November Pending Home Sales

From CNBC:

Pending Home Sales Rise 1.7 Percent, Beating Forecast

A measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years, the latest sign of improvement in the once-battered housing market.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.7 percent in November from October to 106.4. That’s the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer tax credit caused a spike in sales. And after excluding those few months when the tax credit was available, it’s the best reading since February 2007.

The increase points to higher sales of previously occupied homes in the coming months. There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Economists in a Reuters survey had forecast a 1 percent rise in pending home sales.

Here is a repost of the local pending sales data (contracts) for November:

(Source GSMLS, except Bergen which is NJMLS)

November Pending Home Sales (Contracts)
——————————-

Bergen County
November 2011 – 524
November 2012 – 535 (Up 2.1% YOY)

Essex County
November 2011 – 230
November 2012 – 265 (Up 15.2% YOY)

Hunterdon County
November 2011 – 78
November 2012 – 86 (Up 10.3% YOY)

Morris County
November 2011 – 280
November 2012 – 314 (Up 12.1% YOY)

Passaic County
November 2011 – 163
November 2012 – 199 (Up 22.1% YOY)

Somerset County
November 2011 – 173
November 2012 – 173 (Flat YOY)

Sussex County
November 2011 – 87
November 2012 – 104 (Up 19.5% YOY)

Union County
November 2011 – 240
November 2012 – 248 (Up 3.3% YOY)

Warren County
November 2011 – 64
November 2012 – 68 (Up 6.3% YOY)

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138 Responses to November Pending Home Sales

  1. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Along Coast, Hurricane Left Housing Market in Turmoil

    John Vento knew exactly how much his home was worth. The retired New York City police officer put his two-family house in the New Dorp Beach area of Staten Island on the market for $580,000 in February. Soon after, he refused an offer of $510,000.

    ut that was before Mr. Vento and his wife watched from the top floor as 10 feet of water ruined the home in which they had raised their three children. Last week, he sold it for $279,000, less than half his original asking price, unable to wait for a better offer.

    “I was fortunate to get what I got,” he said. “I’m 72 years old. What am I going to do? Wait until I’m 82? By that time I’d be living in a nursing home.”

    The real estate market along the New York and New Jersey coastlines has been as upended by Hurricane Sandy as the houses tossed from their foundations. In places where waterfront views once commanded substantial premiums, housing prices have tumbled amid uncertainty about the costs of rebuilding and the dangers of seaside living.

    Homeowners have had to decide quickly whether to sell out or pour more money in to fix storm-damaged homes, as the real estate speculators who have descended on these areas make offers that would have been preposterous just two months ago.

    Some owners have indignantly balked and even gone so far as to take houses that were already on the market off, waiting for values to rebound. But many others who lack the means or the desire to rebuild say they have no choice but to try to get out from under these properties for whatever they can.

    “They’ve had enough,” said Steve Kaplan, 49, an investment banker from Long Beach, on Long Island, who has been buying damaged properties there since the storm. “They are going to move on, they don’t want to deal, they don’t want to redo their house.”

    “There’s an opportunity here,” Mr. Kaplan added, “that you can buy houses for cash because they want to move on very quickly.”

    In the meantime, a range of real estate prospectors have arrived. A truck advertising a company that buys distressed homes for cash started patrolling the waterlogged neighborhoods along the Rockaways, in Queens, almost immediately after the storm. Signs offering the services of similar companies have cropped up like crab grass in front of supermarkets on Long Island.

    And there were so many paltry offers for properties on Craigslist that one person posted: “Real estate is high enough and many are trying to suck the life out of people who have lost homes, cars and all their possessions. Where are your hearts and consciences?”

    But the cash-in-hand these companies offer may be too desperately needed for some homeowners to pass up.

    Ryan Case, a partner at Seaside Funding, a national “flip company” that often offers 60 percent to 70 percent below market rate for properties, acknowledged that would-be sellers would be wise to ignore his agents’ offers.

    “We are not your best option,” he said.

    Yet those who find bargain-basement offers tough to swallow — compared with the value their houses had before the storm — sometimes find themselves with little alternative. Mr. Case recounted how one New Jersey woman reacted with outrage at his company’s offer. “She said, ‘I’ll burn the house before I sell it to you guys to make a profit,’ ” he said. But she called back a week later to see if the offer still stood.

  2. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    2nd

  3. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Similar comments will soon be uttered all through some very nice train towns in Bergen County.

    “I was fortunate to get what I got,” he said. “I’m 72 years old. What am I going to do? Wait until I’m 82? By that time I’d be living in a nursing home.”

  4. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  5. grim says:

    3 – Is a hurricane headed for the train towns?

    The analogy is incomplete, as it leaves out the part where the new buyer rehabs or rebuilds the property, and resells it for way more than the original $580k, making a mint on the resale.

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    Bergen County
    November 2011 – 524
    November 2012 – 535 (Up 2.1% YOY)

    Prices slightly down YOY and no change in volume, although listings are sparse. This, despite rock bottom rates as well. It’ll be the same next year. Keep waiting fat Joe and Mary, maybe you can bag a s.ucker before you die of a f.ucking heart attack.

  7. Fast Eddie says:

    grim,

    287 Pine back on the market?

  8. grim says:

    Sure looks like it

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    Bahaahaa! I hope the “kids” get their price. You know, they wouldn’t want to give it away. :o

  10. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re: [1];

    put his two-family house in the New Dorp Beach area of Staten Island on the market for $580,000 in February. Soon after, he refused an offer of $510,000.

    ut that was before Mr. Vento and his wife watched from the top floor as 10 feet of water ruined the home in which they had raised their three children. Last week, he sold it for $279,000, less than half his original asking price, unable to wait for a better offer.

    Oh, the Drama! The Tragedy!

