Monday, June 12, 2006

Hovnanian To Build 97 Hackensack Homes

From The Herald/Record:

Hackensack OKs town houses

97-unit town house development will be built along River Street on property that's been used by All American Ford car dealership.

The project calls for the one-story building on the property to be razed to make room for 18 residential buildings. Those will consist of two-bedroom town houses with parking garages. The development also will have a clubhouse with a swimming pool.
"Added ratables are always welcomed," Schatz said. "If only all applications could be approved so quickly.''

The application by M&M Investments of Hazlet, a K. Hovnanian company, was sent to the city's construction office in February. A hearing was scheduled in April but was postponed until May 10.
The developer was seeking site-plan approval and exceptions to zoning rules to build the project on the 7.38-acre property. The site fronts River and East Berry streets. The Hackensack River runs along the north and east side. Foschini Memorial Park borders the land on the southeast.
According to paperwork submitted to the construction office, the Riverview Townhouses development will consist of 36 units with 1,986 square feet and 61 units that will be 2,348 square feet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOV can't be serious. These things will never sell. Oh well, more inventory build up. What else is new? If one is currently trying to sell their house in NNJ or selling before you ARM loan adjusts, you are about to get a slap in the face.

Its going to be a long summer in the RE market.

Buckle up...

6/12/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

I'm wondering if these will be marketed under the "Matzel and Mumford" brand.


6/12/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is River Street anywhere near the Sears that is in Hackensack?

Because the area near the Sears is not that good. Wouldn't believe it was Bergen County. I use to trasfer buses at that corner. It was pretty shady at night. Thought I was back in Newark...or east orange....

If I had the money to buy a condo (which, I do not. I make 60,000/yr and I can't even buy a used car in NNJ) I would look in another area, maybe Paramus or Ft. Lee. Hackensack is just not that attractive. Unless you like liquor stores, play alot of lotto, and hang out in the street and do nothing all day.

6/12/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Hackensack for three years. They don't have a clue regarding urban planning and economic development. It's such a contrast from the other small cities that have had a great revival: Englewood, New Brunswick, etc.

6/12/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm wondering if these will be marketed under the "Matzel and Mumford" brand."

Grim, I bet you it will be since these guys have a reputation in NNJ. Its a name, more so than Hovanian. But they are the same company these days.

I didn't realize how much these guys have built in the area.

6/12/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While we are on th esubject of homes that will never sell, here is one in Florham Park:

MLS ID#: 2264881

This house was a FSBO for 2.95 million two years ago and did not sell on the pretigious (read BUSY) Brooklake Road. In late 2004, they called a realtor who told them to list it at 3.95 million so they would have room to negotiate down. No one came close and almost no one looked. The listing expired after 6 months and they listed with a new broker for the same $3.95 mil and that guy actually got them to cut their price to $3.85 mill, a whole $100K. Needless to say the house still didnt sell. Now we come to 2006 and they have a 3rd broker on the house and a new asking price of $3.75 mil.

The house is worth $2 million, thats it folks, I live in the town and its not worth the crazy numbers the owner had put in his head.

Another chaser of the market. By the way Grim, I enjoy the reading but first time poster.


6/12/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

I always thought that Hackensack was the s*it hole of Bergen County.

They have 10 year plan for a renaissance and the price along the River Rd. has been going up.

I was looking into buying a building there ( it's currently a fast food chicken restaurant).

It has a small lot and a small building. It was asking for around $950K and now it's listed at $859K and still not sold over a year or longer.

6/12/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Richie said...

Conveniently located in the 100yr flood plain...


6/12/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get front row seats to the Mexican Volley Ball League in Foschini Park.

6/12/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

i'm sorry but if you're going to spend almost $4 million why would you live on a busy street in florham park when you can take that money and live in the hills in summit or chatham? please.

6/12/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

Bob, do you have a Chinese cousin?


Blogger Hits Home
By Urging Boycott
Of Chinese Property

Campaign Against High Prices
Garners Mr. Zou Support
From Middle-Class Buyers
A Grilling by Security Agents
June 12, 2006; Page A1

SHENZHEN, China -- Zou Tao has become an unlikely hero in this profit-driven city of half-built apartment complexes and luxury villas: He is calling for a boycott of the real-estate market.

