2012 Mar 7th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up – Hoboken Condo Sales and Activity for the Week of March 7th, 2012

This Week’s Condo Sales & Activity versus last week’s:

227 active Hoboken condo units – vs. 216 last week

  • 4 DABOs (Deposit Accepted By Owner i.e. under contract) vs. 8 last week
  • 20 Sold vs. 18 last week
  • 32 New listings vs. 23 last week
  • 11 Price change vs. 14 last week
  • 2 Expired listings vs. 6 last week

1 Bedroom & Studio Condos

16 New listings

4 Price Changes

100 Active


  • 72 Garden St., 4 listed July 7 for $280K; reduced Sept 7 to $270K; reduced Nov 7 to $260K; reduced Feb 7 to $250K;

8 Sold

  • 647 Garden St., 3E listed Aug 9 for $209K; reduced Dec 1 to $185K; sold for $160K;
  • 232 Park Ave., 5 listed Nov 14 for $266K; sold for $260K;
  • 235 Park Ave., 1 listed Jan 19 for $262K; sold for $275K;
  • 515 Willow Ave., 6 listed May 20 for $300K; reduced July 7 to $299K; sold for $290K;
  • 1001 Clinton St., 3B listed Nov 14 for $309K; sold for $295K;
  • 210 2nd St., 3 listed Oct 27 for $349K; sold for $325K;
  • 133 Jackson St., 5A listed Nov 30 for $349K sold for $340K;
  • 1125 Maxwell Ln., 440 listed Dec 16 for $650K; sold for $629K;

2 Bedroom Condos

15 New listings

5 Price changes

101 Active


  • 556 1st St., 11 listed Feb 20 for $349K;
  • 700 1st St., 12K listed Feb 20 for $429K;
  • 1034 Clinton St., 204 listed Jan 10 for $490K;

10 Sold

  • 708-710 Willow Ave., 3B  listed Oct 27 for $349K; sold for $325K;
  • 1110 Park Ave., 5R listed Nov 30 for $349K; sold for $340K;
  • 314 Hudson St., BSMT listed May 11 for $399K; sold for $368K;
  • 700 1st St., 4P listed Oct 24 for $440K; sold for $420K;
  • 83 Monroe St., 3A listed Oct 21 for $475K; reduced Jan 11 to $465K; sold for $460K;
  • 800 Jackson St., 408 listed Sept 19 for $519K; reduced Oct 13 to $508K; sold for $478K;
  • 81 Jackson St., 4C listed Nov 14 for $549K; sold for $515K;
  • 650 2nd St., 5F listed June 7 for $550K; reduced Sept 23 to $520K; sold for $525K;
  • 1118 Hudson St., 2 listed Nov 30 for $595K; sold for $582K;
  • 600 Hudson St., 2C listed Jan 6 for $879K; sold for $760K;

3 Bedroom & Bigger Condos

1 new listing

2 Price changes

26 Active

2 sold
  • 415 Madison St., 2 listed Dec 8 for $585K; sold for $560K;
  • 222 Hudson St., 1 listed June 24 for $800K; reduced Nov 1 to $749K; sold for $685K;
  1. Randy

    Hi Lori,

    It looks like a new building is going up in Pavonia Newport east of Target. Is this a condo building?

  2. HobokenRes

    How did 1001 Clinton St. 3B listed Nov 14 sell for $295K and back in dec unit 6B (identical unit) sold for $355? Is that a typo? why a 50k difference? This is a comp killer.

  3. Dane

    HobokenRes,look at the asking price for 1001 Clinton St – $309K. So, if the seller priced it at that knowing that an identical unit sold for $50K more only months ago it has to have some reason (i.e. old appliances, bad floor, etc.)

    This has always been my issues with comps…they almost never work out because each unit is SO different (even more so in this area than in most places in the country).

    Another example of a unit that is VERY difficult to get comps for is 402 9th st. (the penthouse duplex). They are pricing it as a 2000 sq ft. unit, however when you look at it, 500 sq ft of it is really just a “bonus” room (i.e. no windows, no closet, etc.). When I talked to the realitors about this, they said the best they can do is use comps for the same sq ft. because that’s all they have to go by. However, when you look at the unit its obviously a flaw in thhe pricing/marketing/comps.

    Lori, do you have a better way of addressing comps? It just seems like such an outdated methodology.

  4. Lori

    Re: 1001 Clinton:
    For one thing, the prior unit which sold for the higher price had parking while this one did not. That’s a 20k differential right there. The higher priced unit had brand new appliances, the other had very old appliances. That’s worth something. The higher priced unit was on the top (6th) floor, the other on the 3rd – also worth something because the top floor has no one walking above you and much more light. So there are real differences to account for some of the spread.

