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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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bodhipooh wrote:
At some point, the combination of crazy property taxes + shitty city services + private schools starts to bridge the gap in real estate costs.


Not really the focus of this thread, but I think you overstate the school situation. Especially DT, the k-8s are not bad to quite good. Add to that the charters, magnet middle schools and McNair, if your kid is on the ball they can get a pretty good education.

We know very few children of college educated parents who didn't get into one of the magnet HS, even if it's County Prep, considered the least of them. A grade school friend of my son's who didn't get into McNair or HT and went there is now a Freshman in physics at Carnegie-Mellon. Not too shabby.


You should check out some of the NextDoor threads about schools, and the over capacity problem. There are many parents shitting bricks after getting notices that their kids will be getting bussed to another school, particularly when the other school is one they consider to be in the ghetto or inferior (their words, not mine) so I don't think that factor can be so easily dismissed. Right, or wrong, perception is a problem, and for parents unable to get their kids into one of the better K-8 schools due to capacity problems, they will then have to weigh private school, which is a pricey proposition in JC (last I looked, most were about 2K /month).

Posted on: 12/15 17:26
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Not many private school options in this area and none of them compare well to NYC or BK private schools.


Umm, you don't know what you're talking about. Hudson School in Hoboken is excellent and a bargain compared to Manhattan schools. Kids from there go to top colleges. St Peters has boys spending an hour on the train coming there from the burbs.

Posted on: 12/15 17:06
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Not many private school options in this area and none of them compare well to NYC or BK private schools. JC is still only an option for the bargain hunters/adventurers. Snobs will be in NYC or BK.

JC will always be a second derivative of NYC. So vacuum analysis is correct. I still think the all in costs post tax changes will be an anchor for DTJC...


Posted on: 12/15 17:02
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bodhipooh wrote:
At some point, the combination of crazy property taxes + shitty city services + private schools starts to bridge the gap in real estate costs.


Not really the focus of this thread, but I think you overstate the school situation. Especially DT, the k-8s are not bad to quite good. Add to that the charters, magnet middle schools and McNair, if your kid is on the ball they can get a pretty good education.

We know very few children of college educated parents who didn't get into one of the magnet HS, even if it's County Prep, considered the least of them. A grade school friend of my son's who didn't get into McNair or HT and went there is now a Freshman in physics at Carnegie-Mellon. Not too shabby.

Posted on: 12/15 16:40
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Dolmoti is spot on. Tight inventory and high demand will soften the blow to DTJC RE in the short term. Longer term it's tough to say. 1.6% is less than I was expecting so frankly it could have been worse for DTJC.

The real issue is will DTJC buyers pay suburb level taxes for lousy city services (iffy schools). Trump's tax plan ain't making the case any easier. Taxes are sunk costs, owners aren't building equity with those payments.

My take is DTJC is overvalued as are stock markets and RE in general. I think if the other bubbles deflate DTJC will take it a bit harder than average. As always tough to know when or if other bubbles pop...


No one cares about schools. You're either living the life with no children or sending your kids to private schools if you can afford a $7,000 a month mortgage payment.

Downtown prices will continue to appreciate because they're still a bargain compared to New York City prices.


I am not so sure I agree with this take. Take an upper middle class family, paying 5K for monthly mortgage, now add 2K for taxes, and if they have a kid that's another 2K for private school. That's 9K / month. Or, you can go to BK, or even Manhattan, and be able to get an 8K mortgage, with almost negligible property taxes (definitely below 1K for that mortgage) and free schooling and you end up spending the same or less in NYC, with better city services at your disposal. At some point, the combination of crazy property taxes + shitty city services + private schools starts to bridge the gap in real estate costs.


What's missing from your calculation is the NYC income tax that all NYC residents must pay and that can be easily avoided by living in Jersey. And who cares about kids? The folks moving here could be on permanent birth control or same sex and quality of schools have exactly zero influence on their decision to buy.

The beauty of this discussion is we will find out relatively soon who is right and I hope every posts is bumped a year from now to see who was right and who got it painfully wrong.

In my opinion, prices should have plummeted already if prices were expected to fall in the near future.


