Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Northern New Jersey Weekly Inventory Update

(Garden State Multiple Listing Service)
Single Family Homes, Condo, Coop
(Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren Counties)

7/5 - 18,360
7/12 - 18,573 (1.2% Increase)

(New Jersey Multiple Listing Service)
Single Family Homes, Condo, Coop
(Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic Counties)

7/5 - 9,089
7/12 - 9,187 (1.1% Increase)

MLSGuide -
Single Family Homes, Condo, Coop
(Hudson County)

7/5 - 2,644
7/12 - 2,623 (0.8% Decrease)


Blogger thatbigwindow said...

Why does mlsguide always see a decrease, and the other mls's see an increase? Is it because Hudson County is immune to bubble theory?

7/12/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Currently, there are 31,686 properties advertised for sale in NJ on our site. For Residential Properties that are Multiple Listed with Garden State, 99% are available to be searched on this site.

7/12/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Hudson inventory on MLSGuide is up roughly 52-53% this year.

We started the year with about 1700, currently at 2624.

There is a bit more volatility associated with Hudson on MLSGuide, simply due to the fact that we're dealing with a smaller sample set of data. If you looked at county level data from GSMLS, you would see similar behavior.

You really need to aggregate to a multi-county level in order to eliminate the volatility and see a smoother trend develop.


7/12/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usually how much of a chance there is for a "under contract" deal become nulled and the house goes back to the market?

Just wondering, because I saw this house that we really liked, empty, but the owner said it is under contract right now..

7/12/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...


Great blog here. Have been reading since I relocate to NJ after grad school at the beginning of the year.

Want to get everybody's suggestion whether to rent or buy in NNJ?

Total income (my wife and I)=$160K
liquid cash for down = $100K
(maybe $20K more from 401 if neccessary)
No other debt at all.

Looking for area in NNJ, since wife works in CT.
I don't even know what price range of houses I can get. and I don't know whether to get a townhouse since it is very popular in the fort lee area(only area we have looked at open houses so far) or a single family house.

Thanks in advance for everybody's input.

7/12/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea why Middlesex seems to have the biggest increase from the last year

7/12/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


All those years in school and not one economics class? No probability and statistics?

Somesinks fishy in de bay, today, say aye.

7/12/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger BergenBuyer said...


I'm in a similar boat as you, I'm one of those "greedy/lucky" sellers that got top dollar in March and now I'm living with the in-laws as we try and wait until prices drop. I personally think they will drop and the only issue I have is when will they drop and whether the drop in prices will be worth it for me to wait and rent. I can stay at the in-laws until about Sept/Oct. If I was already renting then I think I would continue to rent since it would require me to do nothing. However, I'm not and all of my stuff is in storage, so moving stuff from storage to rental and then back to a new house needs to be beneficial from a financial standpoint as well as from a sanity standpoint. I also have a 1 yr old and we're looking forward to settling into a neighborhood with other younger families.

If you and your wife are renting or can live where you are for a little longer without the hassle of moving, I would wait it out as long as possible.

Keep an eye on this blog, you'll know when it's hit bottom and it's time to buy.

Nice work saving the $100K, don't touch the 401K, save a little more while you rent.



7/12/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"Usually how much of a chance there is for a "under contract" deal become nulled and the house goes back to the market?"

A few months ago, about a 5% chance at best. The 'back on market' trend (buyer getting cold feet) has been increasing, though.

7/12/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

For the curious in Bergen County, here are the number of residential SFH listings NOT including condos & co-ops from NJMLS

03/03 3,132
03/10 3,230
03/17 3,337
03/23 3,432
03/30 3,543

04/05 3,628
04/12 3,706
04/19 3,781
04/24 3,856

05/08 4,082
05/15 4,174
05/22 4,292
05/29 4,352

06/05 4,382
06/12 4,353
06/19 4,526
06/26 4,588

07/05 4,550
07/10 4,585
As of today: 4,613

7/12/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All those years in school and not one economics class? No probability and statistics?

Somesinks fishy in de bay, today, say aye.

I second the comment! I only have a Master's an even I can figure it out. What school did you attend? I'll be sure not to send my kids there!

BTW--you won't be able to afford much, so continue renting.

7/12/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

As I ask in the previous thread

"Is it not better for me to buy a $450K townhouse then renting for $2500/month? "

7/12/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K. Ph.D...go do the math.

7/12/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Simple answer?

If you can rent that $450,000 townhouse for $2,500 a month, it's in your advantage to rent.


7/12/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the $vix is up today to

Fear is in the air.

Bad housing and the stock market.

Look out below.

7/12/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


They give PhDs for head in the sand? Just kidding

My advice, but I am just a small fish in a sea of sharks.

Right now, cash is king.

I would hold off buying till this becomes a real buyers market. No matter what spin you hear, its still a sellers market, but that is just starting to change. Be patient, hold and save. Because if you buy a house today, its going to be worth less tomorrow, and you will be upside down, and that nice cash you have saved up will be in some fat bankers pocket, and he doesn't give a rats ass about you either.

