Friday, March 10, 2006

Lowball! 2/24 - 3/10

Lowball! takes a look at home sales over the past week from a very different perspective. For those new to Lowball!, a lowball offer is when a buyer offers a significantly lower bid than asking in hopes that the seller accepts the offer. We take a list of home sales over the past week and pick out the sales that have the highest percentage difference between asking price and selling price.

The purpose of Lowball! is to show buyers that the market has changed and buyers now have considerably more leverage than sellers. Just a short time ago, Lowball! offers would have been laughed at and discarded, however, not any more. The fact that so many under-asking offers are being accepted is clear proof that the market is changing.The list does not contain all sales, I hand-pick the most interesting sales from the list. These listings might be the highest dollar drops, biggest percentage reductions, or sales in towns that are thought to still be 'hot'. Please note, even with double digit percentage reductions, these homes are still incredibly overpriced.

On to the list!

MLS# 2099727 - Vernon, NJ
List Price $189,900
Sales Price $115,000 (39.4% Lowball)

MLS# 2108329 - Washington Boro, NJ
Original List Price $279,900
Reduced Price $239,900
Sales Price $160,000 (33.3% Lowball, 42.8% off Original Price)

MLS# 2213025 - Washington Twp, NJ
List Price $174,900
Sales Price $125,000 (28.5% Lowball)

MLS# 2216364 - Newark, NJ
List Price $235,000
Sales Price $170,000 (27.7% Lowball)

MLS# 2217470 - Springfield, NJ
List Price $570,000
Sales Price $417,500 (26.8% Lowball)

MLS# 2104023 - Verona, NJ
Original List Price $589,900
Reduced Price $535,000
Sales Price $415,000 (22.4% Lowball, 29.6% off Original Price)

MLS# 2227420 - Harding, NJ
List Price $1,999,000
Sales Price $1,560,000 (22% Lowball)

MLS# 2204553 - Elizabeth, NJ
List Price $450,000
Sales Price $355,000 (21.1% Lowball)

MLS# 2107785 - Hillsborough, NJ
List Price $399,900
Sales Price $320,000 (20% Lowball)

MLS# 2217059 - Jefferson, NJ
List Price $259,000
Sales Price $210,000 (18.9% Lowball)

MLS# 2067228 - West Milford, NJ
List Price $249,900
Sales Price $205,000 (18% Lowball)

MLS# 2111526 - Summit, NJ
List Price $1,200,000
Sales Price $999,999 (16.7% Lowball)

MLS# 2223465 - Kearny, NJ
List Price $359,900
Sales Price $300,000 (16.6% Lowball)

MLS# 2097679 - Morristown, NJ
Original List Price $2,400,000
Reduced Price $2,199,999
Sales Price $1,850,000 (15.9% Lowball, 22.9% off Original Price)

MLS# 2221729 - Teaneck, NJ
Original List Price $409,500
Reduced Price $369,900
Sales Price $317,950 (14% Lowball, 22.4% off Original Price)

MLS# 2088558 - Chester, NJ
Original List Price $1,299,000
Reduced Price $1,150,000
Sales Price $999,999 (13% Lowball, 23% off Original Price)

MLS# 2094115 - Harding, NJ
Original List Price $2,690,000
Reduced Price $2,640,000
Sales Price $2,300,000 (12.9% Lowball, 14.5% off Original Price)

MLS# 2079360 - South Orange, NJ
Original List Price $800,000
Reduced Price $600,000
Sales Price $525,000 (12.5% Lowball, 34.4% off Original Price)

MLS# 2076294 - Franklin Lakes, NJ
List Price $1,249,000
Sales Price $1,057,500 (12.3% Lowball)

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

36 Comments:

Blogger grim said...

The Morristown house also takes the prize for largest dollar lowball at $550,000 off Original List Price.

Second is the Harding house at $439,000 off List Price.

Third is a house in Millburn that did not appear on the Lowball list since it was only 10% off OLP. The dollar lowball on this house came in at $375,000 off list.

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

3/10/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I get information like this and for Edison - Middlesex - County

3/10/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Odd how someone would write up their offer for "999,999" instead of "1,000,000" for another dollar.

3/10/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger njresident286 said...

How do i see what the houses look like by their MLS number, meaning where do I go to search for that?

3/10/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger njAndrew said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/10/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger njAndrew said...

The house is 999,999 and not 1m to avoid an extra NJ tax on houses that sell for >=1m. This $1 saved a bunch of cash by avoiding the tax.

Andrew

3/10/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Anonymous @ 9:40,

You can't, at least not easily or directly.

This information is proprietary and requires membership to whatever MLS (Multiple Listing Service) system services the area you are interested in. This information is not typically (usually ever) made public.