    Exactly why did Mr. Vento and his wife feel entitled to squeeze $580,000 out of a buyer for a house that probably wasn’t even worth $500,000 (despite the $510k offer)? I feel the same about this story as if they had reported a drug dealer lost $2 MM in inventory to storm damage.

  11. Comrade Nom Deplume trying out the new iPad mini says:

    [re: bad pizza, prior thread]

    There is something to be said for altitude, locale, etc. But I have had good pizza in the hinterlands. The common thread is a pizza maker from a northeastern city who knew how.

  12. 250K says:

    Talk about not getting your price, one of my favorite listings to follow is 2976118

    10/14/2012 Listed for sale $999,000
    09/24/2012 Listing removed $1,049,000
    09/07/2012 Price change $1,049,000
    07/13/2012 Price change $1,079,000
    05/30/2012 Listed for sale $1,099,000
    12/16/2010 Price change $1,190,000
    12/02/2010 Listed for sale $1,217,000

    In Dec’10 they got offers for 1.1, in May’12 they likely got offers for an even million and now they are listing it at 999. This guy just watches as the knife drops past his face; doesn’t even try to catch it.

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    Zero inventory, rock bottom rates and prices down YOY in Upper Haughtyville. Keep holding out, you fat f.ucks.

  14. grim says:

    6/14 – November – NJMLS – Bergen – SFH only

    Nov 2011
    310 Sales
    $537,132 Average Sale Price
    $400,000 Median Sale Price

    Nov 2012
    413 Sales
    $552,850 Average Sale Price
    $423,500 Median Sale Price

    If we slice deeper into only the 500 and 600 regions (Wyckoff, Saddle River, USR, Ramsey, Mahwah, Washington Twp, Hillsdale, Ridgewood, HoHoKus, Glen Rock, etc)

    Nov 2011
    106 Sales
    $656,685 Average Sale Price
    $520,000 Median Sale Price

    Nov 2012
    159 Sales
    $674,501 Average Sale Price
    $575,000 Median Sale Price

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    Numbers according to the NAR? Sure, we all believe them. I’ve been studying the same 40 houses spanning 7 towns for a half year now and they’ve been riding the market down. Prices are down… wait, they’re up… no, they’re down… there’s plenty of inventory… wait, there’s little inventory!

  16. grim says:

    I’m looking at closed sales in NJMLS – They’ve got tax records, they are clean sales.

  17. Fast Eddie says:

    I just did a search on NJMLS in Hillsdale; it’s the same houses listed at the same prices as a month ago and I’m sure if I pulled up another town, it would be the same. It’s like a snapshot. If these sales are happening, then I must be in some parallel world because I have no idea where these sales are coming from. And if they are happening, it’s definitely some “exclusive” inside bullsh.it where the “buyer” is in place before anyone else knows about it. It’s those metrics that can’t be measured.

  18. Fast Eddie says:

    Park Ridge, same deal. Every single house between 500K and 700K, I can describe the inside down to the stench and filth. Those numbers are all inside f.ucking manuevers.

  19. chicagofinance says:

    I’m confused…is this real estate or pizza?

    grim says:
    December 28, 2012 at 8:36 am
    If we slice deeper into only the 500 and 600 regions (Wyckoff, Saddle River, USR, Ramsey, Mahwah, Washington Twp, Hillsdale, Ridgewood, HoHoKus, Glen Rock, etc)

  20. grim says:

    17 – The list includes lots of properties you looked at but weren’t interested in for one reason or another. Looking at closed sales in Wyk only:

    349 William – This was too close to 208 house that needed reno. Ask $499k – Sold $450k (This was a STEAL, most other homes on the street sold for $1m+)
    389 Monroe – This was the rough REO. Ask $574k – Sold $590k
    284 Central – This was one of the places I loved, great pool and yard, you didn’t like the flow and style. Ask $615k – Sold $625k – This was gone in a week
    307 Martom – This was the house with the huge great room you said didn’t make sense. Ask $699k, Sold $700k, gone in 4 days.
    75 Saxonia – This was one I wanted you to see, but I nixed it because of the white trash neighbors. Ask $575k – Sold $550k
    303 Birch – Too small – Ask $650k – Sold $575k
    199 Cottage – Too small – Choppy layout – Weird sideways house as a neighbor – Ask $600k – Sold $590k

  21. grim says:

    Wash

    958 Adams – BiLevel – Back yard too small, neighbor was fixing his shitty old Caddy in the driveway – Ask $519k – Sold $490k
    376 Wilson – BiLeel – Back yard to small, this was the teacup house – Ask $519k – Sold $505k
    474 Hoover – Was the well done ranch on the corner, nice kitchen, master on main floor – Ask $529k – Sold $521k
    480 Calvin – I think you saw this at an open, redone inside, outside ugly – Ask $569k – Sold $542k
    43 Gabriel – This was the redone ranch I loved – Upstairs was all potential – You didn’t like it, no central – Ask $569k – Sold $552k
    56 Hampshire – Yeah, this one. Probably the best old home I’ve seen in Wash – Ask $659k – Sold $615k

  22. JJ's B.Se says:

    I spoke to two realtor over weekend down in the Long Beach LI area as I want to after new years see if their are any deals.

    Turns out Sandy Tri-Furcated market in Long Beach LI. Homes post sand are grouped into three categories. I am sure it is same in Jersey Shore.

    Homes heavily damaged by Sandy that homeowner cant or wont fix and is selling at is are going for 1/2 price. These are the bargains.

    Homes slightly to moderately damaged being renovated back to original condition there is no effect on pricing.

    Homes by beach such as sections in Point Lookout, Lido Beach, Atlantic Beach and extremely rare parts of Long Beach undamaged at all by Sandy rose in price. These homes are being marketed as high land, not touched by Sandy etc. These homes are now selling at a prem as lot of flood issues associated with living near water go away with the rare high land houses.