It is a daring grass-roots campaign, designed to tamp down overheated property prices, that he says has gotten him in trouble with police and attracted threats -- but also the backing of people across the country.

Since he posted an open letter on his Internet blog in April urging Shenzhen residents to stop buying property, Mr. Zou says, he has been deluged with more than 150,000 pledges of support nationwide. The 32-year-old golf-equipment dealer has evidently tapped into a deep resentment against powerful real-estate developers and their local-government backers. They have helped push prices so high that many city residents can't afford to buy, even while numerous units held by speculators remain empty.

"Millions of Chinese citizens stand behind you," read one message that lit up Mr. Zou's cellphone.

His attack on Shenzhen's property barons says much about a mood of defiance, when it comes to housing, that is sweeping China's normally apolitical middle class. Soaring property prices are widening social divisions in what is already one of the most unequal societies on earth. The average cost of a new apartment in Shenzhen has shot up to about $125,000, the equal of 10 years' salary for a college-educated professional there.

The excesses of a real-estate industry that is focused on the top end of the market have also raised the risk of a property bubble in some big cities, from Shenzhen on the southern coast of China to Shanghai and Beijing farther north.

Around the country, local governments sometimes face violent protests from peasants whose farms have been gobbled up by voraciously expanding cities. Tension is simmering among inner-city workers whose homes are bulldozed to make way for high rises. Now, anger is building among the very group that stood to benefit most from China's warp-speed development: the aspiring middle class, where so many are being priced out.

Behind the surge lie contradictory priorities that arose over two decades of fast growth. Leaders in Beijing, fearful of the social unrest income disparities can cause, are eager to develop affordable mass housing. Yet city governments, competing with one another to expand their economies and build infrastructure, rely heavily on land sales to developers and taxes on expensive property. Their interest is to maximize profits.

The upshot is backing for Mr. Zou's boycott campaign from people like David Huang, a 32-year-old manager at a high-tech factory in Shenzhen.

Mr. Huang and his wife have been saving for years to buy a home in which to raise their son, now 7. At the end of last year, they had enough for a deposit on a three-bedroom apartment. But Mr. Huang says he got busy at work and put off the paperwork. His delay proved costly. Since January, he says, pointing a finger toward the ceiling of a Shenzhen coffee shop, the price has zoomed by 40%.

How could prices keep soaring at the same time as supply is? "It's all speculation and manipulation," says Mr. Huang, who continues to rent. "If developers want to make a reasonable profit, I can take that. But this is out of control."

Those who do buy include a cross section of the affluent, many of whom are evidently speculators. They include prosperous ethnic Chinese from Taiwan and Hong Kong, managers at foreign-owned enterprises, and urban yuppies who got in when prices were affordable and are borrowing to buy more. Many of these buyers appear confident that foreign companies will continue to pour into China's big cities, and expatriates will sop up the many still-empty apartments. Kenny Tse, a real-estate analyst for Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, estimates that 25% to 40% of the buyers of new urban apartments pay cash.

But for Mr. Huang to buy, he would have to spend half of his $800 monthly salary on the mortgage. That would be impossible, he says, given how much he must save to protect himself against medical and other emergencies in a society that has only a flimsy social safety net. A mortgage of the size needed to buy, he says, would "mean I can't lose my job. It means I can't get sick."

For many years under China's socialist system, private home ownership was frowned on. The Communists seized all private property, and employers provided workers with subsidized housing, the rent a pittance. But in 1995, China's leaders launched a privatization experiment in Guangdong, the province surrounding Shenzhen on China's southern coast. There, the provincial government authorized individual state-run enterprises to sell off their housing stock inexpensively to their workers. That program was later rolled out around the country, creating the beginnings of a private housing market.

At the same time, Beijing encouraged the growth of mortgage lending, which spurred construction of more private housing. Besides easing the burden on factories, authorities hoped this program would fuel the expansion of cities as economic engines and support an array of industries, from home furnishings to financial services.

