The Boom Continues in Asbury Park

According to a recent article in The Coaster, the amount of booming which is currently underway in Asbury Park may be the most since the time when the city was founded in the late 1800s. From Left: Asbury Park Convention Hall (image courtesy of Dave Frey), Main Street, Tillie, Cookman Ave, Old Heating Plant, Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel

Asbury Park is no longer a forgotten town, filled with bygone memories and crumbling carnival rides.

The revival of the Jersey Shore is definitely finding Asbury Park as the hub of this new renaissance. The fact that last year Asbury Park was given the recognition as the best little city with the best beach is surely part of the big attraction.

It seems that the youth have grabbed on to this historic town known for its festive and creative culture of sun and fun.

The building projects that are currently underway in Asbury Park, New Jersey include townhouses, restored Pavilions, renovated buildings, and a new federal housing complex in addition to many updated restaurants up and down its famed Cookman Avenue.

The city is actually involved in a lot of the construction going on: as many residents are seeing, many of its roads which had fallen into disrepair over the last couple decades are being repaved.

Perhaps one of the drawbacks to all of this fanfare is a problem that most urban centers experience and face: the shortage of parking places.

In 2016, the median age of all people in Asbury Park, NJ was 34.7 with native-born citizens having a median age of 33.1. But according to Data USA, people in Asbury Park are getting younger.

As in many other places within New Jersey, there is a buying frenzy going on in Asbury Park.

According to the article again in The Coaster, many people are walking up and down streets asking people if they want to sell their homes. Homes being bought for $90,000 are now peaking at $150,000, and could possibly be sold for $250,000 in a couple years.

Current Construction Projects
Asbury Ocean Club
Boston Way Redevelopment
Fifth Avenue Pavilion
Kinmonth Building
Barry Slott Building
711 Mattison Avenue
700 Bangs Avenue
Mary Mac Libation Station
Dollar Tree
The Parkview Asbury Park
The Renaissance

New Jersey “Sandwiched” Part 2

The Pew report showed that home sales in Philadelphia increased for the sixth consecutive year, and reached a number just short of its all-time record in 2017.

The study also indicates that the construction industry is booming in this Pennsylvania urban center. Residential building permits hit over 3,000 for the fourth consecutive year in a row. In 2017, the city issued 3,389 building permits, which was just 15% off of its peak in 2014.

Home sales in Philadelphia also increased.

Why this is important comes in the way of the potential spillover effect upon values for those counties in New Jersey adjacent to Philadelphia, as was the case in New York City.

Burlington County, which is adjacent to Philadelphia has seen a year where the median price sales increased 7.7% in the past year. In addition, the percent of list price received has gone up from 96.7% to 98% and inventory has fallen from 2,300 to 1,800. Additionally, the months-supply-of-inventory from 2017 to 2018 has fallen 31% from 5.8 months to 4.0 months.

Another potential strong market that is close to Philadelphia is Cherry Hill. According to Zillow, the median home value in Cherry Hill has gone up 5.4% over the past year to $259,477. Zillow is also predicting that Cherry Hill values will continue to rise by 3.2% over the course of 2018.

Overall, the counties of Camden and Burlington appear to be selectively ripe to benefit from the urban boom being experienced in Philadelphia. It could be a classic case of a great New Jersey sandwich, being thrust in between two great metro areas, New York City and Philadelphia.

We will keep you posted.

Completed Housing Units in Northeast Climbs 40 Percent Y-O-Y

Building permits, housing starts and housing completions all increase year-over-year according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

BUILDING PERMITS
■ Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,352,000, this is 7.7% above the April 2017 rate of 1,255,000.
■ Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 859,000; and authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 450,000 in April.
■ Total privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April for the Northeast fell 23.3%.

HOUSING STARTS
■ Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,287,000, this is 10.5% above the April 2017 rate of 1,165,000.
■ Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 894,000; and the April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 374,000.
■ Total privately-owned housing units started in April for the Northeast climbed 34.1%.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS
■ Privately-owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,257,000. This is 2.8% above the revised March estimate of 1,223,000 and is 4.8% above the April 2017 rate of 1,095,000.
■ Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 820,000; and the April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 425,000.
■ Total privately-owned housing units completed in April for the Northeast climbed 40.2%.

https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst.pdf

Affordability & Inventory 2018

Affordability and inventory remain the two major factors holding back real estate sales.

On a month-to-month basis, total existing home sales climbed just 1.1% in March from February, but they still are lagging behind 2017 figures by 1.2%.

Median existing home prices increased in March to 250,000 which is up 5.8% from the 236,000 figure back in 2017.

The numbers for March represented the 73rd straight month of the year-over-year gains.

