I saw in interesting listing pop up on the MLS the other day. It was for a property at the SkyClub. For those of you not familiar, the complex is comprised of two tower buildings with a lobby that connects the towers. This particular listing was in the western building and the windows faced due west. The photos showed a bright sunny apartment, looking out on open blue sky. But if you look really carefully at the picture of the sunny terrace, you can see a yellow tractor down below.
Now, the tractor is there (or was there) because a 12-story rental building was constructed on that spot – right across the street from this terrace. The new building is close that you can ‘reach out and touch someone’. That open, sunny view you see in the photos is gone. Nothing in the remarks mentions that the view is gone or that the light is blocked or that the photos are from before the building was constructed.
Personally, if I were a buyer and walked into a property based on having seen photos of it portrayed a certain way and the property was in reality nothing like the photos I would be very disappointed. I’d also have some issues with the credibility of that listing agent. If they “forgot” to mention that the property is now directly across from a 12 story tower, what else might they have forgotten?
I’ve seen this sort of think happen quite a bit in Hoboken. Sometimes, there is a tenant living in the property so the agent uses photos from when it was previously owner occupied. Sometimes the owners have moved out so the agent uses photos from when it was furnished. I’ve even seen “virtual staging” where the furniture and decor are computer generated into an empty unit. I can’t help but feel that when these changes from reality are portrayed, it ought to be disclosed. After all, isn’t that truth in advertising? Don’t consumers want to know what they are looking at is not the real deal? I certainly do! What do you all think?
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In the decade I’ve been selling Hoboken condos and another 25 years of investing in real estate in the NYC area I’ve never seen a market like the one we are in now. What is so fascinating to me is that I don’t believe this is a bubble. This incredible upward spiral in pricing is purely a result of basic economics. No supply and ever increasing demand for bigger units. Even with new Hoboken condos coming onto the market every day, they sell even faster than they are listed so the inventory never builds up.
Hoboken is a great place to live. The City continues to become more desirable and more people wish to stay here for longer and longer. Improvements have been made under Mayor Zimmer and by the current administration which, now that the deadlock on the City Council is gone, has even more ability to work for our future than in the past. Life in Hoboken is likely to continue to improve as we intelligently deal with our flooding problems, come up with viable transportation solutions, just say no to overdevelopment and continue to improve the schools.
I see these “learn about the ‘burbs” seminars and shudder at the memory of days when I commuted for an hour each way from the ‘burbs to my job as an attorney in the city. Let’s face it – it’s never really only half an hour and unless your driver is chauffeuring you in your limo, commuting sucks.
I’m seeing multiple offers on every single decent property. I’m seeing accepted bids of 5% and more over asking price, often all cash. I’m working with some understandably, very frustrated buyers.
This surge is not limited to Hoboken. We were in New Orleans a few weeks ago and the same thing is happening in the desirable neighborhoods there. We stopped to visit with a friend in Roanoke, Virginia and picked up a local paper with articles about a crazy market in Northern Virginia. Of course, we all know it’s nuts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I think some of the demand is coming from young buyers who would have bought in Brooklyn but were priced out of the better areas.
Interest rates remain extremely low, the economy and stock market are doing well and there is no reason to think things are going to change much any time soon. If you are selling, you are lucky. If you are buying, you need a knowledgable and experienced agent to guide you through these turbulent waters. Give me a call if you’d like my help.
Here is the February chart:
So what do all these numbers mean? Here is my take away:
- Sales prices are up 20% from a year ago. 20%!!!
- Fewer properties are getting listed (down 11%) but more are selling (up 33%).
- An average discount off list of under 1% means list price is where the bargaining begins and goes up from there.
- With the average price per square foot at $586 you should be calculating based on $600 if it’s a nicer than average property (i.e., elevator, parking, w/d, outdoor space). One bedroom prices are already over 600 as smaller units typically are more on a per square foot basis than larger ones.
The market is moving as we speak and appraisals are an issue as appraisers use historical comps and prices are set going forward. That means cash is king. If a buyer is not able to come up with the funds to bridge the gap between a possible low appraisal (which means almost every nice property) and the agreed upon sales price, that buyer is not going to get the deal.
Have you been experiencing this competitiveness in the market? Would love to hear your stories.
