Hobokenomics 101: Real Estate
Celebrate: A new contributor!
Introducing the newest Hoboken411 contributor: Mark Perry!
Mark has been a lifelong Hoboken resident – with over 10+ years in the Real Estate industry (commercial broker/analyst). A graduate of Xavier High School and Loyola University, a horrific golfer, a bonafide Starbucks lover, WOW player and top team at Trinity’s Tuesday Trivia contest – he will share his perspective on relevant Hoboken topics on a (hopefully) regular basis!
Please welcome Mark – and his first Hoboken411 column!
Hobokenomics 101: The Real Estate Market
Introduction and Basics
First, a quick introduction- any walk down Washington Street is evidence that Hoboken’s major industry is Real Estate.
I don’t profess to be an omniscient guru of any sort, but I have substantial knowledge of the Hoboken Real Estate market, and not just sales/rentals but historical perspective. In the interest of full disclosure I am a licensed real estate salesperson in Hoboken, but the intent here is not to sell anything, it’s to inform. This contribution to Hoboken411.com is the first of many I intend to make, and will be just a few broad basics as background for upcoming pieces. Future contributions will focus on various topics of interest related to Hoboken Real Estate; e.g. evaluating renovations in older properties, living above food service/bars as owner or tenant, westside flooding and its effect on property values, etc, etc.
Real Estate topics are always fertile ground for interest as housing tends to be among the biggest expenses for the average American. This is particularly true in Hoboken.
Hoboken is an attractive urban center of approximately 37,000 souls in a little over a square mile; its housing stock reflects this by being expensive and dynamic. Making sense of Real Estate data is difficult for the average person, because in contrast to shares of stock or any other asset class, no two pieces of property are exactly alike – and therefore have different market values. Also, owners of properties are subject to many factors (death in the family, loss/relocation of a job, emotional attachment to property) that effect what compensation they want for their asset when a trade happens. This seems to be even truer in Hoboken, where properties very close to each other and nearly identical on paper could have dramatically different values. That said, there will be no magic bullets here, but hopefully something written by me will be useful to you in deciphering a topic related to Hoboken Real Estate that may help you get you your own “Eureka” moment.
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General Hoboken (salute)
Very generally speaking, Hoboken property values go up when closer to the Path train and the Washington Street hubs, reflecting Hoboken as commuter town housing white collar workers who need to be close to NYC or other commercial hubs along the train lines. People also tend to like being by water- where a disproportionate amount of park space and public walkways are, so monetary values peak at Castle Point and up and down River Street, Hudson Street, and places like the Shipyard and the celebrity-laden Tea Building… Hoboken’s own Dakota
The explosion of commercial space in Hoboken over the last 7 years or so- notably the Wiley Building and the recent completion of the W Hotel- has added another factor to the attractiveness of Hoboken properties. The jobs that used to be available only in NYC and suburban corporate parks are now in Hoboken. The boom of Jersey City’s Newport area and Weehawken’s Lincoln Harbor over the last 15-20 years has also added positive value to Hoboken properties by providing more jobs nearby. With its attractive existing housing stock, transportation hubs, and vibrant nightlife, Hoboken was poised to benefit from the boom times.
The western side of Hoboken also benefited from the recent decade long boom. The light rail runs thru the western border, tying that entire area into the major Hudson County public transportation network. Also, the development projects in the west tend to have larger housing units and more amenities at a cheaper price then those just a few blocks to the east, and that is to the advantage of the typical Hoboken buyer or renter simply because they have those options to consider.
Dark Clouds and Silver Linings
Now, the downside- with any boom comes a bust. Prices are down; properties are taking longer to sell. This is a direct effect of the economic slowdown and even more acutely related the financial crisis. Wall Street is not employing or bonusing at the numbers it did, and a key demographic of Hoboken Property buyer has been injured- the 20 to 40 something professional in the financial industry. Basically, the events in the economy over the last 12 months have had more of a direct effect on the average Hoboken resident and property owner then just about anywhere else outside of Detroit. Although things seem to be looking better, this crisis and its hangover effect on housing is far from over.
The good news is that Hoboken is a fixed place on the map and that key selling point of its proximity and ease to NYC and other economic hubs isn’t moving. It’s a near certain bet this downturn won’t last forever; when things really start improving, Hoboken will very likely see it first…of course if we don’t become a ridiculously taxed, over-developed, pothole and drunk ridden town in the meantime (…..but I’ll leave that to the more politically centered posts).
Again, my upcoming contributions will be about more specific areas of Hoboken Real Estate issues. Please feel free to suggest any relevant topics you’d like covered.
Mark Perry (Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org)