May New Jersey Sales

Just like last year at this time, prospective home buyers should expect a competitive housing market for the next several months. With payrolls trending upward and unemployment trending downward month after month in an extensive string of positive economic news, demand remains quite strong. Given the fact that gradually rising mortgage rates often infuse urgency to get into a new home before it costs more later, buyers need to remain watchful of new listings and make their offers quickly.

Single Family Average Price Hits $395K!

• Single Family Closed Sales were down 1.8 percent to 7,362.
• Townhouse-Condo Closed Sales were down 3.9 percent to 2,244.
• Adult Communities Closed Sales were down 3.2 percent to 686.
• Single Family Median Sales Price increased 3.3 percent to $315,000.
• Townhouse-Condo Median Sales Price increased 1.9 percent to $259,900.
• Adult Communities Median Sales Price increased 9.4 percent to $210,000.

Although home sales may actually drop in year-over-year comparisons over the next few months, that has more to do with low inventory than a lack of buyer interest. As lower days on market and higher prices persist year after year, one might rationally expect a change in the outlook for residential real estate, yet the current situation has proven to be remarkably sustainable likely due to stronger fundamentals in home loan approvals than were in place a decade ago.

Go-Time for NJ Buyers and School Registration

When it comes to family, the real estate market turns on a dime, especially when it comes to school openings and registration. Right now we are closing in on deadlines to have children registered for this fall 2018 semester. Even though vacation may be on the minds of the kids, for the parents, buying a house in the best school districts is a primary driver when it comes to home buying.

Right now it seems that there are about 4 to 6 weeks left before school registrations officially close.

One of the values that New Jersey offers as a place to live is its high quality of education.
New Jersey ranks as one of the top states for education. New Jersey ranks number 2 in the nation for the best educational institutions in the country. It is second only to Massachusetts, which is number 1, according to US News & World Report.
Considering how quickly houses are coming on the market and selling – some houses are even being listed and sold in the same day – families need to make their decisions very quickly as to where they want to be living come September.
This is crunch time. According to a recent report, the average Days on Market for homes sold in May 2018 was 46, this is down 6 days from the average in April 2018, and down 5 days from the May 2017 average.  Even though the number of homes for sale in May 2018 grew by 4% from April 2018, and they have fallen dramatically, by 9.5%, from 2017 by down from May 2017. Additionally, all areas surveyed reported a supply of 6 months or less.
Now is the time for the real estate market when there is greater incentive to close quickly on a transaction as it relates to school districts and registrations. The fact that it was a cold spring I’m sure had some impact upon the buyer traffic for listed homes.
The other reason to buy a home before the end of the year is tax benefits. In some cases the deductions that can be taken may prove to be beneficial to making a move sooner rather than later.

Smart Ways to Close Your Deals

Most people move approximately 10 to 15 times in their life but they will only purchase three homes typically, excluding investment purposes.

The closing of any home purchase is a very important event in the lives of the individuals, both sellers and buyers.

Based on some cursory research we found that, basically, most people will purchase three homes during the course of their lifetimes: a starter home, a grow-your-family home and a retirement home, all of which play a different role and function, yet all three are very important.

As a real estate agent, if you are successful in helping the first-time buyer find their first home, the quality of the experience and the level of trust that has been established will consummate at the closing. That individual will remember how the process ended and hopefully will come back to you when they are looking for a second home to upgrade.

The attire that is worn at a closing also reflects well on those who are present: the attorney, the Realtors, the title company, as well as the buyers and sellers.
That is why it’s important that you not only serve the interests of the client but you are setting the stage for their next move.
So since the average person purchases three homes during the course of their lives, the attention you give to your attire should reflect the attention you gave during the entire process.
So here are some good standard rules when it comes to attire to be worn at a closing:
First, dress for the occasion. Formal business attire is always the standard to go by. Business casual implies that the transaction that you have brought about is almost accidental.
For men, business attire translates into business slacks, a dress shirt and a sport coat or even a suit. Ties are also in order here.
For women, clearly a dress skirt or dress slacks are appropriate, not too much jewelry and make-up.
Remember that your clients represent your referral funnel, so treat them with the respect and the appreciation that you would any business relationship.
Some quick stats on how often Americans move.
According to a Gallup poll in 2013, Americans move every five years.
Another stat provided by fivethirtyeight, states that the average American will move 11.4 times in their lives.
Americans, compared to Europeans, are highly mobile; the average European will move only four times in their entire lifetime.

MarketWatch Reports Days-on-Market Falls Dramatically

The strong real estate market has had a number of effects upon housing in the State of New Jersey and in the nation. According to an article in MarketWatch, list-to-sale time has dropped by more than 50% since 2010.

In New Jersey, the Days-on-Market [DOM] has fallen from an average 114 days for a single family home in October 2011, to just 68 for April 2018. This represents a 40% drop. It has fallen even more in Hudson County, where the DOM is at 58 for April 2018.

The DOM metric reflects another sign of the competitive environment this housing market holds for buyers.

The demand is so strong that the DOM was just 64 days nationally, which is down from 77 DOM from a year ago, according to real-estate website Trulia. The Trulia website has reported that the DOM metric has consistently dropped every year since 2010.

