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 – Essex County, New Jersey

essex-bhg_northern-nj_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Essex County housing market was a mass of contradictions in the third quarter of 2016, with sales down but prices up.

Sales. Essex activity continued to disappoint in the third quarter, with transactions down almost 3% from last year. This marked the first quarter of yearonyear sales declines in almost two years, breaking a sixquarter streak of sales growth. After a robust beginning to the year, Essex is now significantly underperforming its neighboring counties, with the rolling year sales up only about 3%, well below what we’re seeing elsewhere in the region.

Prices. Even with the slackening of activity, prices showed some signs of life. The average price was up about 4%, with the median up just a tick. This was welcome news to Essex homeowners, since we had seen prices go down over the past two quarters. The overall picture, though, is not promising, with rolling year pricing down over 1% on average and almost 5% at the median.

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. Essex continues to see declining inventory, falling almost 18% in the quarter down to under seven months. That’s a pretty tight market, so we would normally expect to see some upward pressure on pricing.

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 daysonmarket fell just a day, but the listing retention rate was up to almost 100%. Those are both positive signals 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 buyer demand will strengthen and 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 3:00 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

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

morris-bhg_northern-nj_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Morris County housing market softened in the third quarter of 2016, with sales up modestly and prices mixed.

Sales. Morris County sales were up only slightly, rising about 4% from the third quarter of last year. Even that tepid increase, though, was enough to continue a twoyear streak in which yearonyear sales have gone up for eight straight quarters. The longterm trend is also relatively encouraging, with sales up 9% for the rolling year.

Prices. This sustained increase in sales, though, has not yet had its expected impact on pricing. Prices were mostly mixed, with the average up a tick and the median down slightly. For the year, the results were a little more discouraging, with the average falling over 2% and the median down over 1%. And after some meaningful price appreciation in 2015, we have now seen prices down for most of this year. This was a little surprising, given that we’ve seen sales activity up for almost two years. Normally, rising sales activity should drive appreciating prices.

Inventory. The good news for Morris homeowners and sellers is that inventory continues to tighten. In the industry, we generally consider anything below six months of inventory as a signal for a “tight” market, leading to multiple offer situations, bidding wars, and ultimately appreciating prices. By that measure, we are certainly moving toward a seller’s market, with Morris now down to 7.3 months of inventory, falling almost 22% from last year.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators showed only modest signs that sellers might be gaining leverage with buyers. The daysonmarket indicator was relatively flat, falling by five days. And the listing retention rate was up just a tick, indicating 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 historically affordable prices, interest rates low, and a generally improving economy, we believe that buyer demand will strengthen and 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 12:02 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

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

passaic-bhg_northern-nj_q3-2016-qmr-digitalSales in the Passaic County housing market continued to rise in the third quarter of 2016, but these sustained levels of buyer demand are not yet having their expected impact on pricing.

Sales. Passaic sales were up again in the third quarter, rising over 6% from last year and finishing the rolling year up over 10%. Indeed, 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 3,200 homes over the last rolling year, a level Passaic had not reached in over 10 years, since the last seller’s market.

Prices. Unfortunately, these sustained increases in buyer demand are not yet impacting pricing. Prices were down, with the average price falling slightly while the median price was down over 3%. We would normally expect sustained increases in buyer demand to drive meaningful price appreciation, but Passaic pricing has been stubbornly resistant over the past few years. 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. We generally consider anything below sixmonths of inventory as a signal for a seller’s market, where tight inventory leads to multiple offer situations, bidding wars, and ultimately appreciating prices. Passaic County is still working its way to that level, but inventory was down over 20% to 8.3 months, so it’s moving in that direction.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators both showed that sellers are gaining leverage with buyers. The daysonmarket were down just a tick for the quarter, signaling that homes were selling a little more quickly. And the listing retention rate was up, indicating that sellers were getting closer to their asking price. Together, they show that sellers are slowly gaining some bargaining power with buyers, which should eventually lead to modest price appreciation.

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 buyer demand to stay strong through the end of the year, with the strong possibility of 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 9:30 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

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

bergen-bhg_northern-nj_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Bergen County housing market plateaued in the third quarter of 2016, with sales and prices flat over the summer after a spike in spring activity.