  23. Brian says:

    Gary sell your house into this bull market in Real Estate and retire in Boca while you can.

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    43 Gabriel – No yard, main street, no C/A, no dining room
    284 Central – No living room, closet-sized kitchen and you fell down the basement stairs when you opened the door to the 100 year old bathroom.

    I have to take the car to get serviced. A lot of these houses had 7 out of 10 on the list that were too painful to live with. The only regret I have is the Hampshire one where it was early in the game and thought the next was around the corner. In hindsight, I would’ve been more aggresive and met that price. That’s the only one. Ttyl.

  25. Tiny Violin says:

    Re. 20 Wyckoff. Interesting trend. And these are the dregs of that town.

  26. newbie says:

    Thos heavily damaged homes by sandy, yes you are getting a bargain of 1/2. But to build it from scratch, it is going to cost you quite a penny. In my opinion, all you are paying for is the land. Is it worth that much?

  27. grim says:

    26 – in most of those towns, the land is worth 75% of the value if not more, maybe even as high as 90% in some cases.

  28. JJ's B.Se says:

    In long beach pre-sandy bungalows were assessed at around 350K and of that 300K was land 50K was house. The bungalow I almost bought from Fannie Mae was only 800 square feet with no basement and no attic. It sold for 320K. I only bid 305k.

    How much could a 800 square feet one story house cost to build with no basement? Not much. Oddly if home had a garage that stayed up as most did almost worth it to buy it, demo house and leave it as an empty plot of land for a few years till market recovers. Hook up outdoor shower, you got electric in garage for some folks in City that is all you really need for the cabana experience!!.

    newbie says:
    December 28, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Thos heavily damaged homes by sandy, yes you are getting a bargain of 1/2. But to build it from scratch, it is going to cost you quite a penny. In my opinion, all you are paying for is the land. Is it worth that much?

  29. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [5] grim – Yes, a demographic hurricane. A plethora of well-heeled, and perhaps not so well-heeled, sellers offering inventory up to a dearth of buyers. Even if the buyers were well-heeled (and they’re not), there still wouldn’t be enough of them. “Age in place” will soon be shown up for the fallacy which it is. Parking even a sizable 401k at near zero interest rates does not generate a ton of income to pay for maintenance and $20K tax bills to fund good schools. I guess if the grand-kids move in with Nana and PopPop, maybe they’ll stay.

    3 – Is a hurricane headed for the train towns?

  30. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [11] Nom – The folklore I’ve heard from my Brooklyn friends is that the two necessary ingredients are 1. Good Water to make the dough and 2. Baker’s Pride Oven. I *believe* there are a goodly number of better pizza places that have their dough shipped in because they don’t have the “correct” water to make it themselves. I’m amazed that I can’t think of a bad independent pizza joint in Northern NJ or the 5 boroughs but there is horrendously bad pizza as close as Westchester.

    [re: bad pizza, prior thread]

    There is something to be said for altitude, locale, etc. But I have had good pizza in the hinterlands. The common thread is a pizza maker from a northeastern city who knew how.

  31. chicagofinance says:

    Gray’s Papaya is some bad pizza in NYC….recession buster….2 slices and a hot dog for $2.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    December 28, 2012 at 9:53 am
    [11] Nom – The folklore I’ve heard from my Brooklyn friends is that the two necessary ingredients are 1. Good Water to make the dough and 2. Baker’s Pride Oven. I *believe* there are a goodly number of better pizza places that have their dough shipped in because they don’t have the “correct” water to make it themselves. I’m amazed that I can’t think of a bad independent pizza joint in Northern NJ or the 5 boroughs but there is horrendously bad pizza as close as Westchester.

  32. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Pizza in Bloomfield, NJ circa 1992 – My girlfriend and I lived on the GR border and we found a flyer stuffed under our apartment door for “Valencia Pizza – Delivery Only”. No address, just a local phone number. It was amongst the best artisan pizza I’ve had, second maybe only to Totonno’s in Coney Island. Valencia was only around for about 6 months. My guess is someone was running it out of their basement 2nd kitchen and got shut down. We sometimes had to wait two hours for delivery, but it was worth it.

  33. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Pending home sales rise in November

    Pending home sales rose 1.7% in November for a third month of gains, with affordability attracting buyers, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday. The pending-home-sales index reached 106.4 in November – the highest level since April 2010, when buyers were trying to make a tax-credit deadline — from 104.6 in October, the trade association said. Pending sales were up 9.8% from November 2011, for the 19th month of annual gains. “Even with market frictions related to the mortgage process, home contract activity continues to improve,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement. By region, November saw pending-home-sale gains of 5.2% in the Northeast, 4.2% in the West, and 0.1% in the Midwest. The South was unchanged. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, and an index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001.

  34. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    cobbler, from previous thread – It must be like Taylor Ham. My wife and I love it, but I’ve never served it to anyone who didn’t grow up in NJ who thought it was anything special. My family sent us a 6 lb. roll for Christmas and my stomach is rumbling right now at work thinking about it.

    Bad pizza seems to be an acquired taste. Once in Houston area I got 3 pies for the local crew from one of the very few decent pizzerias over there, and the guys didn’t like the stuff to the extent of asking me to buy from Pizza Hut the next time I want to spend money.

  35. grim says:

    29 – Looking at Haughty BC and the Train Towns.

    As close as Q4 as I could get, 10/1 – Current closed sales

    662 transactions, 126 of them were cash. That’s 1 out of every 5 sales being transacted in cash. Yeah yeah, bleeding wealth is crap, more fakers than makers. But putting the crap aside, those who actually have the money are transacting, and that creates at least some level of strength in the market that hasn’t existed for years now.

  36. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Pending home sales hit two-and-half year high in November

    Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose in November to their highest level in 2-1/2 years, an industry group said on Friday, further evidence of a strengthening housing market recovery.

