NJ Purchase Contracts Rise Again

Purchase contracts reported for September 2016 mark the strongest since 2005.
According to the Otteau Group, September contract purchases by homebuyers exceeded the same month in the prior year for the 25th consecutive month.
The month reflects a 12% increase over September 2015, which compounds the 15% increase recorded for September of 2015, raising home sales in New Jersey by 28% over the past 2 years, the highest number of purchase contracts recorded in the month of September of the past 11 years.
The year-to-date figures for home purchases in 2016 have jumped 14%.
According to the Otteau report, the increase has been largely concentrated in the lower-priced home category, representing signs that the first-time ‘Millennial’ buyers are transitioning from renting to homeownership.
The higher-end homes in New Jersey (home sales priced at $2,500,000 and above) have fallen by 4% in 2016.
The report attributes these trends to:
The greater number of younger-age first home buyers
Trade-down purchases by older-age empty-nesters
Relaxed mortgage lending standards
Other Facts and Stats
The supply of homes available for sale continues to fall – by nearly 6,000 (-11%)
Low inventory limits options available to home buyers
On a comparative basis, 2016 has 25,000 (-34%) fewer homes on the market compared to the cyclical high in 2011
Unsold inventory equates to 5.4 months of sales, lower than one year ago when it was 6.7 months
The majority (81%) of New Jersey’s 21 counties have less than 8.0 months of supply
Hudson County has the strongest market condition with just 3.2 months of supply, followed by Union, Essex, Morris, Middlesex and Somerset Counties, which all have fewer than 4.5 months of supply
Unsold inventory is concentrated in the southern portion of the state: Cape May (9.2 months), Salem (10.1 months), Cumberland (10.3 months) and Atlantic (10.5 months)

LinkedIn Is Your Personal Digital Storefront

Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume.
A well-defined profile should project you and your services above the opportunity horizon. It shouldn’t focus on what you have done but rather what you are capable of doing. Part of every profile should present the cultural impact that you have on companies with whom you work. Your vision, drive and mission as a person. It shouldn’t be a Jack Webb version of Jack Webb, “Just the facts ma’am, just the facts.”
Remember that LinkedIn is not just digital; it is digital MEDIA!
It should include soft skills such as: communication, teamwork, collaboration, execution, perseverance.
Your Headshot
 You should be smiling or at least look approachable. In the shot, include your shoulders, neck, and head, a collared shirt for men and a professional top for women.
Headline
 Your Headline should answer the question: Who are you?
Customer-centric sales professional who has helped hundreds of businesses just like yours by providing excellent value, prompt service, and in-depth industry knowledge.
Overview
 Expand upon your deliverables. Some LinkedIn users talk about themselves even more here. Take this opportunity to elaborate about what motivates you. Even share a story. Some folks even suggest that you include hobbies and personal pursuits.
Recommendations
 Recommendations are essential to providing social proof to those individuals viewing your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations need to be specific about your deliverables. Remember that recommendations are powerful because they tell the story about you from the customer’s point of view.
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.

Outlook From National Association Of Realtors

Quick Takes
+ Tight supply and affordability issues will ease.
+ Housing starts will increase by 5.3% in 2017 to 1.22 million.
+ To catch up to demand, 1.5 million new homes are needed.
+ Projections of new single-family home sales to total 570,000 for 2016.
+ Projections of new single-family home sales to total 620,000 in 2017.
+ Millennials will begin to affect buying demand.
+ NAR surveys evidence that there’s a strong desire for Millennials to own a home.
+ NAR forecasts that for 2017 that existing-home sales will to grow by 2% to 5.46 million.
+ The NAR forecasts for 2018 are for 4% in 2018 or 5.68 million sales.
+ The national median existing-home price is expected to rise to 4% for 2016.
+ The national median existing-home price is expected to rise to 4% for 2017.
+ NAR expects existing-home sales to finish at 5.36 million, which is the best year since 2006 (6.47 million).
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.