It seems that affordability is being impacted by the boost in jobs, bringing more buyers into the market, coupled with additional cash coming from the windfall fro tax cuts.

Inventory continues to be a problem within the market, as total available properties for sale fell by 7.2% from 2017 levels nationwide.

According to the National Association of Realtors, unsold inventory is at 3.6 month supply level.

Additionally, higher interest rates are impacting the buyer market driving the cost of owning a home even higher.

According to the National Association of Realtors, properties placed on the market stay there for 30 days in March, which is down from 37 days in February and 34 days from a year ago. According to the same report nearly 50% of homes sold in March on the market for less than a month. This shows a ferocious fire appetite for properties. The other factor , often not mentioned, is that sellers are having a hard time finding a place to move to once their buyer agrees to their price.

Buyers continue to eat away at supply, leaving some markets like Seattle and San Francisco at record lows for available inventory.

First-time home buyers are still comprise 30% of all sales in March, which is slightly up from February 2018, but then slightly lower than the 32% registered in 2017.

Even all cash sales came in at just 20% of all transactions in March 2018. This figure is 4% less than those cash transactions completed in February which accounted for 24%.

Distressed sales came in at just 4% of total sales in March 2018.

Demand in the Northeast jumped by 6.3% to an annual rate of 680,000 units but it’s still 9.3% below the number of sales in 2017. The median price in the Northeast was $270,600, which is 3.3% above March of 2017.

 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.

The Best Real Estate Websites in 2018 Part 1

There are thousands of real estate websites out there, each clamoring for your attention and promising to provide some sort of guidance in the search for the perfect home.

The National Association of Realtors indicates that nearly all home buyers begin their search for their first home or any other home online. This is a significant shift since just 2 years ago (2015) when just 44% of home buyers began their search for a home online first. Now the figure’s nearly 100%.

Judging Real Estate Platforms
Not all platforms are created equal since they all rely upon their own data sources. Some real estate websites give you a lot of reliable information and others simply clutter up the web with their own information with the sole purpose of selling ads or hooking you into a monthly paid subscription.

When beginning your search online and using real estate websites, it is important to not only look at the properties listed, the valuations, and any other information that is provided, but it is equally important for home buyers and home sellers to review the reviews of the site they are viewing. In some cases, what you may think or believe to be a reliable credible real estate website has inaccurate information, dated information, and makes little or no effort to update their data, even if it is corrected by the people who own the property.

Some of the features that home buyers are looking for from a real estate website include:
■ Clean and sleek layout
■ Easy to navigate
■ High-definition pictures
■ A minimum of advertisements
■ A minimum of animations
■ Easy to use with features that help narrow and target your home search

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.

Where Rents Cost the Most

The most expensive cities to rent a one-bedroom apartment were not big surprises: San Francisco, California came in number one, with the highest average one-bedroom rent of $3,440 per month. The city with the second most expensive average rent for a 1one-bedroom was the Big Apple, New York City, with an average rent of $2,890.

Out of the top 10 cities, the East Coast held four out of the ten most expensive cities to rent a one-bedroom apartment in. Looking at the East Coast, there was Boston with an average rent of $2,300, Washington, D.C. with an average rent of $2,200 and Miami in the number 10 spot with an average rent of $1,750 a month.

According to the research organization Zumper, the national median rent for a one-bedroom increased only .1% to $1,185, while two-bedroom apartments grew faster by 6% to $1,422.

The average rental price for a two-bedroom in New York City actually fell by 4.9% to $3,330. Philadelphia came in as the 17th most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom apartment with $1,450 while a two-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia would cost $1,510.

Part of the reason for Philadelphia’s strength is attributed to, “The city had a monthly average of 715,900 jobs in 2017, an increase of more than 16,000 from the year before and the highest total since 1991. For the second year in a row, Philadelphia added jobs at a faster rate than did the nation as a whole,” according to Pew Research.

Pew Research also noted that, “Home sales in Philadelphia increased for the sixth consecutive year, reaching a level in 2017 just short of the number recorded in the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession. The year-over-year increase of nearly 3,000 was the largest since 2005.”

New Jersey’s other large city, Newark, is the 44th most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom apartment in, which came in at $1,050, and a two-bedroom apartment in Newark costs an average of $1,310.

Rounding out the list at number 100 was Detroit, Michigan, at $590 a month for a one-bedroom and $660 a month for a two-bedroom.

The data was obtained through a published report by the Zumper National Rent Report, which analyzed rental data from over 1 million active listings.

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.