    The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 1.7 percent to 106.4 – the highest level since April 2010 when the home-buyer tax credit expired.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which become sales after a month or two, to rise 1.0 percent after a revised 5.0 percent increase in October. It was the third straight month of gains.

  37. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Pending Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Climb for Third Month

    Pending home sales rose for the third month in November, a sign of the housing recovery’s resilience in the face of fiscal threats facing the U.S.

    “Housing is building some momentum,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “There is a growing perception that now is a good time to buy. Prices are starting to tick up, mortgage rates are still rock-bottom and the job market has shown some signs of improvement.”

  38. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [35] Thanks grim, that’s a compelling stat. Given this specific inventory, what is the motivation behind the cash purchases? These aren’t 4 family rental properties, all SFHs, right? Can we infer anything about future price trends based on this?

    29 – Looking at Haughty BC and the Train Towns.

    As close as Q4 as I could get, 10/1 – Current closed sales

    662 transactions, 126 of them were cash. That’s 1 out of every 5 sales being transacted in cash.

  39. Ernest Money says:

    chi (31)-

    More like rectum buster.

    “recession buster….2 slices and a hot dog for $2″

  40. Ernest Money says:

    Methinks cash sales these days are investors.

  41. zieba says:

    RE: NJ and pizza

    There’s a place in Secaucus called Il Forno which has the best Sicilian pie this side of the Hudson river. I compliment the pizza maker every time I stop in on my way through the meadowlands. For context, I’m familiar with most of the joints in Bensonhurst and Coney Island. One time, I brought a Sicilian pie with me to a superbowl party and people were asking me about it two superbowls later.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the worst pizza I’ve ever had was in the Berkshires. Far worse than pizza I had in eastern Europe.

  42. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [40] Money – Or savvy parents about to “retire”, hiding their non-retirement assets in a home right before they quit their job and a year or two before they send the first of their kids to an Ivy League school for free. If things are the same in 5 years, it’s on my list of possible options.

    Methinks cash sales these days are investors.

  43. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    BTW, I believe Yale now upped their “poverty line” from $75K to $100K. So if you can pare your family income down to $100K, your kid gets a free ride.

  44. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [41] I’ve heard tale of American cheese and hot dogs as toppings in Western Massachusetts.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the worst pizza I’ve ever had was in the Berkshires. Far worse than pizza I had in eastern Europe.

  45. Fast Eddie says:

    Methinks cash sales these days are investors.

    We’ve seen enough s.hitty flips to know who’s buying for cash.

  46. grim says:

    All single family homes. Average sale price of those cash purchases was $779,193, so generally, this average is above the market averages for the area. If it was under the market averages, I might believe this was more heavily investor focused (not saying there aren’t any in the mix). Just for reference, the total value of these cash transactions was a touch under $100 million for the quarter (and we’ve still got 2 more days to close this year).

  47. JJ's B.Se says:

    cash sales will rise in coming year. higher tax rate on gains is one of reasons. banks will give homeowner a w2 for purchase, cash sale does not.

    Also distress sales, estate sales, divorces, bks etc give up to a 10% discount for cash.

    Also is a great financial aid tool. Someone with a lot of cash in bank earning zero interest with 3-4 kids soon headed to school a good move is to buy a beach home etc. for cash and put it in a irrevocable trust type set up.

    For instance. Pop has 500K cash in bank, Pop buys 500K beach/retirement home etc. for cash and sets up trust for home for financial aid purposes he has zero in bank. Financial aid folks dont really count primary residence as an asset. When kids are done with school sells primary residence puts cash in bank, moves into paid off retirement home which in turn kids can use after his death as not part of estate so saves on estate taxes too.

  48. grim says:

    From Securing Industry:

    Homeowners faking filings to delay foreclosure

    Homeowners in California are buying fake documents to delay foreclosures on their properties, a local paper reports.

    Prosecutors in Stanislaus County, California, have cottoned on to the practice and begun cases against four homeowners. The four are accused of filing phony court documents – claiming the debt has been repaid or changing a trustee – in an attempt to stall foreclosure proceedings.

    “It comes to a point where enough is enough. How many breaks can we give these people?” Jeff Mangar, a prosecutor with the district attorney’s fraud unit, told The Modesto Bee. Staff handling filings are now aware of the practice and tip off investigators.

  49. grim says:

    cash sales will rise in coming year. higher tax rate on gains is one of reasons. banks will give homeowner a w2 for purchase, cash sale does not.

    Also distress sales, estate sales, divorces, bks etc give up to a 10% discount for cash.

    Not sure I follow here, so you are stating that the buyers and sellers would both collude to falsify the purchase price of a property in order for the seller to minimize their tax exposure? In addition, the closing agent would have also had to collude in the fraud, unless of course the buyer and seller had a side deal to exchange cash outside of the actual closing itself (which poses considerable risk to the seller, as the buyer could just as easily stiff them the cash and get away with it claiming ignorance of the fraud.)

    Realize it’s not only the IRS that would be interested in this behavior, but the state and local governments as you would be paying lower transfer taxes than would have otherwise been required.

    Sounds nice, but I really doubt anything like this happens outside of a rare exception case. And what about the fact that the new buyer is working with an artificially low basis on the purchase? What happens when it comes tax time for them?

  50. grim says:

    Besides, it just seems much easier to just lie about the total amount of improvements to reduce your basis. If you are really looking at a huge capital gain on the property, it’s highly plausible that considerable renovation work was done anyway. If you’ve got a buddy who is a contractor, have him write you up a bill for something every year and file it away. If the tax man asks, say you fell in love with the house even though you knew it was a money pit. Yeah, we had to replace the boiler 3 times, just have no luck with mechanicals.

  51. Fast Eddie says:

    Again, all this robust movement and I’m looking at the same drek, day after day. There are two markets; one for the cheerleaders and the other for excluded folks really looking for a house. These multiple listing sites must be a ruse, like the “legitimate” pizza parlor upfront to shield the heroin traffic going on in the back room.

