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 , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Sussex County, New Jersey

sussex-bhg_northern-nj_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Sussex County housing market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with sales up sharply and some modest appreciation in pricing.

Sales. Sussex sales were up again in the third quarter, rising 9% from last year and finishing the year up over 23%. This continued a trend that we’ve been watching for the past four years, with yearonyear sales up almost every quarter since 2012. Indeed, Essex closings are now reaching levels that we have not seen since the tail end of the last seller’s market, with sales now up about 80% from their 2011 bottom. So the market is in much stronger shape than it has been at any time since the 200809 market correction.

Prices. These sustained increases in buyer demand are finally having their expected impact on pricing. Average and median sales prices were both up in the third quarter, rising 0.3% on average and over 5% at the median. For the year, prices were down almost 3% on average and almost 1% at the median, but the trend was welcome. It takes time for increases in demand to drive pricing changes, so we believe this trend will continue if buyer demand remains at its current levels.

Inventory. The “months of inventory” indicator measures how long it would take to sell out the existing inventory of homes at the current rate of home sales. In the industry, we generally consider anything below six months as a signal for a seller’s market, where tight inventory leads to multiple offer situations, bidding wars, and ultimately appreciating prices. Sussex inventory remains well above that threshold, at 12 months, but that’s down almost 32% from last year.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators – the amount of time sold homes were on the market, and the rate at which sellers were able to retain their full asking price – both supported the idea that sellers were gaining negotiating leverage with buyers. The daysonmarket fell by three days, indicating that homes were selling more quickly. And the listing retention rate rose to over 95%, signaling that sellers were finding it a little easier to get buyers to agree to their list prices.

Going forward, we believe that Sussex is poised for better things. Buyer demand has been strong for almost four years now, which is bound to eventually have a positive effect on prices. With an improving economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and nearhistorically low interest rates, we expect buyer demand to eventually drive modest but meaningful price appreciation  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 October 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Northern New Jersey Market Overview

overview-bhg_northern-nj_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Northern New Jersey housing market plateaued in the third quarter of 2016, with sales flattening out after a torrid start to the year and pricing struggling to gain traction. With inventory levels falling throughout the region, though, we expect that the market might gain strength going into 2017.

Sales were basically flat throughout the region. After a strong start to the year, sales slowed during the third quarter, rising only about 2%. The good news is that if you look at the rolling year, sales were up almost 10%, continuing a trend we’ve been watching for about five years. Although we are not yet at transactional levels that we saw during the last seller’s market of the mid2000’s, sales are up about 40% from the bottom of the market in 2009 and are moving in a positive direction.

We are also seeing inventory continue to tighten. The industry measures the impact of inventory by calculating the “months of inventory” remaining on the market: i.e., the number of homes for sale divided by the average monthly transactions. According to industry standards, six months worth of inventory signals a balanced market: any less, and we are likely to see too many buyers chasing too few homes, which will tend to lead to multiple offer situations, then bidding wars, and ultimately higher prices. And that’s about where we are trending throughout the region, with regional inventory down over 25%. Indeed, Bergen is already below six months of inventory, and Morris, Essex, and Passaic are all below nine months.

Even with sales up and inventory down, though, average prices have been dropping throughout the region. We have been a little disappointed in the pricing this year, after what looked to be “green shoots” of price appreciation toward the end of 2015. Certainly, 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. It might be that the market is simply stronger in the lowerend than the middle or higherend, which is changing the mix of properties sold and skewing the averages. Or it could still just be a matter of time before falling inventory and rising demand starts impacting pricing.

Going forward, we still believe that we are heading for a seller’s market. 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 Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on October 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Second-Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Sussex County

SussexNJ-Q2-2016-QMRThe Sussex County housing market surged again in the second quarter of 2016, with sales up significantly even while prices continued to struggle.

