Rising Home Prices Put Squeeze on Buyers

Despite the slight let-up in the number of transactions of homes and properties, the median existing price for a single-family home increased by 4.8% on an annual basis to $266,900. Even though this represented a slight easing from the 4.9% recorded in the second quarter of 2018, it still represents a continuation of the appreciation of real estate across the board.

According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices increased across the country, rising in 93% of the markets that were measured in the third quarter. This measurement represents 166 out of 177 metropolitan areas. Approximately 10% of the metro areas saw price increases again in the double digits.

In addition to the higher prices buyers are being forced to pay-up, there continues to be a shortage in inventory and an increase in the mortgage rates that have been rising for the last year-and-a-half.

The basic theme is insufficient supply of available and affordable housing. The continued growth trend in real estate values does not seem to be attracting other sellers to enter the into this lucrative market. According to the NAR, total existing home sales, which includes single-family homes and condos, fell by 2.4% from 5.4 million sales in the third quarter of 2017.

The strong economy continues to drive the market higher with less inventory to satisfy the actual demand that it is within this market.

The bright spot on the horizon in this market, as reported by the NAR is that inventory crept up ever so slightly from the third quarter of 2017 to the end of the third quarter of 2018. According to the published report, the average supply of homes for sale was 4.3 months during the third quarter of 2018. This also is an improvement from 2017, which came in at 4.2 months supply.

This tracks with the national family median income increase to 76,800 in the third quarter.

Affordability is still a key driver in this market. Middle-class home buyers are facing a sparsity of selection and home builders are finding it difficult to keep up with demand, considering the labor shortages across the board.

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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