The ensuing building boom has reverberated through the global economy. Partly to fuel its pell-mell real-estate construction, China consumes vast amounts of steel, copper and cement, inflating global commodity prices. Meanwhile, its trade surpluses leave it awash in cash that state banks are all to eager to lend -- further stimulating both the building and the buying of housing. And if credit weren't enough to steer investors into housing, they face a paucity of other places for their cash, what with bank deposit rates fixed at 2.25%.

In one gauge of the vigor of the housing market, Ikea has opened a superstore in Beijing that is second in size only to its flagship store in Sweden.

But it is unclear how sustainable this boom is. Some economists warn that Chinese cities are becoming so overbuilt they face a price collapse. The more optimistic dismiss the concern, noting that annual house-price increases have been roughly tracking double-digit rises in urban salaries over the past several years.

Making it harder to know who is right: China lacks many of the detailed housing statistics common in the West, such as rates of vacancies, inventories and resale prices. The lack of data leaves prospective buyers at loss when faced with a hard sell from buyers -- and may keep the developers, themselves, from sensing the extent of their overbuilding.

Vacancy estimates for new residential buildings in Shanghai run as high as 25% -- yet about 250,000 new apartments flood the market each year, official figures show. In Shanghai's suburbs, the surplus has begun to cool prices, which after a run-up are off 25% in the past year. In Beijing, meanwhile, property prices are soaring ahead of the 2008 Olympics. But rents on luxury homes there are falling, suggesting that prices are supported more by speculation than real demand.

"It's going to turn bad," predicts Peter Churchouse, who runs the Lim Asia Alternative Real Estate fund in Hong Kong.

A property bust, potentially far bigger than one that struck in the late 1990s, could batter China's economy. Investment in real estate is likely to approach 10% of gross domestic product this year. The World Bank estimates that 20% to 30% of lending by China's big state banks goes to real estate. Serious trouble in housing could bury them in bad loans.

The central government has taken steps to head off such a scenario. Last month, it announced a ban on new villa developments -- walled compounds of townhouses and freestanding homes -- as part of a slew of directives aiming at forcing local governments to build more low-cost housing and at driving out speculators. For residential property held less than five years, Beijing imposed a 20% capital-gains tax on profit and a 5.5% levy on the total sales price. It also raised the minimum down payment (to 30% from 20%) and said developers must reserve 70% of new projects for smaller units. But the new rules are full of loopholes, and past efforts by Beijing to rein in prices have all failed.

Benefits from the property boom have flowed unevenly. Of the 20 wealthiest people on the 2005 "China Rich List," compiled by British accountant Rupert Hoogewerf, half are in real estate and all have a net worth of more than $500 million.

But in Beijing, 70% of the population falls beneath the income level needed to buy a home, according to a think tank at Beijing Normal University. Take Price Wu, a 32-year-old software engineer who earns $1,000 a month. His salary ranks him among China's affluent, but he is still looking for an affordable place to buy.

Last year, Mr. Wu says, he lost his girlfriend because he couldn't bring himself to take the financial risk of buying an apartment she insisted they needed before marriage. His ambitions are modest. "I don't want a villa, just a very ordinary apartment will do," he says.

Mr. Wu is weary of the games he says real-estate companies play. "They'll tell you that they only have five apartments left. They say, 'Buy now or they'll all be gone,' " he says.

Mr. Wu doesn't expect that Mr. Zou's boycott campaign will collapse property prices, but hopes that "it might at least stabilize them." He adds: "If the masses get together and show their force, nothing can stand in their way."

In challenging developers, Mr. Zou recognizes he has crossed the line from consumer advocacy to political activism. In China, some of the biggest developers are backed by local governments and work closely with state-owned banks.

A former soldier, Mr. Zou was born in a poor village in the central province of Hunan. He says he grew up with a passion for defending the weak and exploited, and got into importing and exporting golf equipment simply as a way to fund his work as a consumer advocate.

His activism made him a minor celebrity in his adopted home of Shenzhen. Last September, in a public hearing to discuss a controversial proposal to raise parking fees, Mr. Zou turned up with the results of his own online survey showing that 85% of 12,301 people he questioned opposed the increase. In the end, the government slashed the proposed increase.