    Beyond that, I believe both were investment properties with tenants in them. Investors have very different motivations than sellers who are living in the property. So there may be some valid justifications for the difference. All that being said, I think 3B went for under market-value. Someone got lucky.

    Re: comps in general:
    One of the differentiating characteristics of a good realtor and a bad realtor is his or her ability to understand what “like” properties means. Whomever said the best they can do is use comps of the same square footage does not sound like a very good, wise, competent realtor. While most properties do have similar units against which to compare and evaluate them, some properties are more unique. Part of my job, as an educated and experienced agent, is to be able to appropriately value the differences between units. (See paragraph above). Using a rule about square footage is not the way to do it. Often times, there is a judgement call involved. Valuations are somewhat subjective and arriving at a valid one takes skill.

    The same is true for appraisals. I often see appraisers use comps in an appraise which simply are not, in my opinion, really comps. Recently an appraiser used a walk-up on Monroe as a comp for a first floor unit with a backyard on Hudson. Apples and Oranges.

    The bottom line is, if you really know your market inside and out, like I do, there are ways to find truly comparable properties.

  5. Dane

    Thanks Lori. Can I ask you about the specific property at 402 9th street? It’s being listed for $825K and a little over 2,000 sq. ft. However, the 2nd fl. (its a duplex) goes to a 500 sq ft. room with no windows (there’s a skylight though), no closet, and no door.

    How would you price something like that? I consider it more of a “bonus” room, but the seller is insistant on counting the sq ft the same as the rest of the unit. The seller is also marketing it as a “potential” 3 BR (including that upstairs), but can it legally be marketed that way with no windows or doors to the outside (my understanding is that the room, at a bare minimum needs some escape to the outside in case of an emergency).

    Lori, have you seen this unit? How would you price something like this…or even find a comp since its such an unusual space. Thanks.

  6. HobokenRes

    3B is 60k not 50k below 6B – i can’t clearly subtract!

    I totally missed the parking spot – it makes up about 20k, but then 40k difference for just appliances + a few floors? I would say someone could fetch 25k for the renovations + a few floors above. So my guess is they got it about 15k below market – someone did get lucky, but it hurts other comps…

    Now when someone goes to sell another similar unit in the building, a good Realtor (like yourself Lori), can probably determine the correct market value as you know Hoboken well. But these days there is the local market price (determined by local buyers, sellers and realtors) and then there is another valuation market – the appraiser market. The appraiser market uses a more “scientific and systematic” way to determining the appraised market value. It contains too many individuals who don’t know local markets well enough that is resulting in a very different comp than that of the local market. Appraisers use pre-programmed software with “global” rules that don’t align to a local market (I’ve seen some of the outputs of the logic – its bad).

    Bad comps are coming out of the appraiser market to often and are now having a large influence on the local market place than we all think. This is becoming more apparent due to new regulations specifically to Freddie and Fannie back loans – here are a few articles:



    So now go back to apt 3b. An appraiser can use this below market comp and essentially force someone to put more money down when they really don’t need to. Perhaps a realtor can “help” (and i use that word very loosely) during an actual sale to influence the appraisers decision, but who can help during a re-fi? Effectively, owners who re-fi get screwed unless they really know what they are doing and can properly educate the appraiser.

    Low interest rates are not enough these days – the appraisal market is influencing the liquidity of local market. Individuals may not have that extra 5-10% to put down and it kills the deal. When you go to purchase and re-fi you need to know for sure bank is using a local appraiser who will be familiar with your market. Otherwise there will be a higher probability that your closing will not go through.

    On the positive side, someone can now use this comp to get their property tax lowered!

    I don’t think there is enough being said as to what’s going on in the appraisal market – while the reform laws had a good intent to prevent higher improper valuations of the past, it is now having an adverse effect.

    Just my 2 cents! 🙂

  7. Lori

    HobokenRes – I agree with you 100%.

    Low “comp killers” hurt the market value of other units in the same building. If a seller is worried about this they can wait to sell. Appraisers go back only 3 months to pull their comps. Chances are high that other sales will come along at higher values. A seller can always challenge a low appraisal by paying for another and providing other comps.

    Short sales and foreclosures often sell for below market rate. The same problem arises. Think about the downward spiral this causes – especially in a location where the bulk of the properties in the area are distressed. Not a good situation.

    As for getting ones taxes lowered with a low comp that depends. If you aren’t paying more than you should be it may not help. I have heard that a Hoboken-wide re-evaluation is in our near future.

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