So What’s Going on in the Morris County Real Estate Market?: The Rand Quarterly Market Report for 2015Q3

image002The Morris County housing market softened a bit in the third quarter, with sales up modestly but prices a little flat. Over the longer-term, we’re seeing sustained increases in buyer demand that are likely to have a meaningful impact on prices by 2016.

Sales. Morris County sales were up modestly in the second quarter, rising 5.7%. This marked the fourth straight quarter with year-over-year sales growth, capping a rolling year where sales were up 9.4%. Indeed, the 1,768 quarterly sales and the 5,492 yearly sales represented the highest totals since the height of the seller’s market. Clearly, buyer demand in Morris remains robust.

Prices. This continued surge in sales activity, though, has not had a sustained impact on pricing. We’ve seen Morris pricing bouncing around for the last year or so – up one quarter, down the next. And this was a down quarter, with the average falling 2.6% and the median down 1.6%. Over the longer-term, though, the trend is encouraging, with the rolling year average price up 1.5% and the median up 1.3%. If buyer demand continues to strengthen, it’s just a matter of time before we see more meaningful price appreciation.

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 basically flat. The days-on-market was up a tick for the quarter, but down for the year. And the listing retention rate was up just slightly for both the quarter and the year.

Going forward, we expect that the Morris County market will continue to grow through the end of the year and into 2016. With homes still at historically affordable prices, interest rates low, and a generally improving economy, we believe that buyer demand will stay strong and drive more meaningful price appreciation by the spring market of next 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 October 16, 2015 at 9:00 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

So What’s Going on in the Market?: The Rand Quarterly Market Report for Westchester and the Hudson Valley Region for 2015Q3

image001The housing market in Westchester and the Hudson Valley surged forward in the third quarter of 2015, with sales up dramatically throughout the region. More importantly, several counties showed signs of “green shoots” of meaningful price appreciation, reflecting the impact of the sustained increases in buyer demand that we’ve seen over the past few years.

Home sales continued to spike, rising 19% throughout the region. This continued a trend we’ve been tracking for several years, with year-over-year regional sales now up for four out of the last five quarters and 12 out of the last 14. And the trend was widespread, with sales up in every county in the Rand Report: rising 6% in Westchester, 24% in Putnam, 27% in Rockland, 32% in Orange, and 47% in Dutchess. As you can see, sales growth was strongest in the lower-priced markets, which was also true within each county, where sales condo markets generally outpaced single-family homes.

Indeed, we’re now seeing sales at “seller market” levels. The 4,500 single-family regional sales were the highest quarterly total since 2005, and the 13,000 rolling year transactions were the highest since 2007. To put this in perspective, those 13,000 rolling year transactions are about 20% below the 16,000-sale rate at the very height of the seller’s market in 2004-05, but about 60% higher than the 8,000-sale rate we experienced at the very bottom of the market in 2008-09. When it comes to transactional levels, we’re a lot closer to 2005 than 2009.

These sustained increases in buyer demand might be starting to impact pricing. Pricing was relatively mixed, with average prices up in Putnam, Rockland, and Orange, but down in Westchester and Dutchess. This is obviously nothing to get too excited about, but it’s still noteworthy that most of the counties in the Report are starting to see “green shoots” or price appreciation. (Note that the regional price fell about 6%, but that’s only because the relative strength in the lower-priced counties changed the mix of properties sold.)

We believe it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing meaningful price appreciation. As we have said before, it takes time for changes in market activity to impact market psychology. Back in the last seller’s market, sales fell for almost three years before we started to see prices start to go down. And while we’ve now seen over three years of increasing sales activity, we expect that buyers are still skeptical about pricing based on their vivid memories of the market correction of 2008-09. But basic economics tells us that when inventory is stable, and demand is going up, pricing is bound to increase eventually.