Posted on: 12/15 14:04
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Dolmoti is spot on. Tight inventory and high demand will soften the blow to DTJC RE in the short term. Longer term it's tough to say. 1.6% is less than I was expecting so frankly it could have been worse for DTJC.

The real issue is will DTJC buyers pay suburb level taxes for lousy city services (iffy schools). Trump's tax plan ain't making the case any easier. Taxes are sunk costs, owners aren't building equity with those payments.

My take is DTJC is overvalued as are stock markets and RE in general. I think if the other bubbles deflate DTJC will take it a bit harder than average. As always tough to know when or if other bubbles pop...


No one cares about schools. You're either living the life with no children or sending your kids to private schools if you can afford a $7,000 a month mortgage payment.

Downtown prices will continue to appreciate because they're still a bargain compared to New York City prices.


I am not so sure I agree with this take. Take an upper middle class family, paying 5K for monthly mortgage, now add 2K for taxes, and if they have a kid that's another 2K for private school. That's 9K / month. Or, you can go to BK, or even Manhattan, and be able to get an 8K mortgage, with almost negligible property taxes (definitely below 1K for that mortgage) and free schooling and you end up spending the same or less in NYC, with better city services at your disposal. At some point, the combination of crazy property taxes + shitty city services + private schools starts to bridge the gap in real estate costs.

Posted on: 12/15 13:44
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Also, how could anyone whos taxes arent increasing / substantially dropping (greenville & west side) complain that downtown isnt paying enough ? Seems like everyone wants a free ride these days


Again with this? You obviously don't get it. This new (estimated) numbers show what most have been claiming for years now: that DTJC had been underpaying their taxes to the detriment of poorer residents in areas that have seen little or no appreciation.


Yes I realize that genius - and reductions in taxes for Greenville \ Westside are totally warranted, but how is 1.6% multiplier for downtown not enough tho ? Hence free rides


Like I said, you just don't get it. The ~1.6% rate is what EVERYONE will be paying once the reval is concluded. People have been complaining until now because the effective rate being paid my many/most of DTJC was often 1% or lower, while other areas, like Greenville, were paying closer to 5-6%, which is why they are seeing such a substantial drop in their average payment.

Posted on: 12/15 13:37
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Jersey City's real estate valuations can't be viewed in a vacuum...


Nailed it.

Posted on: 12/15 12:55
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So you've got softening demand plus increased supply...seems to be a good predictor of lower average RE prices through 2018.

Sure. But... so what?

DTJC prices have been on a tear for years. A 10-20% drop in prices will hurt, but it's not like thousands of DTJC sellers will be underwater.

The increase in supply will be short-lived, probably most of 2019. I for one doubt that supply will vastly outstrip demand in the short term, and definitely not in the long term. (There are currently 170 units for sale in 07302; let's see how that changes over the next 3 years....)

Oh, and DTCJ != All Of JC. Other neighborhoods, some of which are already gentrifying, should see reductions in their property taxes, which should mean a rise in demand and their home values.


Posted on: 12/15 12:41
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From a supply side - I'm assuming supply will not go down (i.e. they will not tear down any buildings) - if anything supply will increase as some people will not be willing or able to absorb such a dramatic increase in taxes, and will look to move to lower cost areas.


Your mistake here is that supply is largely dependent on people selling, and in a downmarket people are reluctant to sell. This is why there's so much stickiness in RE, it takes a while for the people who HAVE to sell to set new comps.

Posted on: 12/15 11:50
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Jersey City's real estate valuations can't be viewed in a vacuum. The strength of Manhattan (and Brooklyn) RE markets blows the crap out of all other federal, state and local variables.

Reval is irrelevant to them because it's still 2/3rd the cost.

Posted on: 12/15 10:08
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I don't see a way that the increase in DTJC taxes in conjunction with the proposed changes to the federal tax laws will be offset by local market economics. The main reason that the RE market economics in DTJC have operated this way is because net expenses (principal + interest + taxes - tax shield savings) have made it attractive to purchase.

From a demand side, in 2018 you'll be paying significantly more out of pocket on a monthly basis due to the tax reval, and this pain will be magnified by also getting less $$ back at the end of the year from your tax return. This combined effect will have a marked downward effect on demand.

