Back before the bubble burst, when I first started keeping track of active units on the market, there were about 150 Hoboken condos for sale at any given time. For example, in January of 2008 there were 145 condos for sale in Hoboken; in February 159; and in March 175. When Lehman crashed and the housing market fell apart, our inventory of condos for sale soared. By December of 2008 there were over 570 units for sale on the MLS.
Inventory stayed up in the 400’s and 500’s for the next two years. Was it due to lack of demand? Were buyers having problems getting financing? Very likely. What is interesting to me, however, is what has happened since that time. Right now, we are at a very low point in Hoboken condo inventory. Today there were only 264 condos for sale. That is about half of what we’ve been used to seeing. While demand may still be suppressed somewhat, due to tighter credit, in my experience there are still plenty of buyers out there looking for homes. The bigger issue I’ve noticed lately is that there are multiple offers on so many properties.
Of course, the 3 bedroom market in Hoboken is as tight as it has ever been. More and more families are choosing to stay in town and there simply are not enough 3 bedroom apartments. But I’m seeing competition for units heat up in the 2 bedroom market as well. Some of the scarcity may be driven by sellers who have chosen to rent their units out (and cover their carrying costs) rather than sell at a loss. But time after time this past month or two, every really nice two bedroom with parking, an elevator, and a good layout has had incredibly strong interest from the start. To me it feels like the tide is turning, at least in this part of the world.