Sales. Bergen sales were flat in the third quarter, rising less than 1% after a pretty robust period over the past two years. Indeed, even with that minimal sales increase, Bergen has now seen eight straight quarters of yearonyear sales growth. That sustained period of increasing buyer demand resulted in a rolling year where sales were up 10%, with the 6,657 sales marking the highest twelvemonth total in over ten years — at the height of the last seller’s market.

Prices. Unfortunately, we are still not seeing this sustained increase in buyer demand have any impact on pricing. For the quarter, prices were mixed, with the average down almost 2% and the median up 1%. The same was true for the rolling year, where the average price fell over 1% and the median was flat. As we’ve said before in this Report, Bergen County prices have been flat for almost eight years now, after the sharp correction in 200809. It might be that the demand is simply stronger in the lowerpriced markets, which is driving the average and median price down by changing the mix of properties sold. If that’s the case, then it’s just a matter of time before prices start to go up.

Inventory. Bergen inventory continues to tighten, with the number of available singlefamily homes falling 26% and the months of inventory now below the sixmonth mark that usually denotes a “tight” market. Indeed, declining inventory might be contributing to the relative slackness in sales, if buyers are on the sidelines waiting for new homes to hit the market.

Condominiums. Bergen condo sales and prices were both up sharply, demonstrating that buyer demand in the county might be particularly strong in the entrylevel markets. Condo sales were up almost 7%, and pricing was up 4% on average and 5% at the median. This continues a longterm trend we’ve been watching, with the rolling year average price up almost 5% and the median up 3%. Those are sustainable price increases, and probably foreshadow what we’ll see next year with singlefamily homes.

Going forward, we remain confident that Bergen County is slowly moving into a strong seller’s market. Although we are not yet seeing price appreciation in the singlefamily market, we expect that increases in buyer demand, coupled with a decline of inventory, will eventually drive modest but meaningful appreciation by mid-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 4:55 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 , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Dutchess County, New York

dutchess-bhg_ny-west-hv_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Dutchess County housing market continued to strengthen in the third quarter of 2016, with a moderate increase in sales coupled with an eyeopening spike in pricing.

Sales. Dutchess singlefamily home sales were up again in the third quarter, rising 8% from last year. This marked the eighth quarter in a row with yearonyear sales increases, closing a rolling year where sales were up over 17%. With over 2,400 sales over the past 12 months, Dutchess is now closing homes at a rate that rivals what we saw during the last seller’s market.

Prices. This sustained increase in sales activity is finally having its expected impact on pricing. Singlefamily home prices spiked in the third quarter, rising an eyepopping 9% on average. That’s not a sustainable increase, and is likely due to a few outliers in the data, especially when you see that the median and pricepersquare foot metrics were up a more modest 2%. But even so, the rolling year average sales price increase of 4%, and the median price increase of 3%, are both positive indicators of where this market is likely going.

Negotiability. Dutchess inventory continues to decline, now down over 26% to 14.1 months of active singlefamily listings. Although we are nowhere near the sixmonth 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 – daysonmarket and listing retention – were mixed.

Condominiums. The condo market was also up, with sales rising almost 18% and prices also spiking. For the year, condo sales are up 21%, and pricing is up across the board, although the 9% increase in the average price is probably not sustainable.

Going forward, we continue to believe that Dutchess is on the precipice of meaningful price appreciation. With a stable economy, low interest rates, and homes still priced at appealing 2004 levels (without even controlling for inflation), we believe that Dutchess will finish the year strong and see even better days 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 11:58 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Putnam County, New York

putnam-bhg_ny-west-hv_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Putnam County housing market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with sales way up and prices stabilizing after a summer spike.

Sales. Putnam sales were up again in the third quarter, with singlefamily home closings up over 12% from last year and now up almost 22% for the year. The market is just sizzling, with transactions up in nine straight quarters and 17 out of the last 18. Similarly, condo sales were up almost 12%, and have risen almost 20% for the year. Putnam demand is strong right now.

Prices. Even with all this demand, though, we’re not seeing a dramatic impact on pricing. Singlefamily home prices were basically flat for the quarter, down a tick on average and up almost 2% at the median. Condo pricing was downright scary, falling almost 20% on both the average and the median, but we caution that the Putnam condo market is very thin and can be skewed by outliers. Overall, though, it’s surprising that sustained buyer demand over almost five years has had so little impact on pricing.