8 States Are Losing People

A recently published report by Pew Research, based upon the data and analysis of population shifts throughout the 50 states received by the U.S. Census Bureau, has shown some interesting changes. Specifically, 16% of the states in the union lost population between 2016 and 2017.

According to Pew Research, last year represented the first time in 30 years that so many states lost residents in a single year. According to the report by the Census Bureau, there appear to be 8 states with population losses.

These states lost population between 2016 and 2017: Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Only 6 states lost population between 2015 and 2016; they were Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Only Illinois, West Virginia, and Wyoming made this list for two years in a row. New Jersey did not appear on either list.

Illinois came in to be the biggest loser, registering a loss of 33,703 individuals. Illinois was followed by West Virginia, which lost 12,780, and Wyoming, which lost 5,595.

To the surprise of some, the state showing the highest percentage of growth was Idaho between 2016 and 2017, with a population increase of 2.2% to 1.7 million. Nevada came in second with a 2% increase and Utah closely following with a 1.9% increase.

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.

Historic Women and Mothers of New Jersey

Famous historic mothers of New Jersey

Anna Harrison 
Anna Harrison, the 9th First Lady of the United States, married to President William Henry Harrison. President William Henry Harrison held the presidency just one month. She also was the grandmother of another president, the 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison. She was born in 1775 in Morristown, New Jersey. Anna’s father was the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and later became a prominent landowner in Southwest Ohio.

During the Revolutionary War, she was rescued by Judge Symmes, who disguised himself as a British soldier, carried Anna on horseback through the British lines to her maternal grandparents in Southold, Long Island. Anna grew up in Long Island and received a significant education for a woman of her times. She attended Clinton Academy in East Hampton, Long Island.

Elizabeth Carteret
In 1663 the Duke of York assigned part of his claim in the New World to Lord George Carteret of the Isle of New Jersey. It was from his name that the area of Carteret was named. His wife, Elizabeth Carteret, governed the colony, even though she never actually set foot in it. The town of Elizabeth was named for Elizabeth Carteret and it was New Jersey’s first permanent European settlement. Princeton University, known as the College of New Jersey, was founded in Elizabeth in 1746.

New Jersey “Sandwiched”

NJ’s Philadelphia Burbs May See A Bump

Back in January we wrote about the benefits to New Jersey of having a strong New York City real estate market. The upside was clearly being felt.

We wrote, “What’s good for Brooklyn is good for New Jersey”.

All of the outlying boroughs of New York City were enjoying benefits in their real estate values, with Brooklyn reaping huge appreciation.

Brooklyn real estate market climbed by 2.7% to $770,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

New Jersey’s properties tracked with Brooklyn, with an increase of nearly 2% and hitting an average price of $375,000 in 2017.

It’s all about housing shortages and the inability of the construction industry to keep up with demand. The primary beneficiaries of this trend seem to hit New Jersey’s counties of Union, Bergen and Passaic.

But now there’s another wrinkle to the overall New Jersey housing market: Philadelphia continues to boom, according to a Pew Research Center.

The Pew study indicates that economic indicators are mostly positive for the City of Brotherly Love.

According to its most recent figures, Philadelphia had a monthly average of 716,000 jobs in 2017. This is the second year in a row that Philadelphia added more jobs at a faster rate than the entire nation did as a whole.

 

Scarcity Strikes the Rental Market Part 2

The Pew study also discovered other significant issues appearing on the horizon:

In 2015, 38% of all “renter households” were rent burdened, an increase of about 19% from 2001.
Between 2001 and 2015, the median rent rose from $512 a month to $678, a 32% increase.
The share of renter households that were severely rent burdened—spending 50 percent or more of monthly income on rent—increased by 42% between 2001 and 2015, to 17%. Increasing rent burdens were driven in part by year-over-year growth in gross rent—contract price plus utilities—that far exceeded changes in pretax income, which means that after paying rent, many Americans have less money available for other needs than they did 20 years ago.
In 2015, 46% of African-American-led renter households were rent burdened, compared with 34% of white households. Between 2001 and 2015, the gap between the share of white and African- American households experiencing severe rent burden grew by 66%.
Senior-headed renter households are more likely than those headed by people in other age groups to be rent burdened. In 2015, about 50% of renter families headed by someone 65 or older were rent burdened, and more than a fifth were severely rent burdened.
Rent-burdened families are also financially insecure in many other ways:
Nearly two-thirds (64%) had less than $400 cash in the bank; most (84%) of such households are African-American-headed.
Half had less than $10 in savings across various liquid accounts, while half of homeowners had more than $7,000.
Fewer rent-burdened households transitioned from renting to owning in 2015 than in 2001. Households that were rent burdened for at least a year were less likely to buy a home than those that never experienced a rent burden.

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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