Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants
TKR Tips and Thoughts
Where Are We Headed?
The real estate market has been heading down the same road for the past few years, but it may take a turn in the very near future. Reviewing market indicators and in talking to people on the front lines (buyers, sellers, realtors, etc.) we now feel confident in predicting that the real estate market and economy is going to change for the worse within the next 6 to 12 months. We had thought this was going to start happening in late 2022, but it did not happen. However, there seems to be stronger evidence now that it looks like change is looming. Changes or cycles in the market are normal and seasoned investors know how to react. When the real estate market softens, some will get hurt, but for many it will be opportunity. Changes are nothing to worry about, as long as you are well informed and see the opportunities out there.
Multi-Family – Is the strong demand for Multi-Family ever going to end?
Maybe, as rental growth has slowed for 2023. However, unlike other segments of the market, the multi-family market is still seeing an increase in rental rates. We have reviewed 2 bedroom rents in several major markets (Data from our Database and Costar) and have seen strong increases in average rents over the past few years.
Changes in Average 2 Bedroom Rent
2020 2021 2022 2023
Northern New Jersey $2,065 $2,170 $2,325 $2,398
- 5.1% 7.1% 3.1%
New York City $3,100 $3,220 $3,385 $3,456
- 3.9% 5.1% 2.1%
Philadelphia $1,590 $1,740 $1,815 $1,865
- 9.4% 4.3% 2.8%
Baltimore $1,425 $1,590 $1,655 $1,686
- 11.6% 4.1% 1.9%
Of course, going forward we expect growth to slow as vacancy is starting to inch up in some markets. Some markets have too much supply, but if the single family residential market starts to stumble, we may see more overall demand. The next 6 months will be interesting for all segments of the market.
Monmouth / Ocean County NJ Residential Homes
March 1, 2022
Does it feel like 2008 again? The market is definitely going through a change. Uncertainty always creates change and doubt. Looking at market statistics from the Flex MLS for single families in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey the total active inventory is down from last year which is keeping prices up. Sold volume has decreased by 12 to 15%, although the median price is up from last year. We are expecting an interest rate hike shortly (one of many over the next few months) which should be the trigger and end the somewhat madness of the current market.
Apartment Rents – Bronx, New York
February 1, 2022
We reviewed current average apartment rents for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx. The information was provided from Costar. Multi-family rents continue to be strong throughout the region and in most parts of the country.
1 BR - Average Rent 2 BR - Average Rent 3 BR - Average Rent
Fordham Heights $2,130 $2,319 $2,628
Year over Year Growth -2.2% -2.1% -1.7%
In general apartment rents in the Bronx took a real hit during Covid, but are now on their way back stronger than ever. Although average rents are still below their pre-Covid levels, this market is continuing to strengthen. We expect more upside to rents in this market going forward.
January 1, 2022
What creates market changes and crashes? Uncertainty, of course! Do we have uncertainty in the real estate market right now? Form your own opinion, but supply and demand are out of equilibrium due to artificially low interest rates, current inflation and way too much government intervention in the market. The real estate market will likely weaken based on the Feds actions over the next few months as it appears that interest rates will be increased shortly. This should start to bring the markets back to reality. If you’re selling a property, sell now but if you’re buying, you should wait another six months. Who knows what will actually happen and how the markets will react, but we will definitely see some changes in real estate prices in 2022. Let’s all wait and see. Happy New Year and Best of Luck in 2022!
Apartment Rents – Long Island, New York
December 1, 2021
We have reviewed current (11/2021) average apartment rents for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units in some markets in Long Island. The information was provided from Costar. Multi-family rents continue to be strong throughout the region and in most parts of the country.
