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 – Essex County, New Jersey

Essex 2016Q4The Essex County housing market finished the year with a surge in sales, but these sustained increases in buyer demand have not had their expected impact in driving price appreciation.

Sales. Essex sales activity recovered from a disappointing third quarter, with sales rising almost 11% from the fourth quarter of last year and finishing the calendar year up almost 5%. Buyer demand has been inconsistent throughout the year, certainly not as strong as we are seeing in neighboring Northern New Jersey counties. That said, Essex closed over 5,000 units in 2016, the largest calendar year total since the height of the last seller’s market over 10 years ago, and up almost 61% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

Prices. Essex pricing was also a bit disappointing, with the average down over 2% and the median down 3% from the fourth quarter of last year. The results were similar when we looked at the full 2016 calendar year, where prices were down over 2% on average and almost 4% at the median. This is a little surprising, given that an increase in buyer demand is usually associated with some upward pressure on pricing.

Inventory. Essex inventory fell again, falling almost 27% from last year’s fourth quarter and now down to 7.0 months. We measure “months of inventory” by calculating the number of months it would take to sell all the available homes at the current rate of absorption, and generally consider anything below six months to signal a seller’s market that would normally drive prices up. So Essex’s relatively low inventory levels raise the possibility of meaningful price appreciation in 2017.

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 just a little bit of negotiating leverage. The days-on-market fell by five days, and the listing retention rate was up sharply. Indeed, for the calendar year, sellers retained over 99% of their last list price. That’s another positive signal of potential future appreciation.

Going forward, we expect that Essex County’s sales activity will eventually have a meaningful impact on pricing. With homes still at historically affordable prices, interest rates low, and a generally improving economy, we believe that low inventory levels coupled with stable buyer demand will drive modest but measurable 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 16, 2017 at 9:54 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

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

Morris 2016Q4The Morris County housing market finished the year with a sharp increase in sales, but sustained buyer demand throughout 2016 still has not had a significant impact on pricing.

Sales. Morris County sales were up significantly, rising almost 12% from the fourth quarter of last year. This continued a streak in which year-on-year sales have now gone up for nine straight quarters, over two years of sustained buyer demand. Transactions were also up 12% for the year, and are now up about 56% from the bottom of the market in 2011. So sales have now been strong for several years, indicating that buyer demand is growing.

Prices. All this sales activity, though, has not yet had its expected impact on pricing. Prices were mostly mixed for the quarter, falling over 2% on average even while the median was flat. For the year, prices were stubbornly resistant to the increasing buyer demand, falling almost 3% on average and 1% at the median. This was surprising and disappointing, particularly after the modest price appreciation that we saw in 2015.

Inventory. Morris inventory fell again, dropping over 26% from last year’s fourth quarter and now down to 7.3 months. We measure “months of inventory” by calculating the number of months it would take to sell all the available homes at the current rate of absorption, and generally consider anything below six months to signal a seller’s market that would normally drive prices up. So the fact that Morris inventory is now down to just over seven months of inventory could indicate that we will see meaningful price appreciation next year.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators showed signs that sellers might be gaining leverage with buyers. The days-on-market indicator was down by nine days, falling almost 7%, indicating that homes were selling more quickly. And the listing price retention rate continues to rise, now up to just under 97% for the quarter and the year, signaling that sellers might be having a bit more success getting buyers to meet their asking prices.

Going forward, we expect that Morris County’s sales activity will eventually have a meaningful impact on pricing. With homes still at relatively affordable 2004 prices (without even adjusting for inflation), interest rates low, and a generally improving economy, we believe that reduced inventory coupled with rising buyer demand will drive price appreciation through 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 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

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

Passaic 2016Q4Sales in the Passaic County housing market rose again in the fourth quarter of 2016, but they are still not having their expected impact on pricing

Sales. Passaic sales finished the year strong, rising almost 14% from last year’s fourth quarter and finishing the year up over 12%. We’ve now seen sustained increases in buyer demand for over five years, with quarterly sales up in 20 out of the last 22 quarters. As a result, Passaic closed almost 3,300 homes for the calendar year, the highest total we’ve seen in over 10 years, since the height of the last seller’s market.

Prices. Unfortunately, these sustained increases in buyer demand are not yet impacting pricing. Prices were down fairly sharply for the quarter, falling over 5% on average and almost 3% at the median. And that finished off a calendar year where prices were down almost 3% on average and 1% at the median. This is surprising, because we would normally expect sustained increases in buyer demand to drive meaningful price appreciation. It may just be a matter of time, but basic economic principles would indicate that increasing demand, coupled with declining inventory, should drive prices higher.

