Before I get into lots of end-of-year analysis, I thought I’d post the regular monthly figures as I always do. So what do all these numbers mean, you may wonder? What I see is a strong end to the year. When you look at the quarterly results this strong finish becomes even more apparent. (See the graph below). We have experienced four consecutive quarters of increased average sales price. The 4th quarter of 2012 ended almost 10% higher than last year. That’s pretty great no matter how you look at it. Still, the most striking change I’ve seen in the Hoboken market has been the shrinking inventory. There simply are not that many units for sale today. I suspect a few agents out there are going to have a hard time making a living this year. But that’s ok, the field could use some weeding out.
On the negative side, there is still one real road block I believe we must confront. It is one that is very particular to our market given the number of young, first-time home buyers in Hoboken. Buyers simply cannot get a mortgage if they don’t have 20% saved up for their down payment. Many would-be buyers have not been in “saving mode” and have nowhere near what they need to get a loan. It has hurt our one bedroom market more than any other. The less-than-perfect one bedroom condos – the older, walk-up units in run down buildings and on the west side of Hoboken are hurting the most. I don’t know how those buyers are suddenly going to come up with the 50 to 60k they need. Many of the potential sellers decide to rent instead as most of these units still can command decent rents. But that is a whole other story.
I’ll be attending an exciting and very interesting real estate and technology conference this coming week. Some of the presenters include the Managing Director of Customer Research for the New York Times, the Director of PR and Social Media for Century 21, the Chief Economist of both Zillow and Trulia, the CEO of Evernote, The CEO of Realogy (they own C21, Coldwell, etc.) the CEO of Realtor.com,the Director of Marketing for Corcoran,the founder of Curbed.com, the Director of Marketing for C21, and Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group and NYC restaurant fame. I’m hoping to learn a thing or two.