1 BR - Average Rent 2 BR - Average Rent 3 BR - Average Rent
Garden City $1,605 $1,917 $2,424
Year over Year Growth 2.8% 3.0% 0.5%
Westbury $2,655 $3,664 $4,222
Year over Year Growth 5.7% 7.0% 5.5%
Hempstead $2,410 $3,390 $4,252
Year over Year Growth 5.0% 7.1% 6.7%
Roslyn $2,432 $3,180 NA
Year over Year Growth 3.6% 5.6% NA
As the economy and this world still seem a bit unsettled, it's good to see that multi-family properties are showing increases in rents as demand remains strong. Happy Holidays to all.
Apartment Rents – New York and New Jersey
November 1, 2021
We reviewed what the average 2 bedroom rental was in 2019 and 2021 in both New Jersey (northern and central counties) and New York City (all 5 boroughs). The information was provided from CoStar.
|3Q - 2019
|3Q - 2021
|3Q - 2019
|3Q - 2021
|2 Bedroom Units
Although rental rates for other property types did decrease during the pandemic, the multi-family market seems to be remaining strong. It continues to see increases in rental and sale prices. Is this market going to peak soon? We will keep a close eye on the multi-family market going forward as nothing lasts forever. In the coming months we will look into individual sub-markets in both New York and New Jersey, as well as other select areas of the country. Happy Holidays to all.
Don’t Drink the Punch
October 1, 2021
It’s amazing how much bias there is in articles about the real estate market and the economy. Whether the bias is intentional or unintentional, as a consumer or investor it is important to look past what you’re reading or being told. A lot of times writers or companies have an underlying financial interest in what they are presenting. Don’t drink the punch that they are trying to give you and look into things deeper.
It is important to see beyond their words. Where is the data coming from? How are they interpreting the data? Are they just giving an opinion or presenting the data in such a way to reach their conclusion? I remember in college, reading a book for my statistics course by Darrell Huff called “How to Lie with Statistics”. It’s a short, easy read that looks at how data can be presented to distort reality.
We are coming out of this pandemic but may be looking into the eye of the storm. Inflation is here is stay, government spending and taxes are going to increase and we may be looking at another worldwide recession just around the corner. Use caution and be skeptical of everything you read or hear as the times are changing.
September 1, 2021
The residential housing peak has occurred. We have reviewed statistics from the Garden State MLS from March 2020 to August 2021. It appears sale prices are flattening and supply is starting to increase. The days on market for residential homes is increasing. Price reductions or as brokers say, price corrections are now becoming more the norm. However, money is still cheap as interest rates remain at historical lows. As long as we don’t see a quick jump in interest rates, we will likely have a soft landing for the residential market as it comes back down to earth going into 2022.
The commercial market is somewhat different, as investors are being cautiously optimistic. There is strong demand for industrial properties, which is being fueled by e-commerce. Multi-family rents are coming back very strong after a slight drop during the pandemic. We expect multi family rents to continue to increase going forward. Prices are high for both these asset types and investors are working hard to find deals. It’s interesting that investors are now looking outside major cities into smaller tertiary markets to find deals that make sense. Office and retail properties are still on the out skirts and many sellers need to face the reality that the market for these properties have fundamentally changed and will be different going forward. Retail and office owners need to realize there will be less demand and more risk for investors for these type of assets.
Most investors feel that interest rates are going to rise very soon and that there will be higher taxes on capital gains in the very near future. Both will have a negative effect on the market. Overall the residential and commercial markets are changing. Use caution and make sure the fundamentals of the deal make sense. Don’t take on unnecessary risks.
Fleeing New York and New Jersey
August 1, 2021
The northeast, and in particular New York and New Jersey, have been experiencing negative migration for a number of years. The recent pandemic has continued to accelerate this change as now many employees do not need to live close to their employer or in states with high taxes. Where are people going? For the most part they are moving to the south, where the cost of living is lower and the weather is better. Of course some of this exodus is from retirees, as the baby boomers are coming into retirement age, but younger and middle-aged people are also on the move. With the expected change in the tax laws from the current administration, it is expected that this migration from the northeast will continue. Hopefully, local and federal politicians will get a whiff of reality and common sense that will encourage them to make changes that will benefit all.
