I would not trust a professional in any market - housing, stocks, collectible dolls, whatever - who would make a declarative prediction about the future of any price.
In terms of safety, a doorman/security is great. Also, talk to people in the area, speak to neigbors, ask local business people...
Mid Jersey Inspections
NJ Home Inspection Lic. #076900
In any case, I can't help but notice that you had to capitulate instead of trying to argue against the fact that all these i-bank layoffs will take a nasty hammer to Downtown Jersey City condo prices in the near future. Maybe Steven Fulop can stop the bleeding... unless of course he just got fired from his day job. Oops!
At these prices, caveat emptor (buyer beware).
OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE ORIGINAL PERSON THAT ASKED THE QUESTION LETS IGNORE THE GUY WHO ENVYS THOSE THAT AFFORD WHAT HE CANT YET BRAGS ABOUT HIS RENT LOL WITH A PHD IN ECONOMICS LOL SIZE THAT UP TO MY PHD IN NEUROSCIENCE AND CELL BIOLOGY AND A MINOR IN CHEMISTRY AND TELL ME WHOSE SMARTER TOO BAD BECAUSE I BET YOU CANT FINDING PARKING FOR YOUR FAT REAR END IN YOUR 4300 NYC APARTMENT THAT YOU DONT EVEN OWN VERY SMART MR ECONOMICS I WILL TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE IN MY BENTLEY IF YOU CAN FIT IN IT LOL
John, the economics of real estate don't work like that. You compare the rental market in NYC vs. purchasing in NYC. Or compare the rental market in Jersey City vs. purchasing in Jersey City. When mortgage payments become significantly higher than rental prices, as they have today in Jersey City (and NYC), that means that either A) rental prices will rise; or B) home prices will drop.
It's hard for Choice A to occur in NYC or Jersey City because both jurisdictions have "rent control". So the only possible way for the "invisible hand" of economics to remedy the situation in the long run is for home prices to drop.
I'm well aware of the definition of a depression, but I only said a "depression in housing prices". Housing prices have fallen many times in our history, and the greatest drops weren't even in the Great Depression. You seem to have little to zero knowledge of the history of home prices.
You say "Merrill and Bear made poor decisions which is why they are laying off people." Again, you're not looking at the situation logically. Goldman Sachs made excellent decisions and they are still laying off people. Citigroup made the worst decisions of all and are laying off tens of thousands. EVERY Wall Street firm is laying off people in 2008 (nearly all of them have already announced this) and this will depress (Downtown) Jersey City prices later this year when they all receive their pink slips.
The only logical thing you implied was that supply and demand affects housing prices. Guess what, when tens of thousands of NY i-bankers are laid off this year, demand will go way down even as supply continues to increase.
This if for chris: stable prices don't mean nothing is selling, some pro you are. 12/2006 zip code 07302 - 35 units sold at $512k avg now 12/2007 58 units sold $551k avg. Remind your customers not to choose you as an agent, (dooms day agent).
Until now, the New York metro area has been held up from the decline starting in the rest of the country... but why? Because of the city's huge financial sector making record profits and paying out record bonuses. Is that still occurring now? Heck no. MBA hiring for New York financial firms is expected to be way down this year... less people moving to New York and buying condos. In fact, Merrill Lynch laid off 1500 workers a week or two ago and Goldman Sachs announced plans to lay off another 1000 yesterday. If you include Bear Stearns and the other 10 major investment banks, there are 25,000 announced layoffs compared to virtually none in the past 5 years.
The people getting the axe in these layoffs aren't going to be Managing Directors living at the Time Warner Center. They are going to be the low guys on the i-banking/hedge fund/p.e. totem poles... the ones taking the PATH to work. So I'll let you guess whether the financial sector meltdown will be a plus or a minus to Jersey City and Hoboken condo prices through 2008 and 2009.