National Median List Price Hits 250K

The National Association of Realtors reported that the median list price of properties “nationwide zoomed to a new record for the month of October, reaching $250,000.” October’s benchmark is 8% higher than 2016.
Evidence shows a stronger-than-usual appetite coming from buyers which is eroding the inventory available and thus having an impact of a lower number of sales for a number of regions.
The lower inventory has affected the number of homes available by a decrease of 11% active listings as compared to October 2015.
Also, Realtor® noted that, “Homes for sale in October are selling 2 percent more quickly than they did a year ago.”
New Jersey reflects many of these trends as is evidenced by the report for September, 2016:
2015 2016 Change
Days on Market 82 78 -4.9%
Inventory 51,138 42,215 -17.5%
Months Supply 9.5 6.7 -29.5%
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.

Foreclosure Inventory Decreases

According to the September 2016 National Foreclosure Report, the number of completed foreclosures increased monthly for September 2016, but total foreclosure inventory actually decreased.
The national foreclosure inventory decreased by 31.1% annually in September and by 3.1% monthly.
Other Stats
+ Completed foreclosures decreased 7% from 2015.
+ Completed foreclosures increased 5.2% from August’s 34,000 to 36,000 in September.
+ Completed foreclosures have fallen by a total of more than 100,000 homes during the 12 months prior to September 2016.
+ According to the report, 2017 should see prices, performance and production all improve.
+ The national foreclosure inventory remains at 0.9% of all homes with a mortgage, down from 1.3% in 2015.
+ Homes in serious delinquency, or homes that are 90 days or more past due, decreased 24.8% from 2015 to 1 million mortgages, which is 2.6% of all homes.
+ This is the lowest level since August 2007.
+ According to data released at the end of October by Black Knight, the rate of loans in active foreclosure is lower right now than at any point in the last nine years.
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.

300 Jobs To South Plainfield

Middlesex County, New Jersey will get a big economic boost with the grand opening of a new ShopRite.
The launch of the new 80,000-square-foot store in South Plainfield will bring 300 new jobs to the borough.
The market is located in the Golden Acres Shopping Center at 3600 Park Avenue. It officially opened Wednesday, November 2nd. The new ShopRite occupies the space that once housed an A&P but it was completely gutted and renovated.
The ShopRite will be operated by family-owned Saker ShopRites Inc., and is part of the Keasbey-based Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative.

The Mortgage Market Is Changing Fast

Mortgage rates shot up last week after the election. The Wall Street Journal reports they may be moving faster than anyone thought likely.
The remaking of U.S. politics also is likely to upend the nation’s mortgage market. There are two reasons why: interest rates and regulation.
Changes in these areas could affect the course of the housing recovery, the availability of credit to borrowers and the extent to which lenders are willing to take on new risk. It may also affect the current structure of the mortgage market, in which banks mostly have focused on plain-vanilla and jumbo loans while nonbank lenders have targeted riskier borrowers, sometimes with more exotic mortgage products.
Interest rates are the most immediate concern. Donald Trump’s victory has led to a surge in bond yields and, in turn, mortgage rates. In the two days following the election, the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages spiked a quarter of a percentage point to 3.87%, according to MortgageNewsDaily.com.
http://www.builderonline.com/newsletter/the-mortgage-market-is-changing-…