In order to gain access you'll need a real estate license, sometimes membership in the NAR, a sponsoring broker, and a membership to the MLS service.

Since it is just about impossible for someone 'off the street', I make it public. I do it because I feel that it is a significant part of the real estate market that potential buyers and sellers never see.

There is significant information asymmetry in the real estate market. What does that mean? It means that market information is kept secret from a large number of market participants. Thus creating a significant advantage in the hands of few. This gives these people the ability to manipulate the market. Hardly open or efficient.

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

3/10/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The house is 999,999 and not 1m to avoid an extra NJ tax on houses that sell for >=1m. This $1 saved a bunch of cash by avoiding the tax."

Ahh, thanks, I had no idea.

I'd imagine that homes in the $1.1M price range are a hassle to sell, because the buyer wants to get it for under $1M to save those extra taxes, and the seller wants the extra $100K.

3/10/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim - Could you post info on Ocean County asking/reductions/ sales prices too? The past month and current months if possible? A lot of people are interested in this information! Thanks.

3/10/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Sorry, I don't have access to the MLS system for Ocean county. I'd need to find an agent willing to provide me with that data.

grim

3/10/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger MMStalt said...

Grim - do you have access to Westchester County and Southern CT?

3/10/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/10/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Please don't post that link public. A large number of people use it and we don't want to see it 'disappear'.

grim

3/10/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous NotherJersey _Searcher said...

Buddy Grim:

Do u have anything for North Bergen County - places like Waldwick, Ridgewood, etc.

Appreciate that !

3/10/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger njAndrew said...

to njresident286:

I think that you can search by MLS on realotor.com

3/10/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.njmls.com

3/10/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Ridgewood - N. Monroe
Asking $1,050,000
Sold $970,000

Waldwick - Bergen
Asking $375,000
Sold $355,000

Waldwick - W. Prospect
Asking $449,900
Sold $435,000

Waldwick - Vine
Asking $789,000
Sold $765,000

Waldwick - Dora
Asking $439,000
Sold $430,000

Allendale - Heather
Asking $1,329,000
Sold $1,264,000

Mahwah - Ramapo Valley
Asking - $625,000
Sold - $580,000

There may have been additional reductions, I don't have the time to go through the history of each..

grim

3/10/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Westchester prices have not come down. Grim it will be very much appreciated if you give us some imput.

3/10/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Sorry, but I don't have access to NY or CT data either. If I had access, believe me I'd make it all available to everyone.

I can, however, offer this piece up.

Sales drop, prices fall on homes last month

For a limited time only, you can buy 2006 homes at 2004 prices.

OK, that might be a stretch, but Orange County's median sale price dipped to $293,500 in February, the lowest it's been since July 2004 (median $280,500).

It's also the first time the median price for single-family homes has been below $300,000 since March 2005 (median $299,000), according to the Orange County Association of Realtors. The median is the price at which half the homes sell for more, and half for less.

It's only one month, but the February data is the latest evidence that Orange County's real-estate market is cooling off after a remarkable five-year run that saw home prices more or less double.
...
Sales slump

Home sales last month were down across the region, while median sale prices were down in Orange and Sullivan counties, and up slightly in Ulster.

Sales Median price
County 2005 2006 2005 2006 % change
Orange 183 172 $305,000 $293,500 (3.8%)
Sullivan 52 48 $160,650 $149,000 (7.3%)
Ulster 98 77 $246,500 $255,000 3.4%



Caveat Emptor!
Grim

3/10/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

Any chance of listing these with addresses so those interested can track sales prices in areas and compare these prices to last years?

3/10/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

Grim,

I was wondering if you could provide a date regarding the number of sold homes from last week. Although, I love the Lowball(s) your are posting, it does not really shows the true market trend as there always will be, regardless off if it’s Bull, Bear or in between market, people that are desperate and need to sale (some of the reasons we know: ARP, interest only, loosing job etc.). If we could compare the number of all sold homes with the number of the homes that sold for much less than the original asking price that would be true and more accurate indicator of today’s housing market.

Do not get me wrong, I would love to see the prices to go down: personally I believe that today’s prices would need to got down by at least 40% to be realistic. I just would love to compare those two numbers: all sold homes vs homes sold well below asking price.

3/10/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Sugee said...

While the asked price and sold price should give us an idea of how much the buyer leverage is increasing and/or how much the real estate prices are declining, it might not, if the asking price was too ridiculous to begin with anyway. For eg, an apartment asked 210k and got 190k in summer 2005. Last month the same apartment was back in the market asking for 242k. Even if it is sold for 222k, it is still a 30% INCREASE over last summer.

I am now following a house that was sold for 375k in Dec 2004, was back in market in Dec 2005 asking for 459K.