Keep saving, stay out of debt, make your FICO score perfect, up your 401K contribution (helps to reduce tax burden come April), increase savings by reducing lifestyle a little.

Come late 07 or 08, reevaluate everything. As time goes on, the buyer (i.e you), gets more and more of the upper hand. Remember that. Believe me, the great real estate run up is over, market timing is everything.

I don't know your investment style, but perhaps think about investing in thirds. 1/3 cash money in a 5% savings account, 1/3 gold or silver (poor mans gold), 1/3 stock (check out uranium, coal, or nickel, and stay away from the Dow 30 becasuse its so propped up by these pencil neck traders. Maybe you can get the stock via your 401?

Off topic a little, but this might help to understand. We are in a time period of 1970s and Vietnam. Think of Iraq as Vietnam (although it ain't, but just for my example). Back then, we were in a time of rising interest rates, rising metals, and rising oil prices, and at war....ala...2006.
Housing was the last thing that made money.

Oil, gold/silver, interest rates all go up at the same time. I believe we are only in phase 1 on this bull market. I am sticking to my guns on this one but sometime within this year, we are looking at $100 oil, $1000/oz gold, 6% interest rate. If we go into another war (Iran or N. Korea) or if there is another big hurriance, my predicted prices will seem cheap.

Back in the 70's an ounce of gold bought the Dow. Yee, those day were alot of fun...

Take from me what you will.

7/12/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many building stocks reaching
52 week lows.

KBH, tol, hov,

very sad indeed.

Do not listen to Cramer

7/12/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

San Diego posts it's first median decline in a decade..

County housing market continues to soften

San Diego County's housing market continued to lose steam in June, with median home prices posting their first year-over-year decline in a decade and sales dropping for the 24th straight month.
Last month's median home price dropped to $488,000, a 1 percent decline from a year earlier and a 6 percent decrease from last November's peak of $518,000.
Meanwhile, sales increased slightly from May but were down 24 percent from June of 2005.
The segment of the housing market showing the biggest correction is new homes, which saw an 8 percent price decline, influenced, in part, by dropping prices for condo conversions.

7/12/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cramer is a joke. He is just a wall steet cheerleader.

He just wants to make everything fun so you will buy stocks. Oldest trick in the book. The powers that be want you to make an emotional attachemnt to him, so if he say "buy", all these yahoos go out and buy....its called the "Cramer effect".

The Street ain't Disneyland. I have seen alot of people lose it all.

You want fun and games, goto Vegas. Always hit on a soft 17.


7/12/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger X-Underwriter said...

Tol was trading at $6 back in the early 90's.
It still has a long way to go down

Looks like there's still time to buy some options

7/12/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Don't underestimate the ability to cut deep into margins when backed into a corner. HB margins are still strong.

In many regions, builders still have the ability to undercut existing home sellers, remaining profitable all the way.

Not investment advice, just my own opinion.


7/12/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We got a very tough stock market
and housing market.

The consumer will suffer.

0 financing is back and Chrysler

offering Employee pricing.

Hurry over to you Chrysler store.

7/12/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous dreamtheaterr said...

Cash is King at 5% (for now).
CDs - 5%+ but not liquid enough. Over the long term CDs are 'constantly diminishing' in real terms.

For a downpayment to buy over next 1-3 years, I'd go 50% money market fund (Vanguard or TIAA) and 50% ultra-short/short-term bond fund with <2 yr durationfor a bit of extra yield (Fidelity and Vanguard).

For the long term, allocate among large/small cap globally via an index fund or ETF. The probability of fund managers outperforming the Total Stock Market index over 30 year period is virtually nil AFTER expenses, management fees (for wine tasting and call girls), taxes due to portfolio turnover and transactions costs.

I don't work on Wall Street but common sense tells me active management is a losers game designed to make Wall Street rich and the common man poor.

7/12/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, where did the guy with the PhD in Real Estate commissions go...

Must work in a 4:00 p.m. close office.

You guys (men) are way too nice, btw, to a guy who says he's been reading this blog since he moved here in January.


7/12/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger rymingrealtor said...

Usually how much of a chance there is for a "under contract" deal become nulled and the house goes back to the market?

If I go by my own personal experience I would say back on the market is quite common. I had taken interest in a property in oct I went to see it decided we wanted it only to find out it went under contract. About 3o days later it was "BOM" financing was difficult because of the unusual aspects of this property. I made an offer laid out money for an appraisal because of financing ( make sure it was doable first) And then backed out myself based on the problems that were coming up and dealing with a horrible listing agent. It then went back on the market and sold for cash for 15000 less than we were paying.
I found another property that was of interest, and it too went under contract before I could get my husband in for a second look. That did not come back on the market.

Found another property, definitly liked again wanted to get my husband in - we are 50 miles away and he works 6 days aweek - anyway again went under contract... almost 6 weeks later "BOM"
This I decided not to act on as this blog has let me see more of what truly is going on than I could see on my own.
So thats 2 out of 3 ....

7/12/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

I am not a Ph.D. in RE. In fact, I am a Ph.D. in engineering.

"They give PhDs for head in the sand?"