The MarketWatch article cites Trulia saying that:
Premium homes take longer to sell, with a median list-to-sale period of 72 days
Starter homes require a shorter period (59 days)
Trade-up homes are on the market even less time, just 57 days

The metro areas with the lowest (fastest selling markets) DOM are: Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose, California are just 36 days.

The article also points out that only 3 metropolitan areas have a DOM higher than they did in 2010: Syracuse, NY, New Orleans and Honolulu.

Looking Forward
“It’s the latest sign of a housing market that may be reaching its peak. Median home values increased 8.7% on average nationwide from April 2017 to $215,600, according to real-estate website Zillow, +2.97%. That represents the faster pace of acceleration since June 2006 — right before the start of the housing crisis that triggered the Great Recession — when they rose 9% annually. Homes flipped during the first quarter represented 6.9% of all sales, up from 5.9% in the previous quarter, according to a separate report released June 7th by real-estate data company Attom Data Solutions,” stated MarketWatch.

How Rain Has Affected NJ Beaches

Right now there are about 47 Jersey Shore Beaches that have water quality advisories.

Life Guard Chair Avon By the Sea

You know when they say when it rains it pours, well this is having an impact will this rain upon the famous beaches that New Jersey is known for.

Each year for the spring through the fall New Jersey Shore lines are tested on a regular basis for bacteria levels. If the beaches tested come back with high bacteria standards, they could actually be closed. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is the government group that does such testing. Most of the time what a levels are very safe but when they’re high levels of rainfall and excessive numbers of birds congregating and defecating along the shoreline, it creates you are problems and we can imagine.

This bacteria is the byproduct of both human and animal feces. The symptoms and effects of this bacteria can cause vomiting rash and flu-like symptoms.

Right now girl advisories in Atlantic County Cape May Monmouth and ocean counties.

Even the usually high and beaches of Monmouth County such as deal Rock Harbor Long Branch and Spring Lake have turned up with high levels a bacteria.
The report also cites at least 9 Atlantic City beaches and three Cape May beaches along with Wildwood and Wildwood Crest beaches included.

NJ Crossing the Wires

Things change so fast within the current economic climate that you have to keep a very watchful eye on trends and shifts within the market.  

According to the US Conference of Mayors, businesses are hiring in New Jersey. Actually good workers and good laborers seem to be at a premium. Minimum wage isn’t good enough anymore; many jobs start at $12 or $13 an hour.

According to a recent story in the Asbury Park Press, “New Jersey employers are recruiting aggressively to fill job openings, but clouds are beginning to build, which could force them to temper their enthusiasm, a new economic report shows.”

New Jersey is catching the crest of the economic wave during this current business cycle. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey added nearly 60,000 jobs in 2017. This ranks New Jersey as 18th nationwide, with a 1.4% growth rate in the employment numbers.

What is even more helpful is that there are certain pockets within New Jersey’s real estate market that offer individuals some bargains when it comes to purchasing a home.

Atlantic City, which as of a few years ago was in the throes of an economic recession and cloud of foreclosures, appears to be one of the most affordable places in the country to buy a home, with a median home price of $229,000.

Slowly, but surely, New Jersey is eating through its foreclosure inventory and we are seeing numbers in the Days on Market that are in some cases under 60 days from listing to close.

According to Zillow, the median home value in Atlantic City is roughly $80,000; this is a 40% Improvement from 2016. Depending upon how well the revitalization of Atlantic City goes, this could be the next Brooklyn for New Jersey residents looking to cash in on a good deal.

Social Trends Are Changing – So What Else Is New

Right now it appears that there is an emerging trend away from Facebook. Up until this point, Facebook was the go-to social media platform for business. That may change by 2019.

But according to a new Pew Research Center survey, YouTube and Instagram are dominating the total space (remember My Space?). The figures behind this seem to stem from a cultural shift away from text/words to images that tell a story.

Right now, considering we just finished the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown, calling this horse race would be YouTube in the lead, followed by Instagram and Snapchat in third. Facebook would be a few lengths behind, followed by Twitter.

Instagram functions as cross-integration of text-email-video-camera. You can snap a shot of you right from your phone camera and post this to your account, or shoot a 15-second video that goes beyond the idea of telling someone to showing them exactly what is the hook (value) to where you are and how it gives them something that means something to them.

Once you are satisfied with the look, tap next to add a caption, tag users, add a location, or share your creation via Facebook, email, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare. This makes Instagram the total platform for all of your platforms.

Instagram is especially powerful when it comes to branding. The Top 5 Most Popular Brands on Instagram are Nike, Starbucks, NBA, Adidas, and Forever.

The basic strength and use of people and brands on Instagram is to inspire people. According to Hubspot, “Instagram is a highly creative social platform that encourages users to unleash their inner-photographer and get creative.”

Instagram provides to its users filters to adjust the look-and-feel of their photos, which potentially will evoke a specific response that is relevant and compelling to the poster and the viewer. The endgame is to cause your audience to come back for more.