Inventory. The good news for Putnam homeowners was that inventory was down again, falling almost 43% to 7.3 months of active singlefamily listings and 4.7 months for condos. Anything below six months usually signifies a tight seller’s market, which would tend to drive the kind of appreciation we’ve been waiting for.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators showed that sellers continue to gain leverage with buyers, with the listing retention rate rising and daysonmarket falling for both singlefamily and condo sellers. We would expect homes to continue to sell more quickly and for closer to the asking price if the market heats up.

Going forward, we do believe that the fundamentals of the market are strong, with demand high, prices at attractive levels, interest rates near historic lows, and a gradually improving economy. Accordingly, we expect the Putnam market to close the year strong, and to eventually drive some meaningful price appreciation.

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 9:04 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Orange County, New York

orange-bhg_ny-west-hv_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Orange County housing market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with sales up dramatically and, more importantly, the first signs of meaningful price appreciation since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Sales. Orange singlefamily sales were up yet again, rising over 18% from last year and now up over 25% for the rolling year. This continues a trend we’ve been watching for over four years, with Orange sales now up eight quarters in a row and 17 out of the last 18. And the 3,400 singlefamily sales for the rolling year marked the highest yearly total we’ve seen since the third quarter of 2006 ‑‑ exactly ten years ago, at the top of the last seller’s market.

Prices. These sustained increases in buyer demand are finally having a meaningful impact on pricing, with prices up across the board in the third quarter: up almost 4% on average, 3% at the median, and 4% in the pricepersquare foot. This is all great news for Orange homeowners, who have been impatiently waiting for pricing to rebound since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Negotiability. The number of available homes for sale continues to fall, with inventory dropping almost 38% and now down to about eight months for singlefamily homes and six months for condos. According to industry standards, anything below six months of inventory indicates a “tight” market that usually drives price appreciation. The other negotiability factors were mixed, with homes selling for closer to the asking price but daysonmarket relatively flat.

Condominiums. The Orange condo market was not as active, with sales down almost 8% for the quarter. But prices showed similar signs of rebounding, with the average up almost 2%, the median up 3%, and the pricepersquare foot spiking 7%. If the singlefamily market continues to heat up, we expect that the condo market will follow.

Going forward, we believe that the Orange County housing market is looking at its best year since the height of the last seller’s market. The fundamentals are strong: demand is high, prices are still attractive, interest rates are at historic lows, and the economy is generally improving. We expect a strong finish for the year, and 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 10, 2016 at 4:56 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Rockland County, New York

rockland-bhg_ny-west-hv_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Rockland County market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with a dramatic increase in sales finally driving a meaningful yearly increase in prices.

Sales. Rockland singlefamily sales were up yet again, rising almost 13% from last year’s third quarter and up 20% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained rates of growth for over four years, with transactions up for eight straight quarters and 16 out of the last 17. Indeed, we eclipsed 2,000 singlefamily sales in the rolling year for the first time in over 10 years, at the height of the last seller’s market. Sales were similarly torrid in the condo market, which was up almost 38% for the quarter and 15% for the year.

Prices. Rockland pricing is finally showing meaningful signs of price appreciation. As we noted in our last Report, the 10% spring spike in prices was not sustainable, and we saw pricing come back to earth a little bit in the third quarter: down over 2% on average, and up a tick at the median. But the rolling year singlefamily prices are demonstrating the kind of appreciation that is sustainable over time, up about 3% on both the average and the median. Rockland homeowners should be happy with this trend.

Inventory. Available inventory continues to fall, with singlefamily homes and condos both approaching the sixmonth level that usually denotes a “tight” market. If inventory continues to fall, and buyer demand stays at its current levels, then we are likely to see continued price appreciation in the future as buyers chase fewer available homes.

Negotiability. Singlefamily homes sold more quickly and for closer to the asking price, which is generally a sign that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers. The condo results were more mixed, with the listing retention rate falling slightly even while the daysonmarket hit the sixmonth mark.

Going forward, we believe that buyer demand in Rockland will stay strong through the end of the year, with prices still at attractive levels, interest rates low, and the economy generally strengthening. Indeed, we expect that Rockland will have its best year since the height of the last seller’s 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 October 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,