building permits fell 33 percent, and the sharpest decline in 27 years please educate yourselves if you buy a 2bed 2 bath condo in the beacon for 575k and you pay a 1000 maintenance please tell me in gods name what you expect to sell it for in 5 years or 10 years do you think it will be worth 675k 875k no it wont be it cannot the prices must decrease you will not see any appreciation for years to come
for example a 2ed 2bath condo in NYC financial district selling for 2 million dollars with 20 percent down and 1200 maintenance equates to an 11000 mortgage payment however the same unit is up for rent for 4900 dollars do you realize how great the margins are renting and housing prices should only have a3-6 percent difference you are better off renting and waiting for prices to go down if you rent you could save 100k or more on the said property in a year
Rates will not spur the buyers the buyers are not there they all bought houses they could not afford
YOU ARE DEAD WRONG this economoy will not recover until at least 2012 and this is data from Harvard, Yale ,Rutgers etc especially now with that 7 billion dollar fall out in france and PS people see these companies with increase earnings for example Pfizer yes they have increased earnings because they fired 20000k people last year thats what they have all dont cut the workforce which reduces debt and it makes it seem like they have this dramatic sales increase it aint so
I must say when he sat down and showes me the logistics and the numbers he is right a home should only increase at about 6-20 percent a year and for a brownstone to go from 275k to 900k or a million as it has done in downtown in less or ten years is not normal appreciate he beleives that the brownstone that was worth 275k 5-10 years ago should now be around 500k in good condition not a million dollars
I do agree with him that alot of small investors are going to get screwed out of the market with the little small renovated condos also the stock market is still plunging no one is borrowing money people are in debt inflation is on the rise and salaries are stabilized and it's an election year so its also a time of uncertaintity i must say i eat my words on this one it does show age is a true time of wisdom and some of these guys obviously know more than i do i say wait also i think the worse is yet to come.
I looked at some towns with more than 50 percent of homes in the town for sale and not one has sold in 6 months thats a shame and i also read that jersey city now has a 3 year supply of homes thats not counting the individual condo units in the high rises.
this is a crying shame for our country
think this will happen to that extent i do not thing you will see a 50 PERCENT decrease in value remember a 2000 or 1990 downtown jersey city is different than downtown today its a different wave of people a different statitics a different demographics of men p.s i have gay friends quite a few who live in hamilton park they are not going to give you the apartments when they wont be able to but that space in chelsea
the data i saw compared downtown seperately you put in the zip code and it compares zip code so you can compare the 07302 zip code for downtown to other areas yes when those bargains were around these were not the same high end luxury condos i dont know i dont have a crystal ball but if you get a 500k condo for 300k what will you be paying for a one family house in central jersey thats now 300k your telling that house will be 150k i think different but hey i admit i could be wrong i just dont see this in 09 the darrn prices in jersey city have not even decreased one penny maybe a few dollars they are just holding stable i guess your option is to shell out as some people are doing almost 50 or 60k in two years for rent when you can own your own home.
As Marc indicated, it is a city, and any sizeable city require one approach it as such.
If someone were to consider any location and have safety concerns, I would suggest that they talk w/ the local police station serving the area of interest. While stats off the web can give an overview, nothing takes the place of "hands-on" experience. That's true for police stats as well as real estate data. One area of a city may have very different reports, as it applies to crime data, or average housing costs/inventory and turnover rates.
Don't hesitate to pick up a phone and ask for input.....from police officers, to local news reporters, or from Realtors.
I don't see any statistics that separate Downtown Jersey City from the rest of the jurisdiction but that would make for a better comparison. It is clear that your Hoboken figure was WAY off, so I'd expect that your Downtown JC number was inaccurate as well.
As for tops and bottoms, you say "i am not saying that prices will not come down a bit but the bargains you are talking off make it seems like you expect to get a 500k space for 250k in a year it will not happen if it happens we are all screwed hoboken has more crime than downtown jersey city". That $500,000 space in Jersey City you are speaking of that is not waterfront property was $519,000 five months ago but was a $119,000 space in 2000. I don't know if we'll see a 50% decline to $250,000 but certainly I wouldn't expect to pay more than the high $300's in 2009 for the type of Hamilton Park area space that sellers are typically asking $500k for right now in January 2008. Remember that these are the same condos that were going for the low $100's in 2000 and 2001. Today's JC condo prices are just not sustainable.
What is your source for there being 754 burglaries in Hoboken but only 48 in Downtown Jersey City?? I do not believe that at all. On the other hand, as I said, the areas of downtown JC on the water are safe... such as Newport and Paulus Hook. I actually said it's no Tribeca UNLESS you are on the waterfront. The INLAND areas of Downtown JC are a bit different... and I would still use the buddy system after dark in these areas if I was a single female.