Is the Residential Market Ready to Peak
July 1, 2021
As per the Garden State MLS service, residential inventory (single family) in Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Union Counties, New Jersey is up by 11% over the same time period from last year. Demand is still strong amongst the increase in supply. The median list price is up by 7.5% to $560,639 and the average days on market is down by 23% to 43 days.
Is the current sellers’ market going to peak or flatten soon? It seems we may be heading to that direction. The rising home prices have knocked a lot of potential buyers out of the market and with inflation continuing, the Feds are going to be forced to try to keep it in check. An increase in interest rates is likely to happen sooner, rather than later, as the Feds state. In addition, with some businesses continuing to struggle, the uncertain labor force, mortgage and rental forbearance ending it would indicate that the market may be changing in the near future. Change is just part of the real estate market and we all will adapt to the change.
Recap of the Market – Post Covid
June 1, 2021
As the pandemic is winding down, we wanted to take a look at some property types to give you a quick update of what is going on.
Residential single family – It is still a sellers market as prices are high with inventory being so low. However, there seems to be a slight change with a small decrease in demand and inventory increasing slightly. I think the clock is ticking and sellers need to be aware of this, as homes are taking a little longer to sell. It still will be several months before this market gets back to some normalcy.
Multi-Family – Affordable/Subsidized and workforce class apartments are still in strong demand with prices high. Luxury multi-family properties are a problem in some markets with a lot of supply and competition continuing to push downward on rental rates.
Retail – Some good buys out there if you want to reposition the property. Well located strip centers and grocery anchored centers are still a good buy if the price is right. Stay away from power centers, community centers and regional malls.
Office – Unless it’s medical or orientated towards tech stay away. In talking with larger companies who had employees working from home during the pandemic, they said many employees enjoyed working from home and do not want to return to the office environment. And this is not due to Covid but a lifestyle choice. Employers said they have had employees leave to find a company which would allow them the choice to work from home. This new lifestyle choice will reshape the office market going forward.
May 1, 2021
It’s been about 45 years since he has visited us last. But home, car, food, and gas prices have been increasing since the pandemic. Construction and raw materials have increased tremendously in price over the past year. Why? Supply and demand? Maybe. Have wages increased? No. One of the culprits has been the increase in the money supply by the government. The result of which has been inflation creeping in and driving prices upward, to a point past what we have normally seen over the years. Is it temporary or long term? Hopefully, it will just be temporary, as inflation makes markets less stable and more prone to fluctuations.
We are on a dangerous and rocky path. Will your 2019 dollar buy the same product in 2021? Absolutely not. Inflation erodes the value of money. If the inflation keeps rising, you will definitely see a rise in interest rates very soon. This of course will be devastating seeing how the overall economy is at the moment. Ten million fewer Americans have jobs today from one year ago. Many jobs have been lost for good and it will likely take several years for the unemployment rate to fall to pre-pandemic levels. The economy as we knew it before Covid-19 is going to be quite different to what the future will be.
What should investors do? - Buy hard assets - real estate, precious metals, etc. Also putting some of your profits from stocks into inflation indexed bonds would be a good idea at this time.
The Dying of Small Business
April 1, 2021
The pandemic has certainly hit many small businesses hard and sadly some have been forced to close their doors permanently. Recent figures estimate that almost 30% of all small businesses have been forced to close or have major cutbacks. Small businesses account for about 80% of all the jobs in the United States. The playing field in the United States has always been tilted towards large companies, so most small business owners have two strikes against them before they get up to the plate. For the past 30 to 40 years, large corporations have been growing bigger and bigger and the competition in the market has been decreasing.
The long term effects of less small businesses and less competition is not good for the economy and consumers. With less competition the consumer suffers as prices rise and products and services worsen. We do not want to end up as consumers only being able to choose between Company A or Company B for a particular item or service.