Inventory. The Passaic inventory of available homes for sale fell again, down over 22% from last year’s fourth quarter. We measure “months of inventory” by calculating the number of months it would take to sell all the available homes at the current rate of absorption, and generally consider anything below six months to signal a seller’s market that would normally drive prices up. So the fact that Passaic is now down to just over eight months of inventory is important, since it presages the possibility of price appreciation in 2017.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators indicated that sellers are gaining leverage with buyers. The days-on-market were down sharply, falling 15 days from the fourth quarter of last year and now down to under five months of market time. The listing retention rate was relatively flat for the quarter, but up to almost 97% for the year. If the market tightens, we would expect that homes would continue to sell more quickly and for closer to the asking price.

Going forward, we believe that Passaic’s fundamentals are sound, with homes priced at relatively attractive levels, rates near historic lows, and a stable economy. Accordingly, we expect these sustained levels of buyer demand, coupled with declining inventory, to finally drive 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 13, 2017 at 9:51 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

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

Bergen Single-Family Homes 2016Q4The Bergen County housing market finished strong in the fourth quarter of 2016, with sales up sharply and prices showing signs of meaningful appreciation.

Sales. Bergen single-family home sales were up almost 11% for the quarter, the ninth straight quarter where we’ve seen year-on-year sales growth. And for the year, sales were also up 11%, marking the third straight year of sales increases. Indeed, sales in the 2016 calendar year hit their highest levels since 2005, and are now up 55% from their 2011 bottom.

Prices. These sustained increases in buyer demand showed signs of finally having their expected impact on pricing. Single-family home prices were up almost 4% on average and 3% at the median compared to the fourth quarter of last year, the largest quarterly increase in almost three years. Even with that strong fourth quarter, though, the calendar year was relatively mixed, with the average price down a tick and the median up just about 1%.

Inventory. Bergen single-family inventory tightened dramatically, with the number of available single-family homes falling almost 30% and the months of inventory now down under four months, well below the six-month mark that usually denotes a “tight” market. With inventory this low, and demand staying strong, we would expect some upward pressure on pricing.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators were relatively mixed for single-family homes, with the days on market down a little and the listing retention rate up a bit. As inventory tightens and the market heats up, we would expect to start seeing sellers gain negotiating leverage, with homes selling more quickly and for closer to the asking price.

Condos. The Bergen condo market was relatively flat in the fourth quarter, with sales down a tick and prices mixed. For the year, though, the results were more encouraging, with sales up 10% and prices up about 4% across the board.

Going forward, we remain confident that Bergen County is slowly moving into a strong seller’s market. With inventory tightening, a relatively strong economy, near-historically low interest rates, and prices still at attractive 2004 levels, we believe that sustained buyer demand will drive 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 11:51 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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

unnamedThe Dutchess County housing market finished strong in the fourth quarter of 2016, with a sustained increase in sales along with the largest yearly price appreciation in over ten years.

Sales. Dutchess single-family home sales were up again in the fourth quarter, rising over 7% from last year and marking the ninth quarter in a row with year-on-year sales increases. And for the calendar year, sales were up almost 16%, rising to the highest yearly total that we’ve seen since 2005 and up 73% from the 2011 bottom.

Prices. This sustained increase in sales activity is finally having its expected impact on pricing, with single-family home pricing up just a tick for the quarter. For the year, though, prices were up almost 3% on average and 2% at the median. That may not seem like much, but it was the highest price appreciation that we’ve seen in a calendar year since 2006. Prices are still at 200304 levels (without controlling for inflation), but they are moving in a positive direction.

Negotiability. Dutchess inventory continues to decline, now down to 11.5 months of active single-family listings. Although we are nowhere near the six-month level of inventory that usually signals a “seller’s market,” we are certainly seeing some tightening that could support further price appreciation. The other negotiability indicators were mixed, with days on market flat while listing retention rose.

Condominiums. The condo market was also up, with sales rising almost 16% but prices falling a bit after a spike in the third quarter. For the year, condo sales are up almost 17%, and pricing is up sharply both on average and at the median.

Going forward, Dutchess is looking forward to a promising 2017. With tightening inventory, a stable economy, near-historically low interest rates, and homes still priced at appealing 2003-04 levels, Dutchess is likely to see meaningful price appreciation through next year.

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 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

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

unnamedThe Putnam County housing market finished the 2016 year strong, with sales continuing to rise even while inventory tightened.

Sales. Putnam sales were up again in the fourth quarter, with single-family home closings up almost 10% from last year and now up almost 21% for the year. The market is just sizzling, with transactions up in 10 straight quarters and 18 out of the last 19.

Prices. Even with demand up, though, pricing is surprisingly stubborn. Single-family home prices were down across the board, falling 3% on average and almost 1% in the median and price-per-square foot. For the year, though, prices were up almost 2% on average, 6% at the median, and 10% in the price-per-square foot.