From a supply side - I'm assuming supply will not go down (i.e. they will not tear down any buildings) - if anything supply will increase as some people will not be willing or able to absorb such a dramatic increase in taxes, and will look to move to lower cost areas.

So you've got softening demand plus increased supply...seems to be a good predictor of lower average RE prices through 2018.


We shall see within 1 year if this prediction is correct. I have no doubt there will be several DTJC property owners that will be priced out of their homes but there will be twice as many Manhattan expats that will notice the bargains in Jersey City compared to similarly-sized homes in the city.

Posted on: 12/15 10:04
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I don't see a way that the increase in DTJC taxes in conjunction with the proposed changes to the federal tax laws will be offset by local market economics. The main reason that the RE market economics in DTJC have operated this way is because net expenses (principal + interest + taxes - tax shield savings) have made it attractive to purchase.

From a demand side, in 2018 you'll be paying significantly more out of pocket on a monthly basis due to the tax reval, and this pain will be magnified by also getting less $$ back at the end of the year from your tax return. This combined effect will have a marked downward effect on demand.

From a supply side - I'm assuming supply will not go down (i.e. they will not tear down any buildings) - if anything supply will increase as some people will not be willing or able to absorb such a dramatic increase in taxes, and will look to move to lower cost areas.

So you've got softening demand plus increased supply...seems to be a good predictor of lower average RE prices through 2018.

Posted on: 12/15 10:02
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Dolmoti is spot on. Tight inventory and high demand will soften the blow to DTJC RE in the short term. Longer term it's tough to say. 1.6% is less than I was expecting so frankly it could have been worse for DTJC.

The real issue is will DTJC buyers pay suburb level taxes for lousy city services (iffy schools). Trump's tax plan ain't making the case any easier. Taxes are sunk costs, owners aren't building equity with those payments.

My take is DTJC is overvalued as are stock markets and RE in general. I think if the other bubbles deflate DTJC will take it a bit harder than average. As always tough to know when or if other bubbles pop...


No one cares about schools. You're either living the life with no children or sending your kids to private schools if you can afford a $7,000 a month mortgage payment.

Downtown prices will continue to appreciate because they're still a bargain compared to New York City prices.

Posted on: 12/15 9:58
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Dolmoti is spot on. Tight inventory and high demand will soften the blow to DTJC RE in the short term. Longer term it's tough to say. 1.6% is less than I was expecting so frankly it could have been worse for DTJC.

The real issue is will DTJC buyers pay suburb level taxes for lousy city services (iffy schools). Trump's tax plan ain't making the case any easier. Taxes are sunk costs, owners aren't building equity with those payments.

My take is DTJC is overvalued as are stock markets and RE in general. I think if the other bubbles deflate DTJC will take it a bit harder than average. As always tough to know when or if other bubbles pop...

Posted on: 12/15 9:45
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Excellent analysis Dolomiti. The punchline is that if this had happened on schedule it would have been right at the beginning of the hottest part of this cycle and been absorbed easily. Now, this blow will fall at the same time as rising rates, federal tax issues, and a likely general RE market correction, if not a stock market burst and recession. Things are very bubbly on all fronts.

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thor800 wrote:
Yes I realize that genius - and reductions in taxes for Greenville \ Westside are totally warranted, but how is 1.6% multiplier for downtown not enough tho ? Hence free rides


How do you still not understand how this works? That 1.6 is the TAX RATE applied citywide, the properties will have already had their assessments corrected by the reval. DT will have risen more than elsewhere, resulting in DT getting a tax hike.

Posted on: 12/14 22:07
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thor800 wrote:

Also, how could anyone whos taxes arent increasing / substantially dropping (greenville & west side) complain that downtown isnt paying enough ? Seems like everyone wants a free ride these days


Again with this? You obviously don't get it. This new (estimated) numbers show what most have been claiming for years now: that DTJC had been underpaying their taxes to the detriment of poorer residents in areas that have seen little or no appreciation.


