Jobs Surge in March by 241K

Private sector employment increased by 241,000 jobs from February to March according to the March ADP National Employment Report. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics. The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total non-farm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis. ADP jobs

The ADP report showed gains of 31,000 in construction and 29,000 in manufacturing last month, and sees jobs increasing over the next few months.

This is good news to the real estate industry, as it provides the economic fuel necessary for new housing to be built, and the labor necessary for the construction.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market is rip-roaring. Monthly job growth remains firmly over 200,000, double the pace of labor force growth. The tight labor market continues to tighten.”

How to Cash In On Criticism

Back in 1853, in a Saratoga Springs restaurant, this curmudgeon of a customer who was very wealthy, hard-to-please and in a bad mood, ordered some food. The guest decided that his fried potatoes didn’t meet with his expectations. They were supposedly too thick, too soggy and without enough flavor. The chef was himself a bit of a testy character when it came to his culinary acumen, and so he was determined to teach this annoying patron a lesson. Too thick, soggy and flavorless? he thought. I will show him! So this chef decided to slice potatoes so thin that you could almost see through them. Then to add insult to injury, he over cooked it by frying it to the point that if you tried to cut it with a fork it crumbled. Finally, the chef thought he would over season it to the point that it was caked in salt.

The waiter came back to the chef, and the chef was all too ready to teach this customer something about good cooking when the waiter said, “He is ordering a second serving. He loved it!”

News of this crispy confection created for this culinary curmudgeon spread. And the new side dish gained not only popularity but a name, “Saratoga Chips.” Believe it or not, the chef’s revenge creation became so popular that it brought about a great deal of celebrity to the chef, George Crum, who ended up opening his own restaurant. Today, that culinary act of vengeance has given birth to the billion-dollar snack industry.

NJ Home Sales Break Record

The number of home sales in New Jersey over the first 2 months of 2018 totaled more than 16,000, setting an all-time record. Still, the 2% year-to-date increase over the same period last year was the smallest recently.

Direct Rail Service Drives Luxury Market
According to a report by the Otteau Group, the number of home sales has increased for nearly all price ranges this year, with the largest gain found in the luxury homes priced over $2.5 million. This report indicates that this group rose by 32%.

This niche appears to have a distinction in common: they are primarily concentrated in towns with direct rail service to Manhattan. Sales for homes priced under $400,000 were basically unchanged and homes in the $400,000-$2.5 million range saw modest increases.

Aside from the direct rail access element, other factors influencing real estate transactions in New Jersey were:

  • Inventory shortages
  • Improvements to economic climate
  • Difficulty of sellers finding reasonable relocation residences

The inventory shortage has brought the current levels down to those recorded back in 2005. Statewide, unsold inventory translates into 4.1 months of sales, according to the Otteau report, which is 10% lower than 2017. New Jersey Realtor total inventory for sale fell by 19% year-over-year.  But what is even more alarming is the 23% fall-off in inventory from September to February.  Bergen County for February is down to 3.9 months of inventory for single family homes and Hudson, Morris, Monmouth and Ocean County down to 4.4, 3.6, 3.8, and 5.7 months of inventory for single family homes, respectively.


Toys R Us Being Sold-Off In Parts

According to news reports, Toys R Us is being auctioned off to a number of highly successful retail chains.

According to these reports there are 58 qualified bids. Two of the larger and more recognizable chains include Target and Aldi. In addition other retail businesses such as Raymour and Flanigan are expected to be bidding on other stores.

Even some rumors are that Amazon is considering buying some of the Toys R Us stores. Still Toys R Us has hundreds of the stores that may not find a place after the company is liquidated.

Toys R Us is known as the greatest toy store there is. But obviously that changed when Amazon came along. The company has 32 stores in New Jersey and 1600 worldwide.

In an effort to drive more people and more traffic into their stores, on Thursday night at 5 p.m. Toys R Us shut down their website. Toys R Us is a New Jersey-based company.

Founded by Charles Lazarus in its modern incarnation in 1957, Toys R Us traced its origins to Lazarus’s children’s furniture store, which he started in 1948. He added toys to his offering, and eventually shifted his focus. The company had been in the toy business for more than 65 years and operated around 800 stores in the United States and around 800 outside the US.

At its peak, Toys R Us was considered a classic example of a category killer, a business that specializes so thoroughly and efficiently in one sector that it pushes out competition from both smaller specialty stores and larger general retailers.

Since the rise of mass merchants like Walmart, Target and Amazon, however, Toys R Us lost much of its share of the toy market, and fell behind Walmart in toy sales for 1998.

The company has not had an annual profit since 2013.

CoreLogic Forecasts 4.8 Percent Increase

Forecast Prices Nationally

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.8 percent on a year-over-year basis from January 2018 to January 2019, and on a month-over-month basis home prices are expected to be flat from January 2018 to February 2018.

“Entry-level homes have been in particularly short supply, leading to more rapid home-price growth as compared with more expensive homes.” Frank Nothaft Chief Economist, CoreLogic

The rise in mortgage rates coupled with home-price growth is eroding the affordability, especially for first-time home buyers. According to CoreLogic, half of the largest metro areas are over-valued.

CoreLogic sees continued tightness in the entry-level market for the foreseeable future.

