Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011 Year End Review-The Gap is Narrowing-January 12, 2012


So here we are the moment everyone has been waiting for.  How did we do in 2011?

Overall, we did very well and we're starting to climb out of this mess.

Absorption Rate
The absorption rate dropped a staggering 22.80% this year in Hoboken and 14.75% in downtown Jersey City when compared to 2010.  Rates are down 11.62% and up 8.34% when compared to 2009 figures for Hoboken and downtown Jersey City, respectively.

What this shows is that properties are not staying on the market nearly as long as they have in the past.  Much is this is due to the lack of good properties on the market right now.  Inventory levels are the lowest I've seen in many years and this is helping to create a brisk market for good properties that are priced well.  I've been involved in bidding wars on 3 properties over the last two months alone.

Pending Sales
Pending sales are down 9.11% for Hoboken and up 14.23% for downtown Jersey City for 2011.  I've been saying for months that there are some great deals in the downtown area and buyers have started to take notice.  We have met 2009 pending sales levels in Hoboken and have exceeded 2009 levels by 16.81 % for the downtown area.

Total Transactions
Here's where we still have some catching up to do.  This is mainly due to the fact that many buyers are still looking at property values that are less than what they paid.  The $8000 tax credit that was offered in 2010 also helped to increase sales in the area. Because of this, total transactions are down 11.46% for Hoboken and 7.14% for downtown Jersey City.  When compared to 2009, transactions are up 6.53% for Hoboken and 26.18% for downtown Jersey City.  Things are getting better.

One Bedroom
Prices overall have held their own for 2011. One bedroom prices are down 4.69% to $469.25/sq.ft. for 2010 and dropped 6.29% when compared to 2009.  The gap is narrowing.  

Two bedroom
Prices in this market actually increased a modest 1.03% when compared to 2010 levels.  It's not much, but it's an increase.  So I won't be able to say that prices are still dropping!  Prices are down 2.24% when compared to 2009 levels. 

Two bedroom still remain the most popular units in Hoboken

Three Bedroom
Three bedroom prices increased 1.97% to 438.90/sq.ft. and are down 7.09% when compared to 2009 levels.

Downtown Jersey City-Newport Area
One Bedroom
Prices remained flat when compared to 2010 at $495.05/sq.ft., but are still down 10.27% when compared to 2009.

Two Bedroom
There was actually a 3.46% price increase to $473.17 in the two bedroom market when compared to 2010.  When compared to 2009, prices are down 4.58%.

Downtown Jersey City-Downtown Area
One Bedroom
One bedroom prices actually increased 3.31% to $422.03/sq.ft., but  are still down 5.48% when compared to 2009 levels.

Two Bedroom
The biggest gains in the downtown area were in the two bedroom market, where prices increased by 5.23% to $409.87/sq.ft..  Prices are up 1.25% when compared to 2009.  This is the only market segment with a price increase over 2009 levels.

So, what does all of this mean?  In a word, increases.  Overall the economy is starting to improve with lower unemployment rates, rising consumer confidence levels, increased manufacturing and a general feeling that things are starting to improve in the area.  

Many sellers are still stuck with properties that are worth less than they paid in both Hoboken and downtown Jersey City.  This is primarily what has kept inventories so low over the last several months. As demand from buyers increases, which is starting right now, sellers will start to dip their toes in the water by asking higher and higher prices for their properties.  As this happens, and more importantly if this happens successfully, we'll see prices start to rise.

For now, prices are still at lower levels, but the gap is narrowing.  With attractive pricing and low interest rates-it is an ideal time to buy.

It should be an interesting 2012.

Information Provided By: 

Kevin Dowd
Broker Salesperson
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Cell: 201-606-5957

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