State Closer To Takeover Of Atlantic City

It looks like Gov. Chris Christie’s administration was granted the authority to immediately seize control of financially distressed Atlantic City.
This was the result of the state Local Finance Board voting 5-0 to approve a five-year state takeover of the local government.
This action would be taken in order to keep Atlantic City from becoming the first New Jersey municipality since 1938 to go bankrupt.
What will happen is the state will be given the power to assume key functions usually controlled by local leaders: renegotiating union contracts, hiring and firing employees, selling city assets, and even the reversal of decisions of the city council.
The state needed to take this kind of action back in 2002 when it took over Camden.
City leaders on Monday introduced a five-year financial plan to stave off a state takeover and the Mayor, Don Guardian, had said that if the takeover was approved, the city would challenge the move in court.
The fiscal problem is basically the result of the five casinos that have closed in Atlantic City since 2014, having a catastrophic impact on the city’s tax base.
As a result of these closures, the city has lost $100 million to its budget.
On top of this loss is the fact that the city is more than $500 million in debt.
The governor signed a rescue package in May 2016 that gave local officials 150 days to come up with a five-year recovery plan, after which the state would impose a takeover if the plan was rejected.
One of the areas affected is the city’s Municipal Utilities Authority, which provides residents with water. Those opposing the Governor are concerned that his administration could seek to privatize it.
After the vote was taken, Moody’s Investor Services issued a statement saying the takeover is a “credit positive move” because the state now has the ability to make the city’s debt payments due Dec. 1 and 15.
The vote came a day after Republican Donald Trump was elected America’s president. Christie, one of Trump’s top advisers, could be given a post in the new administration, forcing him to resign as governor.
That would mean Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno would succeed Christie.
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.

October Surprise With Foreclosure Jump

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, foreclosures jumped 27% in October from September’s 129-month low. The increase in foreclosures was the largest monthly increase since August 2007.
The report indicates that there were a total of 105,481 foreclosure filings, default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions during the month of October 2016. Notwithstanding, October still marked the 13th consecutive month of annual decreases.
Fast Facts
+Foreclosure increases occurring in Arizona, Colorado and Georgia are more heavily tied to loans originated since 2009
+Data shows FHA and VA loans combined represent 49% of all active foreclosure inventory for loans originated in the seven years ending in 2015
+FHA and VA loans only represent 12% of all active foreclosure inventory among loans originated in the previous seven-year period, from 2002 to 2008
+Delaware was the state with the highest foreclosure rate – one in every 355 housing units
+New Jersey was the state with the second highest foreclosure rate – one in every 564 housing units
+Maryland was the state with the third highest foreclosure rate – one in every 679 units
+Illinois was fourth – with one in every 704 units
+South Carolina was fifth – with one in every 801 units
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.

Central Jersey Looks Bright For Future Development

CBRE says in a report that “the future looks bright for industrial development in New Jersey, particularly in the central part of the state.”
CBRE’s 3rd Quarter New Jersey Industrial MarketView Report speculated “that the Trenton/Route 295 and Princeton markets will see a higher volume of activity as the year continues.”
This follows a strong third quarter, in which the Trenton/Route 295 submarket recorded the third-largest leasing velocity in Central Jersey.
Facts Driving the Market
+ Lack of development in the area
+ Lower lease rates
+ Convenient access to the New Jersey Turnpike
+ Continued demand from both tenants and developers
+ Activity in the eight New Jersey Turnpike core submarkets accounted for nearly 83 percent of the state’s leasing velocity in 2016
+ Asking lease rates in four of the eight submarkets have exceeded their pre-recession highs
+ Availability in the markets was only 6.4%
+ New industrial construction remained strong in the third quarter with 7 projects completed
+ 9 more developments are breaking ground, total of 2.1 million square feet planned
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.

New Home Construction Breaks Out AGAIN

The October U.S. Census Bureau reported that new home construction significantly improved as multifamily units climbed back from a decline during September as well as single-family starts. The growth is attributed to new buyer demand and the entrance of Millennials into the market.
Privately-owned housing starts increased 25.5% in October to 1.32 million representing a 23.3% improvement over 2015’s 1.07 million.
Single-family housing starts increased 10.7% from September’s 785,000 to 869,000 in October.
FAST STATS
+ In addition, the number of building permits also increased in October.
+ Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits increased 0.3% in October to 1.229 million, up 4.6% from 2015’s 1.18 million.
+ Single-family authorizations increase 2.7% from September’s 742,000 to 762,000 in October.
+ Builder confidence remained high in November, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
+ Privately-owned housing completions also increased in October by 5.5% from September’s 1 million to 1.05 million and up 7.2% from 2015’s 984,000.
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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