Sales. Sussex sales were up sharply in the second quarter, rising 23% from last year and finishing the year up over 26%. This continued a trend that we’ve been watching for the past four years, with year‑on‑year sales up almost every quarter since 2012. Indeed, Sussex closings are now reaching levels that we have not seen since the tail end of the last seller’s market, with sales now up about 80% from their 2011 bottom. So the market is in much stronger shape than it has been at any time since the 2008‑09 market correction.

Prices. This spike in sales, though, has not yet had an impact on pricing, which has deteriorated even while buyer demand increased. Average and median sales prices were down again in the second quarter, falling almost 2% on average and at the median. For the year, prices are down even more, falling about 4% on average and at the median for the rolling year. It takes time for increases in demand to drive pricing changes, so we believe this will turn around if buyer demand remains at its current levels.

Inventory. The “months of inventory” indicator measures how long it would take to sell out the existing inventory of homes at the current rate of home sales. In the industry, we generally consider anything below 6 months as a signal for a seller’s market, where tight inventory leads to multiple offer situations, bidding wars, and ultimately appreciating prices. Sussex inventory remains well above that threshold, at 12.4 months, but that’s down over 26% from last year.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators – the amount of time sold homes were on the market, and the rate at which sellers were able to retain their full asking price – were a little mixed. The days‑on‑market fell over 11%, indicating that homes were selling more quickly. But the listing retention rate fell, signaling that sellers were having difficulty getting buyers to accept their listing price.

Going forward, we believe that Sussex is poised for better things. Buyer demand has been strong for almost four years now, which is bound to eventually have a positive effect on prices. With an improving economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and near‑historically low interest rates, we expect buyer demand to stay strong through a robust summer market.

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 July 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Second-Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Northern New Jersey Market Overview

OverviewNorthNJ-Q2-2016-QMRThe Northern New Jersey housing market continued to surge in the second quarter of 2016, with sales up sharply throughout the region. But rising levels of buyer demand are not yet having any real impact on pricing, which was flat or down in each of the counties.

Sales were up over 13% for the region, rising in every county in the Report. Closings have now been trending up for about five years, ever since the market stabilized after the correction precipitated by the financial crisis of 2008‑09. Although we are not yet at transactional levels that we saw during the last seller’s market of the mid‑2000’s, sales are up about 40% from the bottom of the market and are moving in a positive direction.

We are also seeing inventory continue to tighten. The industry measures the impact of inventory by calculating the “months of inventory” remaining on the market: i.e., the number of homes for sale divided by the average monthly transactions. According to industry standards, six months worth of inventory signals a balanced market: any less, and we are likely to see too many buyers chasing too few homes, which will tend to lead to multiple offer situations, then bidding wars, and ultimately higher prices. That’s where we are right now in Bergen and Morris, with both counties near the 6‑month threshold, and inventory in the other counties is tightening considerably.

Even with sales up and inventory down, though, average prices dropped throughout the region. We have been a little disappointed in the pricing this year, after what looked to be “green shoots” of price appreciation toward the end of 2015. Certainly, 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. But appreciation still eludes us. It might be that the market is simply stronger in the lower‑end than the middle‑ or higher‑end, which is changing the mix of properties sold and skewing the averages. Or it could still just be a matter of time before falling inventory and rising demand starts impacting pricing.

Going forward, we still believe that we are heading for a seller’s market. 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 price appreciation is coming, and that the region will experience a robust summer market that continues throughout the rest of 2016.

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 July 16, 2016 at 10:29 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

First Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Sussex Market Overview

SUSSEX_NJ-Q1-2016-QMRThe Sussex County housing market surged again in the first quarter of 2016, with a dramatic spike in sales that continued a long.term trend of markedly higher transaction rates. Nevertheless, we are still not seeing these sustained levels of buyer demand have their expected impact on pricing, which was down yet again.