What has fueled the shift of larger corporations and less competition? Consumer habits. As consumers we only recognize cheap and quick. Who cares if it doesn’t last, I will just replace it with another cheap item when it breaks. In reality, that type of thinking costs people more in the long run. I personally would rather spend a little extra on a better quality item or service knowing that it will last.
Now more than any other time, it is important for all of us to support small and local businesses. We all benefit from more competition and the economy is dependent on it.
Should I appeal my Real Estate Taxes?
March 1, 2021
If your property is in New Jersey, then probably. You should take a close look at it. New Jersey is the highest taxed state in the Country. For most counties in N.J., the filing deadline is April 1, 2021. Review your current assessment. Is your property worth that? Could you sell it for that amount? If you have a retail, office, or hotel property, I think you need to take an even closer look. This sector has been hit hard by the recent pandemic.
If you’re not sure if you have a case, give us a call and we can quickly look into it for you for no charge and advise you what to do. If you want to do it on your own, but want to be represented by an attorney, we would be happy to recommend one for you.
Where to Put Your Money
February 1, 2021
Is a recession looming around the corner? It may be as we still have not seen the full economic effects of 2020 yet. It appears the stock market may be flattening and starting to cool off. Is it time to move your money? Is real estate viable at this point? It certainly can be with interest rates so low and prices fairly stable.
What property type is the right to invest in? Multi-family and industrial values have been rising over the past few years and prices are steep in many locations for quality product. Retail and office are probably the two property types where you can still get a decent buy. However, they are not without risk. Retail and office may be more management intensive at the current time, as the market for these property types are fundamentally changing. There are opportunities but it could be challenging in the near term. But we do recommend to focus on well located retail and office properties in 2021, as there should be some good buys out there. The old axiom still applies, Location, Location, Location. So keep your eyes open and look for opportunity in the retail and office market segment.
Happy New Year!
January 1, 2021
I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 is behind us. It was certainly the most unusual of times and a year that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. With the new vaccine rolling out, I think we can all see the light at the end tunnel. Will life as we use to know it ever get back to those pre Covid days?
The real estate markets did see a change in 2020. What did TKR see – Residential housing values rise from 5% to 10% in most markets with properties selling over list price and with multiple offers. We saw a softening of luxury multi-family apartments in most markets, with many projects now offering concessions. Middle market and affordable apartments have held their own with only a slight dip in some markets. Industrial demand has kept humming along and now that the pandemic has changed just about everyone’s shopping habits, it is likely that demand for industrial will remain strong going forward.
It appears that demand for office space may be less with working at home being more accepted. However it is likely that the shift of less office space per employee will change. This shift has been happening for the last 20 years, but now companies appear to want more office space per employee and the net affect should not have a detrimental impact on the demand for space. This will likely help this sector and the office market should be okay in the long run.
Problems for 2021 - Mortgage foreclosures are increasing and banks have become much more conservative on their lending criteria. The increase in the rise of values in residential housing may be short lived. It is expected that the retail and hospitality sectors will continue to be soft going forward and we feel that fundamental changes in this sector are on the horizon for 2021.
At TKR we wish everyone a Happy and Healthy 2021.
The End of the Year is Finally Here!
December 1, 2020
Well 2020 is coming to an end. It has been a strange year to say the least. The real estate markets are still facing unknown challenges as we move forward. The residential, multi-family and industrial markets seem to be fairing the best out of all property types. Retail, office and hospitality have a somewhat unknown and challenging future. Going forward, the overall need for all three property types is going to change and we may see fundamental changes within the next few years. These changes will outline the future. We have consulted with many owners who have seen the writing on the wall and are repositioning their properties. Well located properties will fare well to a change in use based on market demand. 2020 and the current pandemic has taught us that we must always look forward and be ready to adapt to market changes. Be prepared and get ready for change!