Yes I realize that genius - and reductions in taxes for Greenville \ Westside are totally warranted, but how is 1.6% multiplier for downtown not enough tho ? Hence free rides

Posted on: 12/14 22:01
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http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/RevaluationUpdate

if you click "1-4 family neighborhood analysis" on the bottom of the page, it opens a PDF with average tax increases by neighborhood. Downtown JC taxes are looking to go up by 50% (unless I'm misinterpreting the table). But...tell me again how the housing prices won't be affected by this?

I'll give it a whirl

Let's start by looking at the aggregate. Most of downtown is underpaying property tax; most of the rest of JC is overpaying property tax. DT buildings will pay more (as noted above, 50-75% seems likely) -- but property taxes will drop in other parts of town. On average, it ought to more or less average out, especially for areas near JSQ which are starting to gentrify.


Next, let's look at a situation where property taxes will increase by what we expect is a typical amount (around 60%).

We'll look at a DTJC single-family home on the market for $1.5 million. 3 beds, 2 baths, backyard, renovated etc. Assuming 20% down, a likely monthly mortgage payment is $5500/month. Property taxes are $10,000 per year. Their annual costs are $76,000 per year.

After the reval, they will now pay $24,000 per year. Their annual housing costs are now $90,000 a year. That's an increase of $1160/month. I can see how that can cause someone to seriously consider moving.

If we try to offset the entire cost of property taxes by reducing the home price, and thus the mortgage, the new price would be around $1.2 million.

At the same time, property taxes in other parts of JC will fall, and presumably become more attractive.

Will the owner drop the price by nearly 20%? That's certainly possible. Would the owner be upset? Probably. However, that's also only about 1 year of unrealized gains, and a much softer blow than 2007-2008.

However, inventory in DJTC is still very tight. My understanding is that demand vastly outstrips supply, and properties don't remain on the market long. I suspect that some buyers are discouraged by the lack of inventory, and look elsewhere. If inventory increases in 2019, those properties will be snapped up quickly, and prices will resume their upward trend. Demand may be so high that prices drop far less than 20% -- or might not drop at all.


Another way to put this is: The lack of revaluations over the years has caused home prices to become unfair and inequitable. DTJC real estate values are higher than they ought to be, and other areas are lower than they ought to be, because DT owners have received a tax break at the expense of their poorer neighbors. The reval could make both property tax and home values more fair overall.


Posted on: 12/14 21:21
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This whole nonsense that downtown is underpaying while tax abated properties, nearly a third of the city's ratables, will not get an increase and artificially raises that tax rate since they are not ratables. If you want fair taxes, stop giving out abatements. The rest of Hudson County has been enjoying developments and rarely uses tax abatements.

Posted on: 12/14 20:20
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JCGuys wrote:
http://jerseycity.hosted.civiclive.co ... ily%20NBHD%20Analysis.pdf

JC Heights - Western slope to see 25% reduction on average
$6,580 avg tax bill from $8,845

Greenville to see 40-50% declines in average property taxes

Paulus Hook is screwed with 75% increase!

$16,591 to $29,026 in average property tax bill

WOW

That's a nice savings, and it's about time !

Posted on: 12/14 19:00
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Also, how could anyone whos taxes arent increasing / substantially dropping (greenville & west side) complain that downtown isnt paying enough ? Seems like everyone wants a free ride these days


Again with this? You obviously don't get it. This new (estimated) numbers show what most have been claiming for years now: that DTJC had been underpaying their taxes to the detriment of poorer residents in areas that have seen little or no appreciation.

Posted on: 12/14 17:32
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The value of vacant land is much less than I thought it would be...


This is something I'm extremely suspicious of in the traditional assessments. I recently read an article talking about how high Urban home prices are function of extremely high land value proportional to construction costs. But here the assessments are exactly reversed. Where it really becomes an issue is abatements, where only the tax on the Improvement is abated, not the land value.

Posted on: 12/14 16:19
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http://jerseycity.hosted.civiclive.co ... ily%20NBHD%20Analysis.pdf

JC Heights - Western slope to see 25% reduction on average
$6,580 avg tax bill from $8,845

Greenville to see 40-50% declines in average property taxes

Paulus Hook is screwed with 75% increase!