Yes, they do. I was literally working with sand right now. Sand that could change crude oil (those that cost $70+/barrel) to gasoline you pump at the mobils, shells, BPs. That's totally another topic.

Anyway, I do feel like the bubble is about to burst and from what grim has posted, San Diego has already done that. What I am suggesting is that because of the vicinity of NNJ to NYC? The rent in NNJ is very high and would not possibly come down unless a serious economic downturn (in that case, everything is screwed). The rent will be rising as long as RE is sliding or bubble-bursting and there comes a tipping point, where paying rent does not overcome the benefit of owning a house. I think with the tax relief and all that, that tipping point will be about 15% of the peak prices.

Please forgive my ignorance in finanical terms

7/12/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

"I am not a Ph.D. in RE. In fact, I am a Ph.D. in engineering."

Sorry for the insult. Hope you're not from North Carolina, then I'm really in trouble.

7/12/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no apology needed or should be given to the mean-spirited posts. I suspect they are just teasing, poking good-natured fun.

What is the urgency to buy into a falling asset? Wait a year, you will get more for your money or pay less for the same thing.


7/12/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...


reason to move, spouse commute to work in CT >1.5 hr

BTW, ask you this question in the other thread.

"Is there any law prohibiting you (the landlord) from increasing the rent annual (or more frequently) in NNJ?"

7/12/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Is it any wonder why rents have been stagnant in Northern NJ? If you need an answer, look to the stagnant wages over the same period. Wages and rents are tightly coupled.

So what changed, why have rents in the area gone up recently?

Because inflation is finally bleeding through to wages.

Sorry, but the increase in rents recently has more to do with wage inflation than house prices.

Renters don't care what your PITI is, they don't care what your breakeven is. Renters will only pay what they can afford. There are plenty of long-term landlords that can easily undercut recent buyers by huge margins. Landlords, like sellers, can ask whatever they like, but they'll only get what the market can support.


7/12/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

PhD - tar sands?

Why aren't you up in Western Canada?

7/12/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous May Li said...

Hi Phd,

When my husband got his engineering PHD years back, he got high 50k first job. And we brought our first house in 200k with almost no down easily....

My advise to you are:
1. seeing the house you plan to buy, but don't offer yet;
2. check NJ first time home buyer option and loan rate;
3. get good chance and make your offer;
Good luck!

7/12/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...


Client story. Husband and wife. Early 60's. Both want to retire soon. Haven't saved enough. Refinanced with a negative amort-ARM. Interest rates going up. She just got laid off.

They are going to sell the house and take the left over money to pay their bills. They are now forced to rent and lose their dream home in order to be more comfortable.

Now I have to convince them to keep working as long as possible.

Not going to happen.

7/12/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...


Don't like canada because tax is too much already... I actually go to grad school in chicago. I like chi town but prefer having access to a even bigger city- NYC.

7/12/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Oliver said...

May, is the First Time Home Buyer option a state program?

7/12/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here are some hard numbers for you on the townhouse you are considering:
$450,000.00 Sale Price
$90,00.00 Down Payment From your savings.
$10,000.00 for closing, escrow,mis. from your savings
$360,000.00 Mortgage Amount
7% Fixed interest rate for 30 years

$2,395.00 Mortgage Monthly Payment
$600.00 Monthly RE TAX (Estimate)
$250.00 Condo Fee (Estimate)

$3,245.00 Total Monthly Payment

You need a total combined income of 140k(28% rule)to qulify, which is a no problem for you .

Draw your own conclusion


7/12/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Townhouse for 450k in Fort Lee ? is this a 2bd townhouse? no way you can find 3bd for that price, not yet .


7/12/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You forgot to add $458 p/month lost interest on $100k downpayment/closing costs

$100,000 5.5% CD = $5,500 yr

$3703 p/month actual cost


7/12/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

add insurance and your close to $4,000

7/12/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true. bs is.... ms is more shit, ph.d is piled higher and deeper.
They are bad with money. Me being one. Now they make ph.d's take statistics but really they should have at least one basic economics class. I have to learn through mistakes. If I knew I would have been very wealthy.

7/12/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GSMLS 31,732 properties

gain of only 60 houses today :( i was hoping for another 100 like the past few days.

7/12/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the example.
btw how much should a couple in their 60's do you think should have saved that will be comfortable in this day and age?

7/12/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some conservatives say 15 to as much as 20 times final salary. Or you can do replacement ratio calcs:

Then again, there's always Walmart.

Not Chicago (he left for the weekend.)

7/12/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:15:18
Thanks a lot. These sites are very educational and helpful.
You are as good as Chicago.
Are you Andy?
Have a good day.
I hope the stock market don't go down today.

7/13/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous May Li said...

Hi Mr. Oliver,

I can't recall what was excatly and if it is still there, but here is the link I found:

I remember we got the lowest rate at that time, minimun down pay, and few thousands dollors back after about a years of loan...

As I mentioned earlier, we got nice 4br/2bth house at 200k that time... now a PHD can't aford it any more....definitely big bubble in house market...
Hope this helps and good luck!

7/13/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous May Li said...

Ooops, here is the full link:


7/13/2006 09:27:00 AM  

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