He wasn't prepared for the resistance to his latest crusade. He says plainclothes security agents seized him at the Shenzhen airport last month as he tried to board a flight to Beijing to present a letter to Premier Wen Jiabao complaining that urban residents have become "house slaves" to developers. The agents grilled him overnight but let him go the next day, he says. He jumped on the first available plane to Beijing and delivered his petition to the State Council, the equivalent of the Chinese cabinet.

Mr. Zou has also run into trouble from other quarters. He just laid off the last of his 15 employees, he says, because he feared for their safety after they received anonymous telephone threats. His downtown office, once bursting with samples of Titleist golf balls and MacGregor sports bags, sits almost empty. A few days ago, he says, somebody apparently cut fine slits in the rear tires of his car. He says a mechanic who noticed the damage told him the rubber could have burst open at high speed and caused a crash.

"A lot of people hate me," Mr. Zou says, slumped in his executive desk chair in a yellow golf shirt and khaki chinos. "They think I'm stealing their fortune."

Li Ning, a marketing manager for Shenzhen's newest office tower, the 52-story Times Square built by Hong Kong-backed Excellence Group, offers a guarded view of Mr. Zou's campaign. "I may not agree with what he says, but I support his right to say it," he says.

Mr. Li puts the blame for Shenzhen's rising property prices in part on the local government, which he says miscalculated the explosive growth of the city from a stretch of farmland in the 1970s. Today, it has 12 million people but is short of public transportation between its heavily built-up downtown and its spacious suburbs. The result is a scramble for living space in the inner city. "Extreme price rises and falls aren't good for us," Mr. Li says. "We want stability."

Shortly after Mr. Zou posted his blog message calling for the boycott, the state-run China Youth Daily newspaper conducted an Internet survey among 9,000 people asking for their reaction: 79.1% of interviewees offered their support.

6/12/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Hats off to Mr. Zou..


6/12/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

It just goes to show that this bubble is worldwide.

The entire edifice is coming down very quickly and it is pretty frightening.

The process is accelerating. Sellers are going to look back a couple of months from now and wonder why they didn't just cut their prices 20% right at the beginning and gotten out.

6/12/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

6/12/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Some real bargins:

6/12/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That article is a perfect article for the economy discussion: Why China's democratic efforts are paying off and going to save the US economy over the next four years.

That, and recent articles about the Chinese consumer's irrational demand for Chevys, Pontiacs and other god-awful Western products.

I wish I owned a self-storage business in China right now.


6/12/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger pesche22 said...

just where you want to be.
on the hackensack river.

good luck and good night.

but if your from brooklyn or the
bronx, whats the diff. beats the
east side river.

another nj diaster

6/12/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger pesche22 said...

and i like mexican soccer .

and smell of the food vendors
is not that bad.lets all feel
good and diversify.

6/12/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

Lets leave the BRonx and Brooklyn out of it, at least they have millions of people living in those two boros, as opposed to Hackensack's 35K and also they have some very nice areas/neighborhoods Hackensack in a word is a dump.

6/12/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous seattle price drop said...


thankyou for posting the article on China and Zou Tao.

I read an article, published at the end of April, where Zou had more or less "disappeared" at that time.

But it's interesting to note that by mid May the Chinese govt. had tightened lending in an effort to coold down the RE market.

6/12/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger pesche22 said...

yes delford,,

let me know where the nice sections of brooklyn and the bronx are. you been over their lately.

check the crime rates,, unless
of course your into diversity.

then of course ,,

6/12/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

The Ford Dealership in question is just across the street from Sears. I remember taking my car to the Ford dealership a few years back. I think the dealership does border the river.

One side of the dealership is part of FDU. Its actually quite nice with the campus grounds and track field (at least it used to be that way). The other side is a gas station, I think.

There is bus service to New York 2 blocks away, and its reasonably good. Also, River Edge Mall is 5 minutes by car. Teaneck and Hackensack downtwns are also 2-5 minutes. Both downtowns have really taken a beating from the Paramus malls. The Hackensack downtown is practically dead. Teaneck downtown is slow, but there are a couple of good restaurants. Lots of fast food restaurants on that road.

Other than the University grounds, the neighborhood is not that great. Not bad, but not great. On the other hand, given how Seaucaus riverside townhouses sold, maybe people will buy these as well.