$16,591 to $29,026 in average property tax bill

WOW

Posted on: 12/14 15:36
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Looks like non-condo owners are seeing the biggest tax benefits. Commercial properties look like the net losers.

The value of vacant land is much less than I thought it would be...

Posted on: 12/14 15:30
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Posted on: 12/14 15:28
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Can someone explain the distinction between the Downtown section and the "12 UNITS OR LESS(Resi NBHDs)" on this document here?

http://jerseycity.hosted.civiclive.co ... ndo%20NBHD%20Analysis.pdf

Average increase for Downtown condos looks to be 30% but the "12 UNITS OR LESS(Resi NBHDs)" is about 10%. Does this mean that smaller, walkup condo buildings in Downtown can expect an increase of less than 30%?


FINALLY!!

1.62% ?!? Much higher than I thought, even though property taxes are going down. Makes to sense.

Posted on: 12/14 15:26
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jc201jc wrote:
http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/RevaluationUpdate

if you click "1-4 family neighborhood analysis" on the bottom of the page, it opens a PDF with average tax increases by neighborhood. Downtown JC taxes are looking to go up by 50% (unless I'm misinterpreting the table). But...tell me again how the housing prices won't be affected by this?


Going by the document, it looks like the increases in DTJC are anywhere from mid 50% to 75%, with the sole exception of the Van Leer neighborhood (WTF is that?) which is expected to go up by only 41%.

Interesting... I expected DT to get even higher increases. But, overall, the picture is bleak for the administration in terms of optics. Just as had been argued and pointed out multiple times prior to the reval, the current tax situation was a reverse Robin Hood scenario, and the numbers are damning. EVERY neighborhood outside of DTJC is going to see reductions, some quite substantial, with five rare exceptions, expected to have minor increases, three of which are under 5%.

And, it seems like they are expecting the tax rate to come out at about 1.62%. While that is welcome news for the DTJC homeowners, it is likely bad overall for the city, as pressure is likely to increase to force JC to take on a larger share of the local school budget if the property tax rate is so low compared to other NJ towns. At 2%, the city could argue that anything higher was a huge burden on residents, but at 1.6%, I believe that would be one of the absolute lowest property tax rates in the state (outside of Cape May county) and makes us a target for increased pressure.


The Heights and JSQ averages seem super low especially for the Heights which had the greatest increase this year in prices.

Also, how could anyone whos taxes arent increasing / substantially dropping (greenville & west side) complain that downtown isnt paying enough ? Seems like everyone wants a free ride these days

Posted on: 12/14 15:24
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Can someone explain the distinction between the Downtown section and the "12 UNITS OR LESS(Resi NBHDs)" on this document here?

http://jerseycity.hosted.civiclive.co ... ndo%20NBHD%20Analysis.pdf

Average increase for Downtown condos looks to be 30% but the "12 UNITS OR LESS(Resi NBHDs)" is about 10%. Does this mean that smaller, walkup condo buildings in Downtown can expect an increase of less than 30%?

Posted on: 12/14 14:24
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Anyway, really interested to see what others have to say/opine about the property tax rate potentially coming out at 1.62% and what the implications may be for our city and residents.


So many moving targets it's hard to guess where it'll end up. Is the rate vs home value a zero sum game where your increase stays the same? My DT taxes are $17k, I won't be surprised if they double, but I've done well over 20 years on value and rents. I'm sure I'd be less zen if I bought recently.


Just to clarify, that 1.62% number was taken from the document (linked earlier) provided by the city as an update on the ongoing reval now that it is 85% completed. Based on that, I am guessing the final rate will be somewhat close.

Posted on: 12/14 14:12
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bodhipooh wrote:
Anyway, really interested to see what others have to say/opine about the property tax rate potentially coming out at 1.62% and what the implications may be for our city and residents.


So many moving targets it's hard to guess where it'll end up. Is the rate vs home value a zero sum game where your increase stays the same? My DT taxes are $17k, I won't be surprised if they double, but I've done well over 20 years on value and rents. I'm sure I'd be less zen if I bought recently.

Posted on: 12/14 12:57
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