Inventory. Inventory continued to tighten, falling over 43%, now down to 5.05 months of inventory, which is below the six-month mark that usually denotes a tightening seller’s market. With inventory this low, we are likely to see some upward pressure on pricing going into 2017.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators showed that sellers continue to gain leverage with buyers, with the listing retention rate rising to 96.6% and the days-on-market falling by 16 days for single-family homes. We would expect homes to continue to sell more quickly and for closer to the asking price if the market heats up.

Condos. The condo market was strikingly weak, with sales down 25% and prices down almost 13% for the quarter. The Putnam condo market is a very thin market, with only a few dozen sales per quarter, so we should be careful about drawing conclusions. For the year, sales were up 6%, but prices did show some sustained weakness, down 12% on average and 11% at the median.

Going forward, we do believe that the fundamentals of the market are strong prices at attractive levels, interest rates still near historic lows, and a gradually improving economy. Accordingly, we believe that tightening inventory, coupled with resilient demand, will drive 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 January 11, 2017 at 9:35 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

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

unnamedThe Orange County housing market surged yet again in the fourth quarter of 2016, with clear signs of meaningful price appreciation for the first time in years.

Sales. Orange single-family sales were up yet again, rising almost 19% from last year’s fourth quarter, and finishing the full 2016 calendar year up almost 25%. This continues a trend we’ve been watching for almost five years, with Orange sales now up nine quarters in a row and 18 out of the last 19. Even more telling, the 3,542 yearly single-family home sales were the most since 2005, and were up 112% from the bottom of the market in 2011.

Prices. These sustained increases in buyer demand are finally having a meaningful impact on pricing, with single-family home prices up a tick on average and almost 4% at the median compared to last year’s fourth quarter. More importantly, prices were up ever-so-slightly for the year, just under 1% on both the average and the median. That may not seem like much, but it was the first time that Orange calendar-year prices rose since 2007.

Inventory. The available inventory continues to tighten in the single-family market, closing in on the six-month market that usually indicates a tight seller’s market. As inventory falls, we would expect even more upward pressure on pricing.

Condominiums. The Orange condo market showed signs of life, with sales up over 10% for the quarter and finishing the year up almost 9%. The condo market has struggled for years in Orange, particularly as the price point between condos and houses narrowed. But that gap might be widening as single-family home prices accelerate, which would likely stop the bleeding in the condo market pricing.

Going forward, we believe that the Orange County housing market is looking forward to its best year since the height of the last seller’s market. The fundamentals are strong: demand is high, prices are still at attractive 2003-04 levels, interest rates are at historic lows, and the economy is generally improving. With inventory declining, we expect to see more 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 January 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

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

unnamedThe Rockland County housing market tapered off a bit in the fourth quarter of 2016, but still finished the year with significant increases in both sales and prices.

Inventory. The story in Rockland County is the declining inventory, with the number of homes for sale falling again, now reaching levels we have not seen in over 10 years. We calculate the “months of inventory” by measuring how long it would take to sell out the existing available homes at the current rate of sales. Anything shorter than six months is considered a “tight” market, and Rockland has now crossed below that line for the first time in years, with the months of inventory at 4.9 months for single-family homes and 5.6 months for condos.

Sales. We can see the impact of declining inventories in the sales activity, with transactions down almost 4% for single-family homes. This broke a two-year streak of eight straight quarters of year-on-year sales increases, and marked only the second time in five years that sales went down from the prior year quarter. Why? We do not believe it’s a lack of demand, but rather that many buyers simply cannot find the right home at these levels of inventory. Still, though, the overall market is healthy: single-family home sales have now gone up for five straight calendar years, are at their highest level since 2004, and are up 77% from their 2011 bottom.

Prices. The flip side of declining inventory is rising prices, and Rockland pricing is showing sustained signs of meaningful price appreciation. Although single-family pricing was relatively mixed for the quarter, home prices have now gone up for four straight calendar years, and are now up 9% from the bottom in 2012. That’s not dramatic, but it’s something. We expect that with inventory at these levels, we will continue to see price appreciation in 2017.

Negotiability. Single-family homes sold more quickly and for closer to the asking price in the fourth quarter, which is generally a sign that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers.

Condos. The condo market was mixed for the quarter, with sales up 20% but prices falling 10% on average even while rising over 5% at the median. The yearlong results were more consistent, with sales up 20% and prices down about 3% on average and at the median.

Going forward, we believe that buyer demand in Rockland will stay strong, with prices still at attractive levels, interest rates still near historic lows, and the economy generally strengthening. And with declining inventories, we believe that this demand will drive more 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 January 10, 2017 at 9:37 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,