Going forward, we expect the market to finish the year strong, with sustained buyer demand eventually driving meaningful price appreciation by the spring market of 2016. With pricing in most of the counties at non-inflation-adjusted 2003-04 levels, rates near historic lows, and a stabilized economy, we believe it’s just a matter of time before we enter a fairly robust seller’s market characterized by increasing demand, narrowing inventory, and rising prices.

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 9, 2015 at 11:22 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So What’s Going on in the Market?: The Rand Quarterly Market Report for Westchester and the Hudson Valley Region for 2015Q2

Westchester and Hudson Valley Regional 2015Q2This week, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty is releasing its Quarterly Market Report for all the counties it services: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess Counties in New York; and Bergen, Passaic, and Morris Counties in New Jersey. Below is an excerpt from the report, but you can get the full Report here.

The real estate market in Westchester and the Hudson Valley surged in the second quarter of 2015, with sales spiking throughout the region. But even with transactions reaching highs that we have not seen in almost ten years, pricing remains stubbornly flat or even down in most of our local markets.

Home sales were torrid, rising almost 15% throughout the region. This continued a trend we’ve seen for most of the last year, marking the third straight quarter of year-on-year sales increases. And the results were impressive not just in comparison to a relatively tepid 2014, with the 3,070 second quarter sales and the 12,258 rolling year sales representing the highest totals since 2007, at the tail end of the last seller’s market. More importantly, the surge was widespread, with sales up sharply in every county in the region: rising 15% in Westchester, 18% in Putnam, 10% in Rockland, 31% in Orange, and 21% in Dutchess. Clearly, buyer demand has come back to the region at levels we have not seen in almost ten years.

This surge in buyer demand did not, though, have its expected impact on pricing, with regional prices down 5.5% from last year. Now, that does not necessarily mean that the average home in the region declined by over 5% in value. Rather, some of the decline is simply a change in the mix of properties sold – after all, if you look at the sales increases listed above, you can see that we saw the strongest results in the lowest-priced counties like Orange and Dutchess. Indeed, we saw the same kind of results within each county, with most of the areas showing more strength in the lower-end of the market. So part of the reason for the decline in pricing is simply that the market was more heavily weighted down by lower-priced homes.

But the main reason for the continued sluggishness of pricing is simply that we are still working our way out of the 2008-2011 market correction. As we have noted before in this Report, it takes time for changes in buyer demand to have an impact on pricing. For example, if you look at the accompanying graph displaying regional sales and prices going back almost 15 years, you can see that sales topped out and started falling sometime in 2004-05, but prices only started to come down in 2008. In other words, it took almost four years for a decline in buyer demand to have an impact on pricing. Similarly, we have argued that it will take several years of increasing demand to start driving prices back up – and you can see that sales only started to climb back up in 2012 or so. So we’re not necessarily surprised that prices are still bouncing around at the current levels.

Going forward, we believe it’s only a matter of time before these sustained increases in buyer demand have an impact on pricing. We’re now going into our fourth year of mostly sustained increases in sales, and basic market economics tells us that increasing demand coupled with stable supply is eventually going to drive prices up. And given that we’re seeing homes at relatively affordable levels, interest rates near historic lows, and a generally improving economy, we think that meaningful changes in price appreciation in the region are imminent.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE REPORT

To learn more about 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 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So What’s Going on in the Morris County Real Estate Market?: The Rand Quarterly Market Report for 2015Q2

Morris County 2015Q2This week, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty is releasing its Quarterly Market Report for all the counties it services: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess Counties in New York; and Bergen, Passaic, and Morris Counties in New Jersey. Below is an excerpt from the report, but you can get the full Report here.

The Morris County housing market spiked in the second quarter of 2015, with sales up sharply and prices continuing to appreciate. If buyer demand stays strong, then we are likely to see continued meaningful price appreciation through the end of the year.

Sales. Morris County sales surged 17% in the second quarter, with the 1,498 sales marked the highest second-quarter total since 2007, at the tail end of the last seller’s market. This continues a trend that we’ve been watching for almost a year, with year-on-year sales now up for three quarters in a row – with the rolling year sales now up 6.2% from the prior rolling year.

