Friday, October 30, 2009

Hoboken Jersey City Monthly Real Estate Stats Update October, 2009

Absorption Rate
October, 2009

Hoboken: 35.03

Jersey City: 46.62

Pending Sales-DABOs
October, 2009

Hoboken: 153.75

Jersey City: 103

Average Price Per Square Foot-Hoboken
October, 2009

1BR: $508.24
2BR: $468.04
3BR: $505.00

Average Price Per Square Foot-Downtown Jersey City
October, 2009

1BR: $548.67
2BR: $477.15

Downtown Jersey City Sales Update 10/30/09

Hoboken Sales Update 10/30/09

Pending Sales Update 10/30/09

Pending sales for Hoboken 10/30/09

158 dabos vs. 145 last week (8.97% increase)

Pending sales for downtown Jersey City 10/30/09

110 dabos vs. 95 last week (15.97% increase)

Absorption Rate Update 10/30/09

There was a significant drop this week in the absorption rates for Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. This is due to the increase in first time home buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 home buyer tax credit as well as buyers starting to realize that the recession is coming to an end. This belief that the recession is coming to and end in turn will drive more buyers to the market, effectively increasing demand for homes and driving prices up from their current levels.

Absorption Rate for Hoboken 10/30/09:

25.9 vs. 37.53 last week (30.9% decrease)

Absorption Rate for downtown Jersey City 10/30/09:

37.80 vs. 48.27 last week (21.7% decrease)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Projects Set to Start For 2010 in Hoboken and Downtown Jersey City New Construction Sales to Rise 50%

Here's an interesting excerpt from a recent New York Post article on new development slated to begin in 2010 in the Hoboken and downtown Jersey City areas.

I find that it's a positive sign when developers are now ready to jump back into the market.

There has been a lot of talk of the market declining slightly towards the end of this year, with prices rebounding for the 1st half of 2010. As someone in the trenches in Hoboken, I haven't seen this to be the case.

Also looking to the future is Hoboken’s Fields Development Group, which, says principal James Caulfield, plans to start next year on three new projects: a 30-plus-unit building in Hoboken and 130-unit and 22-unit buildings in Jersey City.

“Interest rates are low and construction costs are stable,” Caulfield says, explaining his plans to build through the downturn. And with fewer developers now active, he expects there to be less inventory to compete with when his projects come to market in two to three years.

As for selling in the here and now, Caulfield is trying a unique approach with his firm’s new 76-unit Jersey City condo building, the Saffron: He’s taking it straight to auction.

In August, Fields auctioned off all eight units in its Hoboken development 1300 Park. The event drew several hundred people, and after starting with suggested opening bids of $150,000, the apartments (originally priced from $419,000 to $619,000) sold at prices ranging from $401,000 to $449,000. Impressed by the results, Caulfield decided to apply the approach with the Saffron. Sales there kick off with a Nov. 8 auction at which nine units will be up for grabs, with suggested opening bids starting at $175,000.

Also launching sales this fall is phase two of Jersey City development the Beacon, where 25 full- and half-floor lofts are coming to market at prices starting under $300 a square foot.

For those looking to buy, it could make sense to take the plunge soon, says Otteau Group president Jeffery Otteau. Inventory levels suggest that prices in Hoboken and Jersey City might still decline somewhat, he notes, but he anticipates the market will strengthen moving into 2010.

“Our expectation is that new-construction sales in the first half of 2010 will be up 50 percent from this year,” he says. “We’ll be in a much stronger place.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Negotiating The Offer

Question: If you were selling a home and a prospective buyer put a bid in almost 20% lower than asking, would you:

A) reject the offer

B) counter with a nominal counter of say $1,000 to $3,000 to stay in the game

C) negotiate as usual if/until an acceptable price is reached

Curious to see what everyone's thoughts are on this

I would answer B because I don't think you should ever turn away an offer. At least counter offer once to see how the negotiations progress.

It's a big step for a buyer to submit an offer, especially in the Hoboken and downtown Jersey City area and I never take them for granted.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

9.4% Jump in Resales for September

Homes resales rose 9.4% in September, the largest jump in 26 years, as buyers rush to close their transactions to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit.

Sales rose around the country, especially in the West, where they grew 13% from a month earlier. Foreclosure sales are booming in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas.

First-time home buyers and investors are snapping up those homes and taking advantage of low mortgage rates. First-time buyers can also take advantage of a tax credit of 10% of the sales price, up to $8,000, if the sale is completed by the end of November.

With concerns about the housing market still prominent, Congress is considering several proposals to extend the tax credit for first-time buyers. Senators Johnny Isakson and Christopher Dodd want to extend it through June 30, and expand it to include all home buyers, at an estimated cost of $16.7 billion.

Realtors and home builders are pressing lawmakers to do so, arguing that the tax credit is crucial to get the housing market back on its feet.