Maybe the best advice would be to bring a friend with you and walk around any potential neighborhood after midnight to see what "vibe" you get from it before buying.
Also remember not to buy near a top, that is why I am holding out until at least 2009 to buy again. No crystal ball required... I'm not saying try to predict the bottom, just don't buy near the top. It doesn't take a genius to see that prices are going down... successful investors don't "fight the tape"... i.e. don't try to catch a falling knife... wait for prices to stabilize for a couple of quarters before buying because things are still overpriced and there is a long way down to go.
Basically the further from the water you get in Downtown, the less safe you will be as a single female living by yourself. In most of Downtown Jersey City, even near Hamilton Park and Van Vorst Park I highly recommend using the "buddy system" after dark. Downtown JC is about as safe as the East Village I would say... but it's definitely no Tribeca (unless you are on the water at Newport or Exchange Place).
As an investor and as a resident, I've owned many Jersey City and Hoboken homes in the past and I am waiting until at least 2009 to get back into the real estate market. Prices are going to drop in 2008 and 2009. Realtors will inevitably tell you that a house is always a good long-term investment, and that's actually fairly true... if you are definitely going to live in the same condo for the next 20-30 years. But you never want to buy at the top, and prices are still so high that hardly anyone is buying anymore in Jersey City/Hoboken (640 home sales in JC last year at this time but only 201 now... less than 1/3 the number of closed sales from a year ago). A study of economics tells us that this means prices will drop over the next year or two until a new equilibrium is reached and there are enough buyers to match the sellers again.
I've built many homes in Jersey City and I would strongly recommend that you only invest in a home in downtown jersey city i.e Paulus Hook, Newport, Pavonia, Exchange Place, Hamilton or Van Vorst Park please note the downtown market is very different from the rest of jersey city not only is it safe and gentrified but the market is priced differetly from other areas such as the heights, bergen lafayette, greenville etc. Downtown jersey city has a wealth of new ventures Trump Towers, Dixon Mills, Inside A, The Shores, and a host of brownstone condo conversions. The doorman buidlings are no more secure than your own home. I would suggest you target a price point and search from there. The doorman buildings have exorbitant fees for amenities and luxury items which you will probably not use and who wants a total of 20 flights with groceries also remember the luxury buildings have tax abatments and once those abatements go away you will have to deal with considerable tax increases as much as 25 percent which could make a big difference in your mortgage payments years down the road.
Anytime is right to buy there is no better investment than a home and owning your own home target a budget, a place and someone you plan on living for a few years. Also remember Jersey City has a strong rental market also because of the proximity to NYC and the fact that Goldmann Sachs is breaking ground on a new tower. If you buy and decide to move you could always rent it and use it as an investment property.
I disagree with Marc the smaller brownstones offer more privacy, and less fees.
All the best
Chris A proud Jersey City Homeonwer
Marc is right on the money regarding the market. I had lived in Jersey city for couple of years before moving to Montclair. There is so much construction going on and it won't be tough finding a home. I can probably recommend places where you could look- Close to Van Vorst Park, hamilton Park. There are nice brownstone condo conversions and quite safe. Also these are closer to path.
There is new conversion going on on Dixon Mills. Thats a good location too. most Doorman building are rentals and very expensive. If you want to close to water try Jame Monroe Bld in Pavonia . You can also try Paulus Hook area, exchange place all so lovely. By the way if you need a realtor to help you in that area. I could let you know.
All the best.
No Realtor should ever tell you that anytime is the "right" time to buy with respect to property values. Absolutely no one knows what direction prices will go. However, in the long run, given the current tax climate with property tax mortgage interest deductibility still in place, it is always the right time to buy if you plan on staying in one place for a reasonable amount of time. Time will always make the decision to buy correct if you stay long enough. If you can foresee a reasonably likely situation where you will have to sell in the next 2-3 years, I'd rent. In the short term, risk of price deterioration seems much higher than average.
As far as safety in Jersey City, all I will say is this: it's a city, and you have to treat it as such. I would recommend a doorman building with 24-hour security. I would not recommend one of the many brownstone or row house condominiums where you leave your unit and you're on the streets.
Good luck purchasing your first condo!