Fourth Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report: Sussex County Overview

Activity in the Sussex County housing market surged yet again in the fourth quarter of 2017, with sales up sharply even while prices continued to struggle.

Sales. Sussex sales were up yet again in the fourth quarter, rising over 18% from last year and now up over 22% for the year. And the 2,348 sales for the year represented the highest calendar year total in over 10 years. Indeed, Sussex sales have now more than doubled from the bottom of the market in 2011.

Prices. Even with these sustained increases in buyer demand, though, prices continued to struggle. Average prices were down every quarter in 2017 compared to the prior year quarter, falling 2% in the first, 2% in the second, 3% in the third, and now 3% in the fourth. Accordingly, the yearlong price trend was negative, down 2.5% on average and almost 5% at the median. We remain baffled by this, since rising sales and declining inventory would normally drive prices up, not down. But we’ve now seen this trend develop for over a year, so we are skeptical, if hopeful, that prices will turn around in the spring market.

Inventory. The Sussex inventory of available homes for sale fell again, dropping over 35% and now down to about seven months. That’s a significant decline, but inventory is still higher than in other Northern New Jersey counties, which are all below the six‑month inventory line that usually signals the beginning of a seller’s market. If inventory continues to go down, we would expect that to put some additional upward pressure on pricing.

Negotiability. The negotiability metrics indicated that sellers were gaining negotiating leverage with buyers. For the year, the days‑on‑market fell by 14%, dropping by about a month, and sellers were retaining a lot more of their asking price, with listing retention jumping almost two percentage points and now up to over 96%.

Going forward, we expect that Sussex is going to continue to see rising sales. The question is whether this will finally drive some meaningful price appreciation, or at least stem the decline we saw this year. But we remain hopeful that an improving economy, attractive pricing, and near‑historically‑low interest rates will eventually drive prices up in 2018.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 11:27 am
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Fourth Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report: Northern New Jersey Overview

The Northern New Jersey housing market finished 2017 strong, with prices up even while declining inventory throughout the region stifled sales growth. With demand high, and available homes low, we believe that homeowners will continue to enjoy price increases throughout 2018.

Regional sales were up, but not in every county. Regional sales were up slightly for the quarter, rising almost 2% from the fourth quarter of last year, even while some counties like Bergen and Morris were down slightly. We believe that a lack of inventory is stifling sales growth, simply because we don’t have enough “fuel for the fire” to satiate the existing buyer demand. That said, sales in every county were up for the full calendar year, with the 27,000 regional sales in 2017 representing almost a 6% increase from 2016, and a full 75% increase from the bottom of the market in 2011. Inventory was down significantly again. The number of homes for sale continued to fall in the fourth quarter, dropping in every county in the region. Indeed, most of our Northern New Jersey markets have now fallen below the six‑months‑of‑inventory level that traditionally starts to signal a seller’s market: Bergen at 3.4, Passaic at 4.9, Morris at 4.5, and Essex at 4.1. Only Sussex County, at 7.3 months of inventory, is above that six‑month indicator. If inventory continues to tighten, and demand stays strong, we are likely to see more upward pressure on pricing. With sales up and inventory down, prices are starting to show some meaningful price appreciation. Basic economics of supply and demand would tell us that after five years of steadily increasing buyer demand, we would expect to see some meaningful price increases. And we’re starting to see some promising signs: for the 2017 year, the regional average price was up about 1%, and average prices were up in most of the counties in the region: Bergen up 4%, Passaic up 3%, Morris up 3%, Essex up 2%. Again, only Sussex was the outlier, with the average price down about 2%. Going forward, we remain confident that rising demand and falling inventory will continue to drive price appreciation through 2018. Sales have now been increasing for over five years, which has brought inventory below the seller’s market threshold in much of the region. The economic fundamentals are all good: homes are priced at 2004 levels (without even adjusting for inflation), interest rates are still near historic lows, and the regional economy is stable. Accordingly, we continue to believe the region is poised for a robust seller’s market in 2018.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on January 17, 2018 at 3:45 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Third-Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report: Sussex County Market Overview

Activity in the Sussex County housing market surged yet again in the third quarter of 2017, with sales up sharply even while prices continued to struggle.