  52. grim says:

    The stale inventory that stagnates on the MLS week after week isn’t the market, it’s the anti-market.

    What moves is the market. Hate to keep bringing up Wyckoff, but here are the real movers for December (this month only):

    Currently in Atty Review
    460 WEISCH LN – Ask $475k
    410 Radcliffe – Ask $500k (last month arip)
    75 WYCKOFF AVE – Ask $625k
    593 MILLER RD – Ask $720k
    406 Sharon – Ask $790k (this went arip last month)
    450 Glendale – Ask $959k

    Currently Under Contract, pending close
    442 Lincoln – Ask $300k
    94 Harding – Ask $350k
    388 Sunset – Ask $369k
    196 Franklin – Ask 469k
    59 Colgate – Ask $493k
    88 Morley – Ask $549k
    459 Baxter – Ask $619k
    166 Fox Hollow – Ask $646k
    57 Barrett – Ask $725k
    100 Midland – Ask $728k
    676 Birchwood – Ask $729k
    258 Meadowbrook – Ask $730k
    174 Cottage – Ask $769k
    419 Woodbury, Ask $770k
    428 Red Rock, Ask $850k
    461 Glendale – Ask $959k
    567 Wyckoff – Ask $1.08m
    507 Clinton – Ask $1.25m
    694 Charnwood – Ask $1.7m
    759 Frederick – Ask $1.8m

    Solds
    250 Wilson – $400k
    371 Cedar Hill – $475k
    75 Saxonia – $555k
    303 Birch – $575k
    522 Albert – $584k
    199 Cottage – $590k
    319 William – $680k
    307 Martom -$700k
    339 Wyckoff – $766k
    450 Patton – $785k
    94 Crescent – $849k
    339 Canterbury – $1.05m

  53. Ernest Money says:

    The day of reckoning approaches for all the “prestigious” towns.

    No one will be spared. No one.

    Gary, your biggest problem will be that when BC prices align with reality, you won’t want to touch any of it.

  54. Ernest Money says:

    When a mini-mansion in Alpine sells for 500K (and it will), you will need a private militia, a perimeter wall studded with broken glass and a pack of Rottweilers.

    Argentina, dead ahead.

  55. JJ's B.Se says:

    Happens every day of the week in NYC and Realtors assist in it. NY for instance has a mansion tax on homes priced at one million and above. I always see tons of homes close for 999K. Buyers pay sellers closing costs, “buy furniture” etc to get it under one million.

    Why do you think so many highly appreciated home in Hamptons comes with furniture included. BTW that can count in your basis too

    Lets say you bought a one million dollar beach home. Now worth 1.5 million, you sustained 500K in Sandy damage with no flood insurance, you new basis is 500K.

    Plenty of Sandy homes are taking casualty losses. the oddity of tax law is you can write off up to original basis of house. Since Land is worth so much in NY and not much elsewhere as beach house bought for 250K now worth 500k that had 200K of damage with no flood insurance now has a basis of 50K. Meanwhile home would sell for almost 450K anyhow as land is worth so much more at beach. If that is an investment property and whole thing is subject to new cap gains rate a cash buyer can work out side deals legally to make it work.

    grim says:
    December 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    cash sales will rise in coming year. higher tax rate on gains is one of reasons. banks will give homeowner a w2 for purchase, cash sale does not.

    Also distress sales, estate sales, divorces, bks etc give up to a 10% discount for cash.

    Not sure I follow here, so you are stating that the buyers and sellers would both collude to falsify the purchase price of a property in order for the seller to minimize their tax exposure? In addition, the closing agent would have also had to collude in the fraud, unless of course the buyer and seller had a side deal to exchange cash outside of the actual closing itself (which poses considerable risk to the seller, as the buyer could just as easily stiff them the cash and get away with it claiming ignorance of the fraud.)

    Realize it’s not only the IRS that would be interested in this behavior, but the state and local governments as you would be paying lower transfer taxes than would have otherwise been required.

    Sounds nice, but I really doubt anything like this happens outside of a rare exception case. And what about the fact that the new buyer is working with an artificially low basis on the purchase? What happens when it comes tax time for them?

  56. yome says:

    You know we are officially f*cked when you can not buy in your own country and communities are built exclusively for Chinese.We are getting there

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304765304577478573004173212.html

  57. Ernest Money says:

    Suckers, the whole scurvy lot of them.

  58. cobbler says:

    yome [56]
    What’s the difference between customizing cars for the foreign market and customizing new construction for the foreign buyers? In either case, it betters our trade balance…

  59. JJ's B.Se says:

    with so many wings and wongs in that building the doorman might wing the wong number

    yome says:
    December 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    You know we are officially f*cked when you can not buy in your own country and communities are built exclusively for Chinese.We are getting there

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304765304577478573004173212.html

  60. Fast Eddie says:

    The stale inventory that stagnates on the MLS week after week isn’t the market, it’s the anti-market.

    You can say that again! Like I said, it’s a front to shield the real action. I’m not privy to the real market. The real market is exclusive to G0d knows who. I’m only exposed to the last french fry in the bin with hopes that I’ll pay “comps” on someone else’s mistake. It’s like concert tickets, you’ll only take what’s available and you WILL pay the ridiculous price. This market in the NY/NJ metro area is so f.ucking rigged, it’s laughable. There’s only one way to get first dibs on anything worth it, you either gotta know somebody or bl0w somebody.

  61. JJ's B.Se says:

    Knock on doors with cash in hand. If you are using a broker you are costing home seller an extra 6% then they have to put up with your nonsense of getting a mortgage, home inspection, appraisal, blah blah

    Down in Long Beach low ballers were knocking on doors with bank checks in hand. As is, close in 48 hours.