6/12/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

Hackensack has some really nice expensive high rise buildings on Prospect street (quite a distance from River Road). Many of these are rental places, with excellent facilities and views of Manhattan.

I was looking into buying a building there ( it's currently a fast food chicken restaurant).

Investor David, do you get financing for these buildings through a regular mortgage or are there other banks that deal with commercial mortgages ? Do you normally get positive cash flow with these deals ?

6/12/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

Still at it Pesche22 ? You should really consider moving to Idaho.

6/12/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

pesche: Yes let me enlighten you as to the nice areas there.Unfortunatley you exhibit hwt is common in many NJ centric people especially BC perole, that NYC is horrible, and that everyone in the city is just dying to move to BC, and of course will pay big bucks.

Bronx Nice areas- City Island, Throggs Neck, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens, Morris Park, Country Club, Woodlawn and of course Riverdale.

Brooklyn- Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Bay RidgeDyker Heights,a nd I am sure I missed some.

6/13/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger pesche22 said...

ive been to those areas...

your not going to convince me that
you have mostly low lifes in the
bronx and Brooklyn.

all you have to do is wait till
they open the mouth.

now, ifs its english well, you
know the accent. if its spanish or

go ahead live next store to them
do the right thing.

the libs love it. cant get enough

6/13/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger delford said...

pesche How about all the run down dumpy towns in Bergen County, and there are many, not to mention Hudosn and Essex,and just about every city in NJ.

You have not been to the areas I mentioned or you would not have posted what you posted.

Need to get rid of your NJ centric ways.

We are a bankrupt state, with a decaying infastructure, highest property taxrs in the nation, and the high paying industreies in our state are dying, and or leaving the state entirely. But we are creating lots of restaurant employees.

6/13/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger pesche22 said...

look i love mac. grill.

love garfield,lodi,n.arlington,

these are growth towns.

and of course, they are nothing
compared to the bronx and brooklyn.

although English is getting a little scarce.

Bergen County is beginning to get
its fill. How about Palisades Park,

Clifside Park, Fairview,

These towns are like foreign countries.

Now of course go to any town in
Bergen County and you will see the street walkers, and I dont mean

6/13/2006 01:10:00 PM  
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6/15/2006 02:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/20/2006 03:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/20/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/20/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/20/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The average home is currently on the for about 4 months before it goes to contract. Around 15% of initial real estate contracts never make it to a successful closing ... something goes wrong, and the frustrated seller puts the home back on the real estate market .

6/21/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hint #4 for . Fix That Faucet! Dripping water suggests faulty plumbing, one of the greatest fears that savvy buyers have.

6/21/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/21/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do a lot to For example, curb appeal sells: do some landscaping. Plant some flowers. Remember that the front door greets buyers. Make sure it offers potential a bright, warm welcome.

6/22/2006 07:51:00 AM  
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6/22/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/23/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/24/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do a lot to For example, curb appeal sells: do some landscaping. Plant some flowers. Remember that the front door greets buyers. Make sure it offers potential a bright, warm welcome.

6/24/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the year prior to Hurricane Wilma, which ripped through south Florida in October, 2005, 64 homes had new owners at the . A snapshot of the present may show the Housing Bubble has already popped.

6/25/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. Silence Is Golden: Be courteous but don't force conversation with a potential buyer. He wants to inspect your house, not pay a social visit.
Go here for more ideas.

6/25/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hint #7 for . Safety First: Keep halls and stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries

6/25/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're selling your home, consider . Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce a lot more than house appeal. They cut into your price. Invest in a few cans of paint. Brighten up the interior. .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7/04/2006 01:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this "cooling off" real estate market, suggest that the average residence is shown about 4 times a week during the first 3 weeks of a real estate listing. After that, an unsold home goes "stale" ... it gets shown less .

7/04/2006 09:07:00 AM  
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7/05/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7/05/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hint #12 for . Harmonize The Elements: FM radio or stereo on softly, TV off. All lights on, day or night. Drapes open in the daytime, closed at night. If it's hot, cool it!

7/05/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do a lot to For example, curb appeal sells: do some landscaping. Plant some flowers. Remember that the front door greets buyers. Make sure it offers potential a bright, warm welcome.

7/06/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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