Sales. Sussex sales were up yet again in the third quarter, rising over 17% from last year and now up over 22% for the year. The 2749 closings represented the highest 12‑month total in over 10 years. Indeed, Sussex sales have now more than doubled from the bottom of the market in 2011.

Prices. Even with these sustained increases in buyer demand, though, prices continued to struggle. We saw some “green shoots” of price appreciation at the end of 2016, with the average price up almost 8% in the fourth quarter. But prices are now down every quarter in 2017, falling 2% in the first, 2% in the second, and now 3% in the third. As a result the rolling year price is basically flat, with the media down just a tick.

Inventory. The Sussex inventory of available homes for sale fell again, dropping 11% and now down to about 10 months. That’s a significant decline, but inventory is still higher than in other Northern New Jersey counties, which are all approaching the six‑month inventory line that usually signals the beginning of a seller’s market. If inventory continues to go down, we would expect that to put some additional upward pressure on pricing.

Negotiability. The negotiability metrics indicated that sellers were gaining negotiating leverage with buyers. The days‑on‑market fell sharply, dropping by almost a month and down now to about four months of market time. And sellers were retaining a lot more of their asking price, with listing retention jumping almost two percentage points and now up to almost 97%.

Going forward, we expect that Sussex is going to continue to see rising sales that will eventually drive meaningful price appreciation. With an improving economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and near‑historically low interest rates, we expect buyer demand coupled with declining inventory to drive a strong fall market and a robust 2018.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 10:57 am
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Third-Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report: Northern New Jersey Market Overview

The Northern New Jersey housing market surged again in the third quarter of 2017, with another increase in sales and modest-but-meaningful price appreciation. With inventory levels continuing to fall throughout the region, we expect that sustained buyer demand will drive a robust seller’s market through rest of the year and into 2018.

Sales surged throughout the region. All the Northern New Jersey markets continued to grow, with regional sales up over 4% and transactions rising in every market in the region: up 1% for Bergen houses, 5% for Bergen condos, 8% in Passaic, 0.4% in Morris, 4% in Essex, and 17% in Sussex. For the rolling year, sales were up 8%, reaching sales levels we have not seen since the height of the last seller’s market. Indeed, regional sales are now up over 75% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

The number of available homes for sale continues to go down. Indeed, inventory was down from last year in every individual county in the Rand Report: Bergen single‑family homes down 17%, and condos down 22%; Passaic down 28%; Morris down 29%; Essex down 29%; and Sussex down 11%. Moreover, most of our Northern New Jersey markets have reached the six‑months‑of‑inventory level that traditionally starts to signal a seller’s market. If inventory continues to tighten, and demand stays strong, we are likely to see more upward pressure on pricing.

With sales up and inventory down, prices are starting to show some “green shoots” of modest price appreciation. Basic economics of supply and demand would tell us that after five years of steadily increasing buyer demand, we would expect to see some meaningful price increases. And we’re starting to see some promising signs: the regional average sales price was flat, but prices were up sharply in Bergen, Passaic, and Morris, even while they continue to struggle in Essex and Sussex.

Going forward, we remain confident that rising demand and falling inventory will continue to drive price appreciation through the rest of 2017. Sales have now been increasing for five years, which has brought inventory to the seller’s market threshold in much of the region. The economic fundamentals are all good: homes are priced at 2004 levels (without even adjusting for inflation), interest rates are still near historic lows, and the regional economy is stable. Accordingly, we continue to believe the region is poised for a strong fall market and a strong 2018.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 10:38 am
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Second Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report – Sussex County, New Jersey

Activity in the Sussex County housing market surged yet again in the second quarter of 2017, with sales up sharply even while prices continued to soften.