    If you are going through the system you aint getting a deal. Kinda like buying a car at auction, show up cash in hand, take it as is no recourse on the spot with no mechanic check and you get a great price and also take great risk. Got to dealer buy a CPO car you pay a lot more but take on less risk of a lemon.

    Do you want it both ways. Man up, get the cash check books out and go knock on doors and try to steal a house from widows and orphans.

    Fast Eddie says:
    December 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    The stale inventory that stagnates on the MLS week after week isn’t the market, it’s the anti-market.

    You can say that again! Like I said, it’s a front to shield the real action. I’m not privy to the real market. The real market is exclusive to G0d knows who. I’m only exposed to the last french fry in the bin with hopes that I’ll pay “comps” on someone else’s mistake. It’s like concert tickets, you’ll only take what’s available and you WILL pay the ridiculous price. This market in the NY/NJ metro area is so f.ucking rigged, it’s laughable. There’s only one way to get first dibs on anything worth it, you either gotta know somebody or bl0w somebody.

  62. Ben says:

    the high altitude doesn’t prevent you from making good pizza. The water myth is way too popular. I’ve done enough experimentation with various yeasts, sourdough cultures, flours, and waters to easily conclude that the only thing you would need to do is possibly filter out the chlorine in the water up there. A bottle of poland spring or dasani works equally well. The primary reason bad pizza persists outside the northeast is because of a number of reason. The primary reason is, their taste buds for pizza are awful out there. They are content to eat processed cheese and low quality tomatoes, so that’s what they serve up and it costs a fraction of what quality ingredients do. The local suppliers in the NY/NJ area ship out decent tomatoes. At the end of the day, it’s like anything else. How much does the guy making your food really care? There is a guy who runs a Pizzeria out in Phoenix Arizona (Pizzeria Bianco) that has one of the best pizzas on the face of the planet. Why? He’s literally involved in the growing process of his tomatoes, he hand picks all his ingredients at the farmers markets, he hand makes all his mozzarella the way he learned at his local deli in brooklyn. Its attention to detail that matters. Anyone who claims otherwise I doubt has ever made a good pie themselves.

  63. Neanderthal Economist says:

    oh boy. now the markets ‘rigged’? gary’s re agent must love him. lol.

  64. Brian says:

    Grim

    You need a touch screen for windows 8

    http://money.cnn.com/m/#!/2012/12/28/technology/mobile/windows-8-touchscreen.json?category=Latest%20News

  65. Brian says:

    What about the woman that bought Gary’s current home? She must be ready to choke him.

  66. Fast Eddie says:

    Neanderthal,

    Wanna buy a bridge?

  67. Fast Eddie says:

    JJ,

    I don’t have cash to buy outright but I have a lot more muscle than these f.ucking dopes falling for the sales pitch.

  68. Fast Eddie says:

    Brian,

    The people who bought my house are sweet as can be they ain’t gonna wait forever. I’ll tell you though, when they walk, the price of my house goes up 20 grand because, if you haven’t heard, the market is hot again.

  69. JJ's B.Se says:

    Then I would say keep on walking. Qualified buyers only. Not a single deal I bid on that was a good price in last three years was willing to take contingent on a mortgage. Sure you can get a mortgage, but without proof of funds that you can close with or without a mortgage it is a weak offer.

    Fast Eddie says:
    December 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    JJ,

    I don’t have cash to buy outright but I have a lot more muscle than these f.ucking dopes falling for the sales pitch.

  70. cobbler says:

    People who are underwater on their home mortgages probably will accept “significantly” lower wages than other homeowners, according to a study published this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    The recent U.S. housing bust left many homeowners with mortgage debt larger than the equity value of their homes, say Fed Bank of Atlanta economist Chris Cunningham and Robert R. Reed of the University of Alabama.
    People in that situation tend to value employment more than those with significant housing wealth do, because without a job they would default on their home loan.
    They cite data showing that 31.4 percent of U.S. homeowners were underwater in the fourth quarter of 2011. People in that situation tend to value employment more than those with significant housing wealth do, because without a job they would default on their home loan, Cunningham and Reed said. They thus are willing to accept lower wages than their counterparts.
    Their study found that being underwater is associated with a wage decline of between a 5 percent and 9 percent.
    The risk is that by agreeing to work for lower wages, underwater workers create a negative feedback loop in which “house price depreciation leads to lower wages, and in turn, lower wages lead to greater housing losses,” they said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-28/underwater-homeowners-will-work-for-less-pay-cutting-research.html

  71. Fast Eddie says:

    JJ,

    I have 20% or better to put down, so that’s all they’re getting.

  72. Neanderthal Economist says:

    eddie, its obvious that you absolutely hate the product youre shopping so hard for. if and when you finally buy youre going to be miserable. without a doubt. why not just rent?

  73. Fast Eddie says:

    Neanderthal,

    Save your condescending, pretentious bullsh1t for someone else.

  74. Tiny Violin says:

    Hope Gary moves into my neighborhood!

  75. Fast Eddie says:

    I had every cousin, 2nd cousin, cousin-in-law and near relative giving me advice over this holiday season on house buying. Everyone had an opinion… really put me in the right mood today.

  76. Tiny Violin says:

    Seriously Gary. Time and time again people try to make you see that your expectations may be unrealistic. Anyone who doesn’t agree with your belligerent, unreasonable predictions is the a$$hole. Yet, you’re still the one clinging to parameters that don’t exist where you want to buy.

  77. POS cape says:

    20 Grim:

    White trash in Wyckoff? What’s the world coming to? Next we’ll have hillbillies in Alpine.

  78. Fast Eddie says:

    Tiny Violin,

    Stab yourself in the f.ucking neck and throw yourself off a bridge.

  79. Ernest Money says:

    I am the Antichrist.

    Wait ’til the white trash invades USR and Alpine.

    It will happen.