Housing Future and Last Month Poll Results
November 1, 2020
I recently attended a conference (via Zoom) about Understanding Housing Demand During Covid-19 presented by NCHMA. Some quick points about the near future are as follows:
The summarized results of our poll from last month on when will Covid-19 will end is as follows:
Looks like we may have Covid-19 with us for a while. We thank everyone who participated, and we sent the top 5 raffle winners TKR coffee mugs and gym bags.
Covid – 19 – When will the Pandemic End?
October 7, 2020
Late on the Blog this month, sorry folks. In talking with people it seems like some sectors of the economy have been busier than ever, while others have been slow and struggling. Which direction is the economy and pandemic heading? This month we are taking a poll. Do you think the pandemic will end before the end of the year? If not let us know what you think. You can vote by sending an e-mail to Info@TonyKamand.com.
Nobody really knows when it’s going to end, but take an educated guess. For participating in our survey we will raffle off several prizes to the top five people. When voting please leave some form of contact so we can get in touch with you to mail you a prize if you win. We will report the results of the survey next month.
Industrial Market – New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
September 1, 2020
In the tri-state area (NJ, NY & PA) industrial space has been strong over the past several years. Reviewing Costar Analytics we have looked at industrial space (50,000 square feet and up) in the tri-state area. Of the 2.2 billion square feet of space surveyed, rents have risen about 47% in the last seven years (since 2013). Vacancy levels during the same time period have decreased from 8.6% to 5.5%. We have seen a small increase in overall vacancy in the past year, but rents have continued to rise despite this. Overall capitalization rates have seen most properties trading in the 6.0% to 7.8% range with some portfolio sales reflecting as low as a 4% overall capitalization rate. Overall capitalization rates have been trending downward during the past seven years.
Is now the time to invest in the industrial market? Yes, but the window may be closing as we expect prices to continue to rise. There has been some stabilization in pricing due to Covid-19, but this is expected to change beginning in the first quarter of 2021. If you’re going to make a move, now is the time to do it.
Increasing Cash Flow
August 1, 2020
With Covid-19 some tenants are unable to pay rent or have been forced to vacate, and landlords are seeing a decrease in collected income. This of course is a temporary situation (hopefully) but it is also an ideal time to review the operating expenses on your property. Typically, fixed expenses on the building will not change regardless of occupancy (i.e. Real Estate Taxes and Insurance), unless they are being reimbursed by the tenant. Regardless, you need to be sure these expenses are in line with the market. If not, you are at a competitive disadvantage. You should have a handle on what other owners are paying for these expenses in your market. Should you file a tax appeal? Should you shop for a different insurance carrier?
Variable expenses on the property, such as utilities, maintenance, management, etc. are sometimes easier to control in down times or when occupancy in the building changes. Hopefully, you know what typical maintenance expenses (on a per square foot basis) are for a building in your market. What are typical utility or payroll costs? To operate as a successful landlord and survive in the market, you better be on top of where your expenses are. Educate yourself or consult an expert, as this is the only way you can succeed or survive in the market.
July 1, 2020
Some people now realize that they really do not have to live close to where their job or employer is located. With the acceptance by many employers allowing employees to work from home and the use of technology to work remotely, people can now live just about anywhere they actually want. Want to live at the mountains? Or closer to recreational amenities? How about closer to relatives? Or at the shore? Should you pay rent to live in the city or make a mortgage payment for a suburban house that you will eventually own? I think a lot of people are going to be making changes going forward.
Has the residential market been affected by what is happening? We have reviewed statistics from Flex MLS. Single family listings are down about 10% from last year with the number of properties sold down by only 3%. The average sale price for sold properties is up by about 8%. This is an encouraging sign that prices are remaining strong.
|Average List Price
|Median List Price
|Average Sale Price
|Median Sale Price
Source: Flex MLS
June 1, 2020
The effects of the coronavirus is now starting to be observed in the multi family market. Long term I think the multifamily market will be simply fine but we have to first get over this hurdle. In most markets across the country we have seen a small dip in rents and an increase in supply in the upper or luxury end apartment sector. Due to high land and construction costs, developers were almost forced to build this high end product over the past few years. With supply increasing and demand down, naturally rents are starting to come down slightly. However, in the middle and affordable sectors we have not seen any change in rents. There is good demand and rents have been holding steady despite what is going on around us.