3/10/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

Sugee,

I agree with you. Those two numbers will not provide the ultimate picture but they would/could show us the way the market is leaning to. Given, it won’t be perfect but it would provide at least some, more accurate, inside into the mood of buyers and sellers in today’s market.

3/10/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Sales from 2/24-3/10 (morning) through GSMLS only for counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren.

Total Sales: 982
Asking Dollars: $481,972,095
Sales Dollars: $467,560,583 (-3%)

Sales Under Asking: 707 (72%)
Sales At Asking: 151 (15%)
Sales Over Asking: 124 (13%)

Average Sale Under Asking -4.6%
Average Sale Over Asking +3.4%

Note that this breakdown doesn't take in to account prior price changes (mainly reductions). So if a property was reduced before and sold at asking, these figures consider it sold at asking.

While these numbers certainly look interesting. Realize that they are largely subjective without historical reference data, especially the under/over asking breakdowns..

Caveat Emptor!
grim

3/10/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

Grim,

Thank you very much.

3/10/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim,

Very interesting information on the NNJ sales data. Don't know how much effort is involved, but this would be an interesting metric to track going forward. Thanks for all of your hard work - you are an invaluable source of local information.

3/10/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If we could compare the number of all sold homes with the number of the homes that sold for much less than the original asking price that would be true and more accurate indicator of today’s housing market."

Even so, when Realtors change the MLS ID when they lower the price (which they often do) it becomes very difficult to track list price vs sale price.

Consider this scenario:

1) A house is originally listed at $600K, and doesn't sell after 60 days.

2) The realtor then lowers the price to $500K and re-lists it with a new MLS ID.

3) The house sells for $500K.

4) Realtor/NAR reports show the house as selling at 100% of asking price, even though it sold for $100,000 less...

3/10/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would add that it should be ILLEGAL for a realtor to change the MLS ID of a house, once it is listed (for a period of say 6 months).

This would provide some transparency to buyers, and would force realtors to behave in a more ethical manner.

3/10/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Ah yes, forgot about relistings effecting that data. Also keep in mind the intentional underpricing to spark bidding wars. A quick glance at the sales over asking homes shows tells me there were more than a handful of these. However, that is a subjective call on my part..

MLS services are in business to serve the real estate industry, not the public.

grim

3/10/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

“Note that this breakdown doesn't take in to account prior price changes (mainly reductions). So if a property was reduced before and sold at asking, these figures consider it sold at asking.”

Grim

Even with out the additional date, that you mentioned, these numbers definetly show the market is cooling down. I vaguely remember reading an article about 2005 housing market where over 80% homes were sold over the asking price. No we have over 70% sold below the asking price. That’s a great news.

3/10/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

Anon 5:19 PM...

I'm not saying that's not true. No data will be fault proof. But it gives us a little clearer picture as opposed to no data at all.

3/10/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grim, we can't thank you enough for the info you're providing. I'm looking at the Long Island market, but believe your data corresponds well with what is going on here.

3/11/2006 12:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"MLS services are in business to serve the real estate industry, not the public."

True enough, but realtors then shouldn't be surprised when people don't trust them.

All listings should include a dated price history for a house, and not just the last asking price.

For example:

PRICE HISTORY
May 15, 2005: $649,000
July 9, 2005: $599,000
Jan 11, 2005: $575,000

Anything less, is less than honest, IMHO.

3/11/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous waiting said...

These lowball posts are getting juicier and juicier. If I recall, it was just a couple months ago that a 10% drop was seen as worthy of a mention!

We've started seeing 10% in Seattle just recently and I'm sure our fair state will be following in NJ's footsteps.

Our thanks to NJ and all it's fine folks for setting the bar high on this.

I look forward to the day when a 20% drop is too small to mention. Next month maybe?

Keep up the good work!

3/12/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous waiying said...

njresident286-

The way I find the "sold" price in Seattle is by going to the county records site.

It lists the last 2 or 3 selling prices for any given address. The problem is, the info does not show up for a month or twoafter sale. So there is a definite time lag.

For all I know, house prices in Seattle have been getting lowballed 20, 30 or 40% in February and March- I just won't know about it til April or May.

You guys in NJ are really lucky to have Grim making this very important info public in a timely fashion. At this juncture, every state needs a Grim- but only NJ has one!

A really useful thing about the county site for buyers though is that you CAN use the info to find out how much the seller paid for the property and when.

There are a sickening amount of properties on the Seattle MLS that are now being listed at prices double or even triple what they were paid for in '04 and '05.

There is no way as a buyer that I would feed these greedheads by offering them anything NEAR what they are asking.

3/12/2006 01:04:00 AM  
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4/18/2006 11:12:00 PM  

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