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The Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up – Hoboken Residential Sales and Activity for the Week of March 5th, 2014
As of March 5, 2014:
- 159 active Hoboken listings
- 149 Condo & Co-op listings, compared to 149 last week
- 4 Single-family listings, compared to 4 last week
- 6 Multi-family listings, compared to 6 last week
This Week’s Residential Property Sales & Activity:
- 22DABOs (Deposit Accepted By Owner and Under Contract)
- 18 Sold
- 37 New listings vs. 35 last week
- 6 Price changes vs. 3 last week
- 2 expired listings vs. 0 last week
Studio & 1-Bedroom Properties
88 Active listings
20 New listings
3 Price changes
- 423 Adams St., 3A listed jan 24 for $329K;
- 108 Madison St., 2A listed Feb 14 for $359K;
- 79 Monroe St., 2RN listed Nov 15 for $359K;
- 1204 Washington St., 2N listed Feb 28 for $399K;
- 931 Willow Ave., 7 listed Jan 22 for $450K; reduced Feb 4 to $400K;
- 300 Newark St., 2C listed Feb 19 for $455K;
- 1500 Hudson St., 3K listed Feb 11 for $470K;
- 600 1st St., 10 listed Feb 20 for $579K;
- 150 14th St., 402 listed Feb 10 for $729K;
- 1025 Maxwell Ln., 211 listed Dec 2 for $745K;
- 1125 Maxwell Ln., 1226 listed Feb 18 for $899K;
- 417 Adams St., 1R listed Sept 25 for $299K; reduced Oct 8 to $284K; reduced Oc 31 to $273K; sold for $265K;
- 120 Monroe St., 3R listed Nov 25 for $279K; sold for $277K;
- 129 Willow Ave., 1R listed Dec 14 for $400K; sold for $395K;
- 725 Jefferson St., 28 listed Nov 20 for $439K; reduced Dec 5 to $429K; sold for $429K;
- 1325 Adams St., 602 listed Nov 19 for $449K; sold for $443K;
44 Active listings
14 New listings
3 Price changes
- 129 Clinton St., 3 listed Jan 10 for $410K;
- 316 Hudson St., 4A/F listed Feb 19 for $429K;
- 723 Willow Ave., 3L listed Jan 17 for $485K;
- 812 Grand St., 305 listed Feb 20 for $559K;
- 729 Madison St., 1C listed Feb 19 for $559K;
- 830 Monroe St., 6B listed Mar 3 for $570K;
- 1023 Clinton St., 5A listed Feb 18 for $619K;
- 904 Jefferson St., 4F listed Dec 29 for $650K; reduced Jan 21 to $625K;
- 122 Madison St., 5 listed Feb 21 for $639K;
- 659 1st St., 501 listed Feb 6 for $650K;
- 109 Harrison St., 502 listed Feb 19 for $825K;
- 1011 Willow Ave., 2L/3 listed Nov 7 for $425K; sold for $433K;
- 64 Monroe St., 2 listed Nov 12 for $460K; sold for $460K;
- 610 Newark St., 6E listed Dec 19 for $489K; sold for $489K;
- 1107 Washington St., 2 listed July 1 for $609K; reduced Sept 16 to $599K; rreduced Oct 25 to $559K; sold for $520K;
- 77 River St., 18 listed Jan 7 for $559K; sold for $550K;
- 421 Madison St., 2 listed Nov 13 for $599K; sold for $585K;
- 74 Monroe St., 1 listed Dec 4 for $629K; sold for $629K;
- 124 Jefferson St., B listed Nov 30 for $825K; reduced Dec 21 to $810K; sold for $810K;
- 1450 Washington St., 204 listed Nov 21 for $980K; sold for $970K;
- 1500 Garden St., 6K listed Feb 24 for $1.325M; sold for $1.300M;
3-Bedroom & Larger Properties
17 Active listings
3 New listings
0 Price changes
6 Multi-Family Active listings
4 Single-Family Active listings
- 626 Grand St., 4 listed Nov 18 for $750K; sold for $750K;
- 207 6th St., listed Sept 27 for $915K; sold for $950K;
- 263 4th St., listed June 4 for $1.595M; reduced June 27 to $1.525K; sold for $1.395K;
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