  80. WickedOrange says:

    the sh!t dollar pizza slice has infested much of manhattan, particularly hell’s kitchen.

  81. Tiny Violin says:

    Dude, you really have anger issues. Get a grip.

  82. Tiny Violin says:

    White trash in Wyckoff?? Only if Gary moves there.
    Oh wait, only if he can find a pristine CHC on a cul du sac for $599k.

  83. Essex says:

    Netflix ftw.

  84. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    gary was mostly pi$$ed off while he couldn’t find a full time gig. Now that he’s on his second full time gig at 20% higher salary and at a company he wanted to work for all along…well he seems more pi$$ed off. I was thinking today how the opposite direction of the herd is probably the correct direction. I’m thinking maybe A. sell your house, B. quit your job, and C. Take your cash and leave NJ might be the way to go. The fly in the ointment is health insurance. Could health insurance in the US be so tied to employment and unaffordable otherwise just to keep us showing up to work in the blue states?

  85. Essex says:

    Chestica Simpson’s 10-gallon pregnancy chichis are already in their fifth trimester -

  86. grim says:

    Shouldn’t it just be the Keynesians who are scared of the Fiscal Cliff?

  87. grim says:

    Fiscal cliff, as I see it:

    The size of government is reduced
    The amount of government spending is reduced
    Tax revenues are increased, which will in turn reduce deficits
    Reduced deficits lead to potential surpluses, which in turn will reduce overall debt

    How is this not fantastic news? Realize that a “fix” for this is to “kick-the-can-down-the-road”.

  88. Ernest Money says:

    grim (88)-

    Going off the fiscal cliff does nothing about the debt ceiling, which still gets breached on Monday.

    The ratings agencies will be all over that…which means that the vigilantes will have moved a step closer to our shores.

    Yield must be paid, mf’er!

  89. Ernest Money says:

    None of this will matter when we’re roaming the country in armed packs and trading in pieces of eight.

  90. grim says:

    89 – Isn’t that a 15 minute process at this point? We’ve only raised the debt ceiling something like 8 times in the last 10 years?

    Surely someone kept a copy of the paperwork around, just scribble out 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, whatever, just change the date.

    If you want to get more technical, the US Treasury puts the number at more than 70 times since the 60′s, which makes this activity just about as regular as Christmas itself, fitting since it’s become part of the annual holiday spectacle.

  91. grim says:

    Hell, it was done 7 times during G-Dubs turn, and nary a fiscal conservative made a peep. Hell, Saint Reagan did it 18 times.

  92. Essex says:

    Few seem to understand the 2012 tax implications, thinking that we can go over the cliff and fix it later. And it would fix the 2013 problems, but not this AMT fiasco.

    A CBS report indicated that people with incomes of $45,000 filing as individuals may pay as much as $4,000 more in taxes than last year. And H&R Block HRB -1.25% warns its clients that if they had been anticipating a $1,500 refund to instead expect to pay an additional $1,500 — or more. See blog post on fiscal-cliff implications on the H&R Block website.

    The problem with all this is that nobody seems to be even expecting it, much less planning for it. This means all hell may break loose in the economy when the tax implications hit.

  93. grim says:

    93 – AMT Fix – Yet another annual rite of winter. If not passed on Monday, expect a retroactive fix in the first two weeks of the new year. (Isn’t the AMT fix always done retroactively anyway, as it needs to apply as of Jan 1 of the tax year? There isn’t anything that specifically requires it to be done by the end of the calendar year, other than being a pain in the ass for the IRS).

  94. Mike says:

    93 Wait until Obama Care kicks in and you have to pay taxes on the insurance your employer is providing

  95. Ben says:

    Politicians are funny. Not a peep from Republicans when GW is in office about debt but they scream to high heaven once Obama is elected. Obama ramps up spending and Republicans flip the lid, not a peep from the Dems about increased spending. It’s funny now all of the sudden the Dems claim we are headed for a fiscal nightmare when they denied it’s existence for 3 straight years. Now, all of the sudden, Republicans don’t seem to care anymore. Wtf is this, reverse psychology?

    I look forward to their newest solution. Spending cuts to take effect in the year 2019 and tax hikes tomorrow.

  96. Comrade Nom Deplume in the packed powder says:

    [73] Gary,

    Hate to admit it but NE has a point.

  97. Fast Eddie says:

    Nom [97],

    What’s that saying about opinions? :)

  98. Fast Eddie says:

    Nom,

    What I meant was NE’s opinion is just one of the 1472 opinions and gems of advice I’ve heard over the last number of weeks. :)

  99. Fast Eddie says:

    A CBS report indicated that people with incomes of $45,000 filing as individuals may pay as much as $4,000 more in taxes than last year.

    Great news, the President said everyone needs to pay their fair share.

  100. Comrade Nom Deplume in the packed powder says:

    [44] expat,

    I find that hard to swallow, but I agree with zieba that pizza can suck in W Mass. Even in Amherst, there was a lot of bad za.

    One thing to remember is that the Berkshires are more like VT or upstate than Boston. It really is like a different state west of Quabbin.

  101. Comrade Nom Deplume in the packed powder says:

    [98] Eddie,

    You don’t have to listen to him. But it was a good observation.

  102. Peace, Love, Dope says:

    90 – and this is how it starts!

    “Murders in New York have dropped to their lowest level in over 40 years, city officials announced on Friday, even as overall crimes increased slightly because of a rise in thefts — a phenomenon based solely on robberies of iPhones and other Apple devices.”

    The end is nigh…I mean “not”

  103. Peace, Love, Dope says:

    Pain – thought of you last night when “Twist” started at The Garden.

  104. Young Buck says:

    The “Fiscal Cliff” put in a much better perspective …..  

    U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000*
    Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000*
    New debt: $1,650,000,000,000*
    National debt: $14,271,000,000,000*
    Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000 

    Let’s now remove 7 zeroes and pretend it’s a family budget. 