Instagram makes great use of the hashtag. Utilizing hashtags is a great way to increase traction on your Instagram posts. The objective is to get your audience to publish photos with your hashtag. When they do, they will appear in your “Photos of You” tab on your profile. That is when you respond back to your posts to express your appreciation for their engagement!

The hashtag strategy also encourages your friends and followers to share photos that relate to your post and theme. The Hubspot report stated, “Adidas has managed to double their follower count in a three-month period… The study continues to explain that by averaging a steady 5-6 posts per week, Adidas was able to increase their engagement by sharing these Instagrams across their other social platforms.”

Believe It – NJ Population Hits 9 Million

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the State of New Jersey crossed a historic threshold this year: its population hit 9 million residents, 9,032,872 to be exact.

The population is climbing in a number of counties, primarily those bordering New York City, which includes Hudson and Bergen Counties, which increased 9% to 691,643 and 4.5% to 948,406, respectively. The estimates are also pointing to growth in Central Jersey as well.

For a number of years, Jersey City has grown due to its proximity to Manhattan, but now Newark is also posting gains in terms of population.

New Jersey’s Most Populated Cities
1. Newark: 280,139
2. Jersey City: 261,666
3. Paterson: 146,894
4. Elizabeth: 128,042
5. Toms River: 88,537

Back in 2010, the Census counted 8,791,894 people living in New Jersey, representing an increase of 4.5% from those reported back in 2000.

Not all of the state is enjoying this robust growth; the southern counties of New Jersey and southwestern counties have seen declines in both industry and population.

Population projections for the state put the number of residents at 9.2 million by 2020.

One city in New Jersey that is seeing a turn in population growth is Asbury Park. For the first time Asbury Park saw a gain in population, turning around a downward trend reaching back to 2010.

Still, New Jersey’s population boom is largely being fueled by its counties bordering the Big Apple: Harrison, Weehawken and Secaucus.

Little-Known Facts About Boom Economies and Gold Rushes

The hot economy isn’t the result of a single sector but rather one that is affecting many sectors and markets throughout the United States.

A century and a half ago, there was a similar boom; it was called the California Gold Rush. But even before California and gold came together, there was another such rush that occurred in North Carolina. What most people do not know is that North Carolina was the site for America’s first Gold Rush.

North Carolina was the first state to experience the gold rush effect. So many people came to the Tarheel State, that, ultimately, it reported 30,000 people came in search of their own ‘pot of gold.’ In addition, parenthetically, for more than 30 years, all gold coins issued by the U.S. Mint were produced using North Carolina gold.

As far as gold rushes go, the California Gold Rush was the largest mass migration in the history of our country. In March 1848, there were approximately 157,000 people in the California territory. By the time that the Gold Rush fizzled down to a gold trickle, there were over 300,000 new arrivals, to the point where one in every 90 people lived in California.

Gold rushes and other economic booms are known to attract immigrants from around the world. As we see in the United States today, California was a magnet for new immigrants. In 1850, more than 25% of California’s population was born outside the U.S. By 1852, another 25,000 immigrants came from China. After the passing the 1852 Miner Law, the law that California passed expressly identifying and taxing Chinese miners, it began to charge miners $2 a month to work.

Another feature of economic booms and gold rushes is that in California, the Gold Rush attracted basically men; 92% of all people prospecting for gold were men. The number of women never did grow significantly and by 1860 women in the gold mining towns represented just 19% of the total population. Mining was clearly a male-dominated industry.

Finally, it wasn’t the prospectors who made the most fortunes from the California Gold Rush. It appeared that those businesses that opened and catered to the new prospector population made out best. An example of one such entrepreneur was John Studebaker. Before Studebaker built his first car, he actually made a fortune manufacturing wheel barrows for gold miners. In addition, the famous bank Wells Fargo began in California, founded by two bankers Henry Wells and William Fargo. And one other famous entrepreneur who got started back in the Gold Rush days was Levi Strauss, who was a German-born tailor. He began his manufacturing business of Levi’s denim jeans in order to provide for the men the kind of pants that would withstand the long days of working in the mines.

Economy Forecasted to Stay Hot This Summer

It appears that the strong economic momentum of the U.S. economy will continue to drive the real estate market higher as we enter the summer of 2018.

The factors impacting this economic surge come down to America’s domestic growth across multiple segments. The support of a strong recovery from the moribund years following the crash of 2008 and the high regulation and high tax years that followed is projected to continue into 2019.

Non-farm payrolls climbed significantly, driven by strong momentum in both manufacturing and the construction industries. Contractors are continuing to see that this boom economy is not being fueled by anything other than a strong demand cycle and a pure economic growth. Contractors are conducting their businesses very close to the vest, not overspending or expanding unless they have the labor and finances to back those projects. This 2017-19 economy will most likely be looked upon in retrospect as one of the greatest periods of growth in American economic history.

According to the government reports:
■ Payroll growth hit 233,000 for May; this is the highest level since February, which exceeded expectations for only 188,000.
■ The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%. This is the lowest level the country has seen since April 2000.
■ The average hourly earnings for Americans rose by 2.7%.
■ Full-time jobs rose to 904,000 for the month and part-time positions declined by 625,000; thus indicating that companies are converting part-timers into full-timers.

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