Due to the current pandemic many apartment owners have stopped leasing empty units and are waiting to the shelter in place orders are lifted to begin leasing again. The future of the economy over the next few months is unknown and with unemployment at all-time highs, it is difficult to determine how long we will see a downturn in the market. If businesses are able to start operating again and some normalcy begins to resume, this may just be a small blip on the screen. If not, buckle your seat belt because it is going to be a bumpy ride.
We have not looked closely at other sectors (industrial, office, hospitality, and retail) but will in the coming months.
The Pandemic is a Catalyst for Change
May 1, 2020
One thing is for certain is that this pandemic will be a catalyst for change. There will be changes in the real estate market, changes in our outlook on how we view the world and changes in how we live our lives.
Life goes in a circle and history seems to repeats itself. Will people want to return to a simpler life? A slower pace? It seems a possibility. Everyone will always need a place to live, and with the acceptance of working remotely where people prefer to live may likely change. Is there really a need to be located close to your office? Probably not. I think this is going to bring opportunities for developers to potentially unlock areas thought to be undesirable or not readily marketable before.
In the short term, there will be pressure on landlords because of the increase in unemployment, decreasing rents and rising vacancies. In talking with brokers many do not feel there will be any short term dips. I think there will be a dip but it will be several months before we see the effects. But long term I think the markets will be fine. Interest rates are the lowest they have ever been, maybe the lowest we will see for a long time. Investors will again be active and probably looking for new opportunities (retrofitting space to a different use, increase in development outside of urban areas, etc.). Where there is change there are new opportunities.
April 1, 2020
I think we have all been overburdened with news about COVID 19. It can be overwhelming at times and I’m sure everyone is waiting for normalcy to return. When it’s over, what will the real estate market look like? The real estate markets don’t react as quickly as the equity markets, but we are going to see a dip in values, it’s inevitable. The amount of the decline is difficult at this time to measure. But I don’t think it will be large and the dip will not last long. We will get back to some normalcy fairly quickly.
Will this pandemic change the way we view real estate or change development trends? Probably. The trend of more people working from home will become more the norm and the demand for office space will likely be tempered going forward. I guess we can forget about the rise of co-working office space for the future. In the future, do we need to build to such high densities? Probably not and development may start spreading out going forward, as technology will continue to advance. The office market will be undergoing some big changes in the future, much like the retail markets have been for the past 20 years, with its contraction.
The biggest problem for real estate will be the hospitality markets in both the short and long term. I’m not sure how it will finally shake out, but it is going to be a bumpy ride going forward. However, on a positive note there will continue to be opportunities for home builders and multi family developers. These markets will be less affected and should continue to flourish in the coming years.
This pandemic is definitely going to change the way we all look at all real estate in the future. The must have or less affected property types going forward will likely be residential, multi family and industrial. In our ever changing world, our need for real estate will continue to evolve. Interesting times – Stay Safe.
New Jersey Real Estate Taxes
March 1, 2020
New Jersey is the highest taxed state in the nation. Are there any places left in New Jersey where the real estate taxes are still reasonable? Not many but here is the list:
Atlantic County – Longport
Bergen County – Alpine
Cape May County – Avalon, Cape May City, Cape May Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle City and Stone Harbor
Monmouth County – Allenhurst, Deal, Loch Arbour and Sea Girt
Ocean County – Barnegat Light, Bay Head, Harvey Cedars, Lavallette, Long Beach, Mantoloking, Ship Bottom and Surf City
Sussex County – Walpack
Just 21 towns out the of 565 municipalities in the State. Of course real estate taxes should not be your primary factor when selecting where you live, but in New Jersey it does need to be taken into consideration. A small drawback in these lower taxed towns, property values are high. Buyers just can’t win.