Trackable Trends: Affordability in New Jersey Real Estate

Single Family
New listings for single family homes in New Jersey in August fell just slightly, less than 1% to 10,888. And pending sales increased by 2.2% for the same month, also closed sales increased just slightly to 9,023. New Jersey median home sales for single family homes jumped by 3% to 340,000, while the average sale price increased 2.1% to $416,000.

Affordability
Affordability and inventory continue to rule the New Jersey real estate market. The inventory of homes for sale in New Jersey dropped by 11% year-over-year in August to 36,964. This reduction also had an impact upon the total month supply falling to 5.3 months, which is a decrease of 13.1% from 2017.

This Real Estate Market Is Different
What is different about this real estate bull market compared to the market of 2006-7 is that interest rates continue to rise slowly and credit criteria have also increased dramatically, making it more challenging for first-time buyers to come into the market. The tight credit market makes it harder for home-flippers to scoop up REO or foreclosed properties, as the number of these properties has fallen dramatically as well.

So the outlook moving forward for this market should be characterized not as one that is losing its steam but rather as one that is finding a healthy level of buyer-seller demand. At one point, people would be willing to keep their home on the market for six months; that was the normal amount of time expected to sell a home. Now people are much more fluid and liquid, and the economic condition is much better. Now homes come on and off the market with great speed and also a great amount of buyer competition.

Moving forward we are expecting the market to stabilize with modest price increases with houses most likely appreciating in the 3% range. This would reflect the average household income increase of 2.6% which was reported by the US Department of Commerce.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

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