We still have to deal with increasing unemployment rates, which are expected to top out at over 10%, but it's encouraging that people are feeling confident enough to jump off the fence and p purchase homes.

Hoboken and downtown Jersey City have weathered the storm fairly well with overall prices dipping about 7-10% over that last 12 months.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jersey City-One of Best Cities to Raise Children

The newly created Children's Health magazine released a list of the top 100 places in the nation to raise a family and ranked Jersey City 13th. The only other New Jersey municipality to make the list was Newark, who was ranked 46th.

Children's Health is a joint venture between editors at Men's Health and Women's Health magazines, all published by Rodale. The magazine's inaugural issue, featuring the list and a cover story on First Lady Michelle Obama, hit newsstands Sept. 15.

Burlington, Vt., topped the family-friendly list, followed by Fargo, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb.

The magazine used 29 "quality of life variables" in the areas of employment, health, housing, safety, education and family life to compile the list, according to its Web site.

Among the factors the magazine considered were travel time to and from work; employment rates; changes in housing prices; class sizes; historic sites; parks, and museums.

"This administration and the Jersey City Council work tirelessly to improve the quality of life in our city and we are glad to see our efforts be recognized," Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said. "I am proud of our diversity and progress. From art and culture to recreational activities and leisure past times, we have hundreds of things for families to do. Jersey City has great parks, restaurants, shops and wonderful neighborhoods that continue to attract families here all the time."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Downtown Jersey City Real Estate Sales Update 10/23/09

Montgomery towers in downtown Jersey City is an excellent value. Prices are reasonable, it's a 5 minute walk to the PATH and there is on site parking once you go on a short waitlist. It is a co-op, but is run more like a condo. Unit for sale in the building are definitely worth a look.

Hoboken Real Estate Sales Update 10/23/09

There are some great buys out there right now. The unit at 1425 Garden Street, The Garden Street Lofts was a great deal at $545,000.

Pending Sales Update 10/23/09

Hoboken pending sales as of 10/23/09:

145 DABOs vs. 158 last week (8.97% decrease)

Downtown Jersey City pending sales as of 10/23/09:

95 DABOs vs. 104 last week (9.48% decrease)

We'll be ready next week to for a monthly pending sales total for Hoboken and downtown Jersey City.

Absorption Rate Update 10/23/09

Here are the absorption rates for this week:

Hoboken Absorption Rate 10/23/09:

37.53 vs. 37.36 last week (.46% reduction)

Downtown Jersey City Absorption Rate 10/23/09:

48.27 vs. 44.05 last week (8.76% increase)

Next week we'll have our first monthly absorption rate totals for Hoboken and downtown Jersey City.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Construction or A New York City View?

I have a buyer that's considering buying a newly built condo in a high-rise building with parking or a slightly larger condo that's in a great pre-war building with direct, unobstructed New York City views without parking. It's also $35,000 more expensive.

In the Hoboken/Jersey City/Weehawken areas city views are coveted.

What are your thoughts?

As they say in real estate, location is the key. The building with the NYC views has very little turnover, with many residents living there 10+ years. The scarce availability in this building plus the great NYC views makes this unit the clear choice in my eyes.

You always have to think about resale values when buying the Hoboken/Jersey City/Weehawken area.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Fed Releases Survey of Economic Conditions For New York Area.

I thought you would all be interested in reading The Fed's latest economic condition report for our region.

Highlights from the Federal Reserve's survey of economic conditions nationwide. The survey, released Wednesday and known as the Beige Book, is based on information collected from the Fed's 12 regional bank districts.

(This region covers New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, which of course includes Hoboken and Jersey City)
The economy showed scattered signs of a pickup. Factory activity strengthened, with manufacturers optimistic about the near-term outlook. Retail sales picked up "noticeably" in September. Sales in New York City — which had been lagging other areas — improved "considerably" especially for a higher-end department store chain. Auto dealers saw sales fall with the end of the Cash for Clunkers rebate program. Tourism activity in New York City was sluggish. An ongoing "pronounced slump" in business travel was partly offset by leisure visitors. Broadway theater attendance picked up somewhat. Manhattan hotels reported steady occupancy rates.

Housing markets were sluggish across the region, although sales activity picked up in some areas. Commercial real estate activity was described as "steady to softer" with Manhattan's office vacancy rate continuing to climb. A major New York employment agency specializing in office jobs said activity "virtually ground to a halt" in the legal and publishing industries. Banks reported decreased demand for all types of loans, except home mortgages.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hoboken/Jersey City Real Estate News-Proposals are Underway to Extend $8000 Tax Credit

The Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors and National Association of Home Builders sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and National Economic Council Chairman Lawrence Summers, urging a one year extension of the $8,000 home buyer tax credit, as well as expansion of its applicability to all purchasers, not just first time buyers, an increase in the amount of the credit, and making the money available to cover closing costs.

Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd and Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson are proposing legislation to extend the $8,000 credit for an additional seven months, removing the first time buyer limitation, and doubling the income threshold to $150,000 per person and $300,000 per family. Their proposal would cost an estimated $16.7 billion.

If this extension passes, it will be an excellent incentive for Hoboken and Jersey City homebuyers to get off the fence and buy a property!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hoboken/Jersey City Crime Comparisons

I have an excellent resource on my website for details on crime statistics for Hoboken and Jersey City. You can even compare crime statistics to other ZIP codes.

My buyer was surprised to discover that Hoboken is safer than his neighborhood in Chicago. Go Hoboken!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Downtown Jersey City Real Estate Sales Update 10/16/09

Hoboken Real Estate Sales Update 10/16/09

Pending Sales Update 10/16/09

Here are the numbers for this week's pending sales update:

Hoboken pending sales as of 10/16/09:

158 DABOs vs. 154 last week (increase of 2.6%)

Downtown Jersey City pending sales as of 10/16/09:

104 DABOs vs. 103 last week (.97% increase)

Absorption Rate Update 10/16/09

Here are the absorption rates for this week:

Hoboken Absorption Rate 10/16/09:

39.32 vs. 37.36 last week (5.25% reduction)

Downtown Jersey City Absorption Rate 10/16/09:

56.35 vs. 48.27 last week (14.34% increase)

I can see no indication of the weekly changes posted here relative to last week. This is just part of the natural real estate cycle.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hoboken and Jersey City Buyers are Looking for Value

Although we are seeing signs of economic recovery, buyers in the Hoboken and Jersey city real estate markets are looking for value in their purchases. Updating old appliances, retiling a backsplash, repainting rooms that are outside of the "standard" color palette (i.e. cranberry or even dark blue walls) or even refinishing floors that look a little tired can do a lot to change a buyer's perception of a property.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Jobs in Hoboken/Jersey City

Gov. Jon S. Corzine joined local officials yesterday to announce the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation is bringing 1,600 finance jobs to the Newport Office Center in Jersey City. More jobs will hopefully mean that there will be new homeowners looking for Hoboken and Jersey City real estate.

What is a VA Loan?

VA loans are offered to active and retired military personnel.

There are some very significant benefits to these loans and should be considered for people buying condos in the Hoboken and Jersey City real estate markets.

What Are the Benefits of a VA Loan?

100% financing, no down payment loans are common.

No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

No penalties if you prepay the loan.

Competitive interest rates.

Loan qualification is sometimes easier than if you were applying for a conventional loan.

Sellers can pay all closing costs.

What Are the Negatives of a VA Loan?

VA loans made prior to March 1, 1988, can be assumed with no qualifying of the new buyer. If a buyer of such a property defaults, the veteran homeowner may be liable for funds.

Some sellers may be hesitant to work with someone who is acquiring a VA loan because of their past reputation of taking longer to process than conventional loans. While the time may still be a little longer, getting a VA loan is not the lengthy ordeal it once was.

Sellers are often asked to pay a portion of closing costs, so they may not be eager to negotiate the sales price of the home.

The Veterans Administration Web site is an excellent resource for detailed information about VA guaranteed home loans. If you cannot find the answers to all of your questions there, be sure to contact your local or regional VA office.

A building must be approved by the VA in order to qualify for these loans. You must have a recorded copy of the master deed and bylaws and there are a few simple forms that the building needs to complete.

The VA website allows you to verify which buildings in Hoboken and Jersey City are already qualified:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pending Sales Update 10/08/09

After requests from a few readers, I'm going to start posting a weekly pending sales update for Hoboken and downtown Jersey City

Pending Sales for Hoboken 10/09/09:
154 vs. 155 last week

Pending Sales for downtown Jersey City 10/09/09:
105 vs. 103 last week

Again, after a few months we'll be able to see the current market trends.

Absorption Rate Update 10/8/09

It was brought to my attention by one of my readers that my calculations for the Hoboken and downtown Jersey City absorption rates were incorrect. I've made changes to my last post fo reflect this.

Hoboken Absorption Rate 10/9/09:
37.36 weeks (up .01%)

Downton Jersey City Aborption Rate 10/9/09:
48.27 weeks (down .008%)

We won't see big changes week to week, but we'll start to see the bigger picture as time goes on.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10/2/09 Absorption Rate Update

The first thing that everyone asks me when they find out that I'm a realtor is, "How's the real estate market around here?" Well, I thought I'd try and help everyone by offering some statistics on sales trends in the area. One common number that's used among realtors is the absorption rate. The absorption rate shows the number weeks it will take to sell the current inventory and is an excellent indicator of the current sales pace.

An increase in this number indicates the market is slowing down and a decrease in this number indicates that the market is heating up.

Hoboken Absorption Rate 10/2/09:

Downtown Jersey City Absorption Rate 10/2/09:

I'll track this every week so you can see if we're trending up or trending down. I will post all of the weekly absorption rates so you can use as a reference point as you do your research.