    Annual family income: $217,000*
    Money the family spent: $382,000*
    New debt on the credit card: $165,000*
    Outstanding balance on the credit card: $1,427,100*
    Total budget cuts so far: $385 

  105. Peace, Love, Dope says:

    Your budget is missing the $150k that dad spent on a Ferrari that he parks in Bhagdad.

  106. Tiny Violin says:

    Well they made the beds, and there is an extra propane tanking the deck for the grill; so there’s a premium right there.

  107. Fast Eddie says:

    Violin,

    Come on, you’re full of advice, put a price on it!

  108. Juice Box says:

    Re: 108 – My guess is Grandma is going into a home and the money they get goes to pay off the kids debts.

  109. Juice Box says:

    Re: 107- Yet the guy in charge has added $17,000 per person to the deficit for each of the last 4 years. Amazing what our full faith and credit will buy, until it doesn’t and our crooked uncle Benny has to start cooking the books.

  110. Tiny Violin says:

    You know it’s garbage, however I don’t know that area. For arguments sake, even if it’s in the best part of town, land only, with major rehab needed, $350k max. But I’d tear it down, bones look sucky too.

  111. Tiny Violin says:

    Ok Gary, you’re in a reasonable mood for the moment. What is wrong with Pine Street in Wyckoff at a $630k ask?.

  112. Fast Eddie says:

    Violin,

    I’m always in a reasonable mood, it’s a Jersey thing. You wouldn’t entirely understand. :) We were going to put a hefty bid on the Pine Street deal. I went back to look at it twice. It needs everything and I mean everything; roof, siding, baths, kitchen, front and back walk ways, driveway, everything. The bedrooms are like closets, every one of them. 5 bedrooms and one is smaller than the other. You couldn’t even rip out a wall and combine one of them because a bath is in the middle and/or they’re skewed. Even my realtor said that was a tough one to figure.

  113. Essex says:

    ………………………………………._¸„„„„_
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    .:.:.:.:.„-^” : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :„-”
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    “-„_::::_„-*__„„~”

  114. grim says:

    Pine is a shithole really, needs total rehab inside and out.

  115. Tiny Violin says:

    Can’t tell from pictures. The location is better than any other that closed in that price range.

  116. 30 year realtor says:

    Washington Twp house should be in the $350-$400,000 range. Street is a nightmare anytime there is an event at the high school and 7:30 to 8:00 AM and 3:00 to 3:30 school days. Based upon the photos the $350 range looks more correct.

  117. Fast Eddie says:

    Ok folks, please read what 30 year realtor had to say. So, with that said, please tell me why I should buy any of these piece of sh1t houses I see on a regular basis when the majority of them are ridiculously over priced. You wouldn’t pay for it, why should I?

  118. Ernest Money says:

    There will be blood in the streets.

    I am Zarathustra.

  119. Essex says:

    How To Keep Young
    by Satchel Paige

    # Keeping Young
    1.
    Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.

    2.
    If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.

    3.
    Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.

    4.
    Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain’t restful.

    5.
    Avoid running at all times.

    6.
    Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.

    How To Keep Young by Satchel Paige

  120. Comrade Nom Deplume in the packed powder says:

    [122].

    Thus sprake Clot

  121. Comrade Nom Deplume in the packed powder says:

    [116] sx,

    Honestly that took me a minute. Kinda small, isn’t it?

  122. Ernest Money says:

    The Gottendamerung of the train towns.

  123. Fast Eddie says:

    Ich bin Gott!

  124. Tiny Violin says:

    116. JJ’s Rorschach test from 7th grade.
    Or, his Cobal (sp) take home final from college.

  125. Ernest Money says:

    How opportune! I have been seeking beautiful escorts all day.

  126. Jim says:

    116 Essex self portrait ? Or did you get your blogs mixed up?

  127. relo says:

    116:

    Life is a Rorschach Test.

  128. Fabius Maximus says:

    To add to the pizza debate. It really comes down to the ingredients and how they are used. The biggest part is the dough. There are hundreds of ways to make dough and you can make a pizza that has a base with the texture of a matzo cracker through to a soggy sponge cake. Try and bake bread at home and compare it to a loaf from a local bakery. If you can’t get reasonably close, either don’t open a pizza place or use readymade base. The next big part is the cheese, get it right and it’s a nice stringy gooey mess, get it wrong and it’s an oil slick. Sauce and toppings are not that important. Anchovies, olives are pretty generic; the only ones of note are fresh mushrooms vs canned and sausage. Now you can cook a reasonable pie, you have to cope with the local tastes and competition. Shock horror, some people like Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa John etc. and you have to go up against those $5 pies and free breadsticks.
    I heard a pizza owner discussing a move from NJ to Georgia. He made the point that while housing and rent is cheaper, ingredient costs are the same, if not more. While he can run in NJ on current volume and a $14 pie, he doubted that he could maintain the business at lower volumes and maxing out at $10 a pie.

  129. Fabius Maximus says:

    #122 Clot

    “There will be blood in the streets”
    and tears in the Toon!

  130. relo says:

    134:

    Sausage in the can? Where’s JJ.

    Sauce is important.

  131. Essex says:

    That’s why we’ve been waiting with bated breath for its “Best of 2012″ round-up, and we thought we’d share the magazine’s steak pick with you because frankly, we were shocked.

    New York Magazine has chosen Brooklyn restaurant St. Anselm’s steak as the best of the year. A few things that floored us about this:

    St. Anselm is in Williamsburg … yes, Brooklyn. Yes, the same neighborhood as Peter Luger (but you’ll have to delve a little deeper into the capital of Hipster nation for this one).
    The steak is only $15.
    The steak is only $15 (we’re repeating that, it’s not a typo).
    Here’s some of what NY Mag had to say about the cut that made the cut:

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