look up and the demand is there for top-notch properties. I do think the older rowhouses without modern floorplans and amenties are still at a disadvantage compared to newer buildings. But it’s only a matter of time before we’re back to the days of people lining up to buy whatever they can get in Hoboken.

  2. homeboken

    Craig – I think you may be overlooking some of the macro-economic trends occuring right now.

    There have been numerous articles recently about the increasing trend of renting over owning. On top of that, the financial sector had an absolutely brutal 3rd quarter. Layoffs are being spread over the next 12 months at every firm and bonuses will be down significantly.

    My take is that we are in the “eye” of the storm and that there will still be some more downside in the next 24 months. If Hoboken pricing remains flat, we will be one of the lucky spots in the real estate market.

  3. homeboken

    One counter point – I see a 1200 sqft 2 BR, waterfront, elevator building with 24 doorman price below $500k. That is starting to look attractive to me.

  4. Craig

    @Homeboken – This area has always been mostly renters. I think something like 70% of Hoboken’s population rents and probably more than that in NYC. So renting over owning has always been the norm here as opposed to a trend. That’s nothing new and is hardly a referendum on the health of the local market. The downside you perhaps nationally foresee doesn’t apply to NYC – and Hoboken is tied to that market.

    The fact is Hoboken is a mile away from NYC. Layoffs may come and go but there will always be enough gainfully-employed people there who will want to live here to maintain demand. Lori reports average price per sq. ft. is $472. I paid $385/sq. ft. in early 2010, so I’m pretty confident that the market is headed in a positive direction.

    As for that waterfront 2 BR elevator building with 24 doorman you see below $500k – there’s a catch. Wait until you learn what the monthly maintenance is.

  5. Lori

    70%? Where did that number come from? Does it include subsidized housing like Church Square & Marine View? I doubt that 70% rent in non-subsidized housing today.

    The unit Homeboken is talking about is at 2 Constitution. The maintenance is almost $600 a month and that does not include parking, storage or the gym – all of which cost extra. Those fees are really hurting that building. We have had several 2brs close in there in the high 400 and low 500k range in the past few years. Taxes are also very high on most of the units though they may be able to be appealed.

  6. Craig

    That number came from the 2000 Census which has the renter-occupied percentage at 77.36% and the 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate that pegs it at 67.5%. I guestimated that when the final 2010 number is released it will be somewhere in the middle of those two figures. Presumedly the subsidized rental buildings are included as I’m pretty sure those people get counted in the Census too.

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