Sales. Sussex sales were up yet again in the second quarter, rising over 25% from last year. And for the year, sales increased over 20%, with over 2,600 home sales representing the highest 12-month total in over 10 years. Indeed, Sussex sales are now up almost 125% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

Prices. Prices in Sussex have been bouncing around for the last year. The average was up 8% in the fourth quarter, then down 2% in the first quarter, and now down again by almost 2% in the second quarter. So what’s going on? Most likely, we’re just seeing some noise in the short-term data. If we look at the rolling year, the numbers make more sense, with both the average and the median up about 1%. That’s probably the kind of appreciation we’ll be looking at for the rest of the year.

Inventory. The Sussex inventory of available homes for sale fell dramatically again, dropping almost 26% and now down to under 10 months. That’s a significant decline, but inventory is still higher than in other Northern New Jersey counties, which are all approaching the six-month inventory line that usually signals the beginning of a seller’s market. But if inventory continues to go down, we would expect that to put some additional upward pressure on pricing.

Negotiability. The negotiability metrics indicated that sellers were gaining some negotiating leverage with buyers . The days-on-market fell again, dropping by 12% (20 days) and now down to under five months of market time. And sellers were retaining a lot more of their asking price, with listing retention jumping three percentage points and now up to almost 97%.

Going forward, we expect that Sussex is going to continue to see rising sales coupled with more consistent price appreciation. With an improving economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and near-historically low interest rates, we expect buyer demand coupled with declining inventory to drive a robust Summer market and a strong 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on July 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Second Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report – Northern New Jersey Market Overview

The Northern New Jersey housing market surged again in the second quarter of 2017, with another sharp increase in sales coupled with some more meaningful signs of price appreciation. With inventory levels continuing to fall throughout the region, we expect that sustained buyer demand will drive a robust seller’s market through the Summer and the rest of 2017.

Sales surged throughout the region. All the Northern New Jersey markets continued their strong start to the year, with regional sales up almost 8% and transactions rising in every market in the region: up 1% for Bergen houses, 9% for Bergen condos, 8% in Passaic, 3% in Morris, 13% in Essex, and 25% in Sussex. For the rolling year, sales were up almost 8%, reaching sales levels we have not seen since the height of the last seller’s market. Indeed, regional sales are now up over 70% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

The number of available homes for sale continues to go down. We calculate the “months of inventory” in a market by measuring the number of homes for sale, and then figuring how long it would take to sell them all given the current absorption rate. The industry considers anything less than six months to be a “tight” inventory that signals the potential of a seller’s market that would drive prices up – and we’re now right at that level. Indeed, inventory was down from last year in every individual county in the Rand Report: Bergen single-family homes down 12%, and condos down 29%; Passaic down 31%; Morris down 31%; Essex down 24%; and Sussex down 26%. If inventory continues to tighten, and demand stays strong, we are likely to see more upward pressure on pricing.

With sales up and inventory down, prices are starting to show some “green shoots” of modest price appreciation. Basic economics of supply and demand would tell us that after five years of steadily increasing buyer demand, we would expect to see some meaningful price increases. And we’re starting to see some promising signs: the regional average sales price was up almost 2% from last year’s second quarter, and the average price was up in every county other than Sussex. Looking at the long-term, the rolling year average sales price was up just a tick, but was up in every county other than Passaic.

Going forward, we remain confident that rising demand and falling inventory will continue to drive price appreciation through the rest of 2017. Sales have now been increasing for five years, which has brought inventory to the seller’s market threshold in much of the region. The economic fundamentals are all good: homes are priced at 2004 levels (without even adjusting for inflation), interest rates are still near historic lows, and the regional economy is stable. Accordingly, we continue to believe the region is poised for a robust Summer market and a strong 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on July 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

First Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report – Sussex County, New Jersey

SUSSEX-NJ_Q1-2017-QMRActivity in the Sussex County housing market surged yet again in the first quarter of 2017, with sales up sharply even while prices retreated slightly after a strong showing last year.

Sales. Sussex sales were up yet again in the first quarter, rising over 32% from last year. And for the year, sales increased over 19%, with almost 2,500 home sales representing the highest 12-month total in over 10 years. Indeed, Sussex sales are now up almost 120% from the bottom of the market in 2011, as a clear seller’s market begins to emerge.