For New Jersey CoreLogic Projects
Percent Change Jan 2018 Jan 2019
Year-over-Year         2.2%         5.8%

January 2018 New York-Jersey City-White Plains NY-NJ Metropolitan is seen as Overvalued.

January 2018 National Home Prices

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 6.6 percent in January 2018 compared with January 2017 and increased month over month by 0.5 percent in January 2018 compared with December 2017 (revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results).

Link to the Report:

All 20 Metro City Home Prices Increase Case-Shiller, S&P, CoreLogic

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 6.2% annual gain in January, down from 6.3 % in the previous month. The 10 – City Composite annual increase ame in at 6.0%, no change from the previous month. The 20 – City Composite posted a 6.4% year-over-year gain, up from 6.3% in the previous month. Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities.

In January, Seattle led the way with a 12.9% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with an 11.1% increase and San Francisco with a 10.2% increase.

Twelve of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending January 2018 versus the year ending December 2017.

The charts on the following page compare year-over-year returns of different housing price ranges (tiers) for the top two cities, Seattle and Las Vegas.

What Ever Happened to My Space??

Myspace was launched in August 2003 from Beverly Hills, California. It was acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for $580 million.

From 2005 until early 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, attracting 75.9 million unique visitors a month at its 2008 peak. It surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States in 2006.

In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors, and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009, though Myspace generated $800 million during the 2008 fiscal year.

In June 2009, Myspace employed approximately 1,600 workers. Since then the company has undergone several rounds of layoffs and by June 2011, Myspace had reduced its staff to around 200.

Since then, the number of Myspace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns. MySpace reached its lowest point of membership in 2010. They lost half of their monthly visitors in just one year.

However, since introducing their new new music player, the site has signed up ONE MILLION new users.

“We went from zero signups per day to 40,000,” said Chris Vanderhook, the company’s chief operating officer.

Myspace – The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again? [INFOGRAPHIC]


February Ocean and Monmouth NJ Sales

Monmouth County for February 2018 showed a reduction in the number of new listings by almost 11%, down to 877 from 892.

These numbers mirror the reduction in total inventory for the County, which fell dramatically by 24.5%, down to just 2310 homes on the market.

The number of closed sales for Monmouth jumped by 6.5%, up to 378 from 355 as compared to February 2017.

Where there was a significant increase was in the median sales price, which climbed by 8.5%, year-over-year, to $400,000 from $370,000 back in February 2017.

As of February 28th, the number of homes for sale in Monmouth County fell to 2310 and the months of supply fell by over 30% to 3.8 months.

For Ocean County there were some differences. The number of new listings climbed by 3.4% to 1182, yet the number of closed sales fell from 429 in 2017 to 405 in 2018.

Also in Ocean County, the number of days on the market until sale fell by 13.4% down to just 84 days, from 97 days in February 2017.

The number of homes for sale in Ocean County also saw a decrease by 14.3% down to 3666; this compares to 4277 for February 2017. The months supply of homes for sale in Ocean County also fell down to 5.7 months from 6.9 months in February 2017.

Also, the median sales price in Ocean County increased 4.6% to $285,000 from $272,000.


Single Family February 2018
Key Market Metrics 2017 2018 Change
■ New Listings          1,143 1,182 + 3.4%
■ Closed Sales            429 405 – 5.6%
■ DOM*                       97 84 – 13.4%
■ Median Px              $272K $285K + 4.6%
■ % of Px Rec’d         96.2% 96.3% + 0.1%
■ Inventory              4,277 3,666 – 14.3%
■ Months of Inventory 6.9 5.7 – 17.4%
* Days on Market Until Sale

Monmouth County
Single Family February 2018

Key Market Metrics 2017 2018 Change
■ New Listings           982    877 – 10.7%
■ Closed Sales           355    378 + 6.5%
■ DOM*                       74       77  +  4.1%
■ Median Px          $370K $400K + 8.1%
■ % of Px Rec’d        97.5%     97.4% – 0.5%
■ Inventory               3,059      2,210 – 24.5%
■ Months of Inventory 5.5    3.8 – 30.9%
* Days on Market Until Sale


NJ February Pending Sales Jump 6 Percent

The three most prominent national market trends for residential real estate are the on going lack of abundant inventory, the steadily upward movement of home prices and year-over-year declines in home sales. Sales declines are a natural result of there being fewer homes for sale, but higher prices often indicate higher demand leading to competitive bidding. Markets are poised for increased supply, so there is hope that more sellers will take advantage of what appears to be a ready and willing buyer base.

• Single Family Closed Sales were down 0.2 percent to 4,425.
• Townhouse-Condo Closed Sales were down 0.3 percent to 1,360.
• Adult Communities Closed Sales were down 9.7 percent to 371.
• Single Family Median Sales Price increased 4.6 percent to $275,000.
• Townhouse-Condo Median Sales Price increased 3.0 percent to $242,000.
• Adult Communities Median Sales Price increased 9.1 percent to $174,500.

In February, prevailing mortgage rates continued to rise. This has a notable impact on housing affordability and can leave consumers choosing between higher payments or lower-priced homes. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with a 20 percent down payment
that qualify for backing by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose to its highest level since January 2014. A 4.5 or 4.6 percent rate might not seem high to those with extensive real estate experience, but it is newly high for many potential first-time home buyers. Upward rate pressure is likely to continue as long as the economy fares well.



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