Prices. As we would expect, these sustained increases in buyer demand are having an impact on pricing, with the average sales price up 4.1% and the median sales price up almost 1%. For the rolling year, we’re also seeing positive results, with the average price up 2.3% — a meaningful and sustainable level of appreciation.

Negotiability. Morris County home sellers are also gaining some leverage in negotiability, as indicated by the time that homes are staying on the market and the amount that they’re discounted by sellers. The days-on-market were down 4.4% for the quarter and 5.1% for the year, indicating that homes are starting to move more quickly. And the listing retention rate was up for both the quarter and the year, indicating that sellers are negotiating deals closer to their asking price.

Going forward, we expect that the Morris County market will continue to grow through a seasonally strong third quarter. With homes still at historically affordable prices, interest rates low, and a generally improving economy, we believe that buyer demand will stay strong and continue to drive price appreciation through the end of the year.

To learn more about 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 20, 2015 at 5:24 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , ,

Are We In a Buyer’s or Seller’s Housing Market?

3d render image of houses with graph growingThe real estate industry is constantly going through changes, and that includes the climate of the market. If there is high inventory and low prices, you can bet that you are in a buyer’s market, and if there’s low inventory and high prices, you can be sure that you’re in a seller’s market. In the U.S., however, the type of market varies by location. Because of the size of the U.S., some areas might be displaying traits of a buyer’s market, and other places might be showing signs of a seller’s market. It all depends on where you live.

According to RealtyTrac, homes are selling for 108 percent of asking price on average in the Bay Area of California, as well as in Washington, D.C.; Cass County, North Dakota; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In these locations, sellers are receiving more than they originally asked for, which shows that there is a high demand for housing.

Then, there are areas, such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, where buyers have the most influence and sellers are receiving less than the asking price, and this is happening even though the number of homes on the market are limited.

According to RealtyTrac, less than a third of housing markets in the U.S. have homes that sell for above the asking price, 60 percent have homes selling for below the asking price, and only 14 percent of homes sell at their market value.

If you want further proof that the U.S. real estate industry can’t be pinned down to one kind of market over the other, there are also areas that have markets where the situation is on even ground between buyers and sellers. These places include the D.C. suburbs of Montgomery County, Maryland; Raleigh, North Carolina; the Phoenix metropolitan area; and Riverside County, California.

To give you an example of the areas around near where I live (the lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey), there is definitely a situation where there are certain counties that have markets that are more suitable for buyers, some that are better for sellers, and others that are great for both. Orange County is certainly a buyer’s market with its 30-percent sales increase of single-family homes from last year and a median sales price of $220,000. Dutchess County also has a relatively low median sales price, coming in at $249,600.00, but faired even better than Orange County in terms of sales for single-family homes, topping that region with a 21.4 percent increase. Putnam County experienced changes that have made it a decent market for both buyers and sellers, with sales having shown a considerable increase of 18.2 percent and prices displaying more consistency and a promise of growth.

The northern New Jersey counties near the lower Hudson Valley (Bergen, Morris, and Passaic), have been displaying wonderful activity within their markets. All three counties have enjoyed increases in sales and prices, and they also have the lowest amount of average days on market for their homes (ranging from 76-155 days), whereas Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties in New York have homes that spend a higher average of days on the market (ranging from 170-218 days).

When you’re looking to buy a home, it’s always important to study the current housing market and see where you can get the best deal for a home. Each area has its own market that favors either the buyer, the seller, or both, so you should have an idea about what a certain market is going to offer you before you actually visit that area. As long as you stay on top of the market and use it as a valuable real estate tool, you will surely know where it is best to search for a home.

If you’re interested in Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s full market report for the second quarter of 2015, you can find it here on our blog. The QMR includes a market overview and in-depth analyses pertaining to each county that Rand Realty covers.

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

 

Sources

www.cnbc.com

Posted on July 5, 2015 at 11:51 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,