Prices. In our last Report, we noted that the 8% spike in the average sales price in the fourth quarter was probably not sustainable. Well, that played out as we expected in the first quarter, with prices retreating almost 2% on average and an eye-popping 7% at the median. Again, though, don’t read too much into quarterly price changes. Instead, focus on the rolling year, which shows more meaningful, and sustainable, price appreciation levels of over 1% on average and almost 5% at the median.

Inventory. The Sussex inventory of available homes for sale fell dramatically by over 36%, dropping to just 9.2 months. That’s a significant decline, but inventory is still higher than in other Northern New Jersey counties, which are all approaching the six-month inventory line that usually signals the beginning of a seller’s market. But if inventory continues to go down, we would expect that to put some additional upward pressure on pricing.

Negotiability. The negotiability metrics indicated that sellers were gaining some negotiating leverage with buyers. The days-on-market fell dramatically, dropping by 23 days and now down to just over five months of market time. And sellers were retaining a little more of their asking price, with listing retention jumping up to 96.5% for the quarter and over 95% for the year.

Going forward, we expect that Sussex is going to continue to see rising sales coupled with more consistent price appreciation. With an improving economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and near-historically-low interest rates, we expect buyer demand, coupled with declining inventory, to drive a robust Spring market and a strong 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

First Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report – Northern New Jersey Market Overview

New-Jersey-OVERVIEW_Q1-2017-QMRThe Northern New Jersey housing market surged ahead in the first quarter of 2017, starting the year with a dramatic increase in home sales coupled with modest-but-meaningful signs of price appreciation. With inventory levels continuing to fall throughout the region, we expect that sustained buyer demand will drive a robust seller’s market through the Spring and the rest of 2017.

Sales surged throughout the region. All the Northern New Jersey markets got off to a strong start to the year, with regional sales up almost 12% and transactions rising in every market in the region: up 1% in Bergen, 30% in Passaic, 8% in Morris, 12% in Essex, and 32% in Sussex. For the rolling year, sales were up over 9%, reaching sales levels we have not seen since the height of the last seller’s market. Indeed, regional sales are now up over 65% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

The number of available homes for sale continues to go down. We measure the “months of inventory” in a market by looking at the number of homes for sale, and then calculating how long it would take to sell them all given the current absorption rate. The industry considers anything fewer than six months to be a “tight” inventory that signals the potential of a seller’s market that would drive prices up — and we’ve now seen this market cross below that line for the second quarter in a row. Indeed, inventory was down from last year in every individual county in the Report: Bergen single-family homes down 21%, and condos down 34%; Passaic down 38%; Morris down 34%; Essex down 39%; and Sussex down 36%. If inventory continues to tighten, and demand stays strong, we are likely to see more upward pressure on pricing. With sales up and inventory down, prices are starting to show some “green shoots” of modest price appreciation. Basic economics of supply and demand would tell us that after five years of steadily increasing buyer demand, we would expect to see some meaningful price increases. And we’re beginning to see some promising signs: the regional average sales price was up almost 1% from last year’s first quarter, and the average price was up in almost every county in the report.

Going forward, we remain confident that rising demand and falling inventory will continue to drive price appreciation through the rest of 2017. Sales have now been increasing for five years, which has brought inventory to the seller’s market threshold in much of the region. The economic fundamentals are all good: homes are priced at 2004 levels (without even adjusting for inflation), interest rates are still near historic lows, and the regional economy is stable. Accordingly, we continue to believe the region is poised for a robust Spring market and a strong 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on April 27, 2017 at 9:27 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Quarterly Market Report For 2016Q4 – Sussex County, New Jersey

Sussex 2016Q4The Sussex County housing market surged yet again in the fourth quarter of 2016, with sales up sharply and an eyeopening spike in prices.

Sales. Sussex sales were up again in the fourth quarter, rising over 18% from the fourth quarter of last year. And for the year, sales increased almost 19%, finishing 2016 with the highest yearly transactional total in over 10 years, since the height of the last seller’s market. Indeed, Sussex sales are now up 113% from the bottom of the market in 2011. Essentially, Sussex buyer demand is as strong as we have ever seen it.