Sales. Sussex sales were up sharply in the first quarter, rising over 32% from last year and finishing the year up almost 23%. This continued a trend that we’ve been watching for the past four years, with year-on-year sales up almost every quarter since 2012. Indeed, Essex closings are now reaching levels that we have not seen since the tail end of the last seller’s market, with sales now up almost 80% from their 2011 bottom. So the market is in much stronger shape than it has been at any time since the 2008-09 market correction, with sustained levels of buyer demand.

Prices. This spike in sales, though, has not yet had an impact on pricing, which has deteriorated even while buyer demand increased. Average and median sales prices were down again in the first quarter, falling almost 9% on average and almost 2% at the median. Moreover, prices have been trending downward now for several years, in defiance of what we would expect from normal economic behavior. Generally, it takes time for increases in demand to drive pricing changes, so we believe this will turn around if buyer demand remains at its current levels.

Inventory. The “months of inventory” indicator measures how long it would take to sell out the existing inventory of homes at the current rate of home sales. In the industry, we generally consider anything below six months as a signal for a seller’s market, where tight inventory leads to multiple-offer situations, bidding wars, and ultimately appreciating prices. Sussex inventory remains well above that threshold, at 9.6 months, but that’s down almost 17% from last year, so it’s generally tightening.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators – the amount of time sold homes were on the market, and the rate at which sellers were able to retain their full asking price – suggested the sellers might be gaining a little bit of negotiating leverage. The days on market fell over 5%, indicating that homes were selling more quickly. And the listing price retention rate was up over a full point, indicating that homes are selling for closer to the asking price.

Going forward, we do expect better things for the Sussex market. We believe that buyer demand will stay strong through 2016, especially with a relatively strong economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and near historically low interest rates. And if buyer demand stays at its current levels, we expect that Sussex will at least see prices stabilize during the year, with a chance at meaningful price appreciation by 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 April 27, 2016 at 1:57 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

So What’s Going on in the Sussex County Real Estate Market?: The Rand Quarterly Market Report for 2015Q4

NJ GRAPHS-BHG_Q4-2015 QMR-6-3The Sussex County housing market surged in the fourth quarter, with a dramatic spike in sales that continued a yearlong trend of markedly higher transaction rates. Nevertheless, we are still not seeing these sustained levels of buyer demand have their expected impact on pricing.

Sales. Sussex sales were up sharply in the fourth quarter, rising almost 39% from last year and finishing the year up almost 18%. Indeed, Essex closings have now gone up in each of the last four years, during which sales have now increased by almost 80% from their 2011 levels at the bottom of the market. With sustained levels of buyer demand, the market is in much stronger shape than it has been at any time since the 2008-09 market correction.

Prices. This spike in sales, though, has not yet had an impact on pricing, which has actually deteriorated, even while buyer demand increased. Average and median sales prices were down for both the fourth quarter and the full calendar year, which was a little disappointing given the transactional strength in the market. Moreover, prices have been trending downward now for several years, in defiance of what we would expect from normal economic behavior. Generally, it takes time for increases in demand to drive pricing changes, so we believe this will turn around if buyer demand remains at its current levels.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators – the amount of time sold homes were on the market, and the rate at which sellers were able to retain their full asking price – were mixed. The days-on-market fell dramatically in the quarter, dropping over 13% — and almost a full month! For the year, the market time was down as well, although not as significantly. But we didn’t see the same dynamic in the listing retention rate, which actually fell a bit for the quarter and was flat for the year. Generally, we expect that as buyer demand heats up, homes will sell more quickly and for closer to the asking price. We’re starting to see quicker sales, but nothing that would indicate that sellers are gaining leverage in their negotiations with buyers.

Going forward, we do expect better things for the Sussex market. We believe that buyer demand will stay strong through 2016, especially with a relatively strong economy, homes priced at attractive levels, and near-historically low interest rates. And if buyer demand stays at its current levels, we expect that Sussex will start to see some meaningful price appreciation by the end of the year.

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 February 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,