Prices. Sussex prices absolutely spiked, rising over 8% on average and almost 10% at the median compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Those kinds of surges are probably unsustainable statistical aberrations, particularly since the calendar year increases were much more modest, with prices up just 0.2% on average and 1.5% at the median. That said, for Sussex homeowners, price appreciation has been a long time coming, so unsustainable good news is still good news.

Inventory. The Sussex inventory of available homes for sale fell by 22%, dropping to just over 11 months. That’s a significant decline, but inventory is still significantly higher than in other Northern New Jersey counties, which are all approaching the six-month inventory line that usually signals the beginning of a seller’s market. But if inventory continues to go down, we would expect that to put some additional upward pressure on pricing.

Negotiability. The negotiability metrics were mixed. Homes took a little longer to sell, with the days-on-market rising by five days. But sellers were retaining a little more of their asking price, with listing retention jumping up to 95.4% for the quarter. As the market heats up, we would expect both these indicators to show that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers.

Going forward, we expect that Sussex is likely to see some meaningful and sustained price appreciation in 2017. With an improving economy, homes priced at relatively attractive 2004 levels (without adjusting for inflation), and near historically low interest rates, we expect buyer demand coupled with declining inventory to drive a rising market in 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on January 16, 2017 at 11:58 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Quarterly Market Report For 2016Q4 Overall – Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey 2016Q4The Northern New Jersey housing market finished strong in the final quarter of 2016, with sales up sharply even while pricing continued to struggle. But with inventory levels falling throughout the region, we expect that sustained buyer demand will drive meaningful if modest price appreciation in 2017.

Sales were strong throughout the region. After a relatively slow third quarter, regional sales surged back, rising almost 11% and up sharply in every county in the report: rising 11% in Bergen, 14% in Passaic, 12% in Morris, 11% in Essex, and 18% in Sussex. This strong fourth quarter helped the region close the 2016 year up almost 11% in sales, reaching the highest yearly transactional total in over ten years, since the height of the last seller’s market. Indeed, regional sales are now up 63% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

Inventory continues to tighten. We determine the “months of inventory” in a market by measuring the number of homes for sale, and then calculating how long it would take to sell them all given the current absorption rate. The industry considers anything less than six months to be a “tight” inventory that signals the potential of a seller’s market that would drive prices up. Well, the months of inventory for the Northern New Jersey region has now crossed over that line, dropping down to 5.3 months. Moreover, inventory was down in every individual county in the Rand Report, and is now below or nearing the six-month level: Bergen single-family homes at 3.6 months and condos at 6.1 months, Passaic at 8.3, Morris at 7.3, Essex at 7.0, and Sussex at 11.3. Certainly, if inventory continues to tighten, and demand stays strong, we are likely to see upward pressure on pricing.

Even with sales up and inventory down, though, average prices have been flat or falling throughout the region. Basic economics of supply and demand tells us that after five years of steadily increasing buyer demand, we should expect to see some meaningful price increases. But prices languished, with the regional price down just a tick from last year’s fourth quarter, but down almost 2% for the year. Moreover, the average prices for the year were down in almost all of the individual counties, rising only for Bergen condos, with just a tick up for Sussex. And maybe that’s the tell it might be that the market is simply stronger at the lower end, so lower priced homes (like Bergen condos and Sussex properties) are making up a larger percentage of the mix of properties sold.

Going forward, we remain confident that rising demand and falling inventory will drive price appreciation in 2017. Sales have now been increasing for almost five years, which has brought inventory to the seller’s market threshold in much of the region. The economic fundamentals are all good: homes are priced at 2004 levels (without even adjusting for inflation), interest rates are still near historic lows, and the regional economy is stable. Accordingly, we continue to believe that better days are ahead, and that we are likely to see modest but meaningful price appreciation in 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® – Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on January 12, 2017 at 9:36 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,