Hunterdon County’s only Monthly Real Estate
Market Conditions Update for January 2013
Hunterdon County December sales remain active with 77 homes sold
As a Hunterdon County Realtor, I publish this report on a monthly basis to provide information on Hunterdon County homes for sale, including Flemington and Clinton NJ homes and real estate for sale, as well as all other Hunterdon County property.
Statistics compiled at the end of December of 2012 show an overall current months’ supply of 11 months for all of Hunterdon County in New Jersey (same as a month ago). And the average days on market for these sales was just over 106 days.
These statistics break down as follows:
- Sales under $500,000 were 83% of this total with an average of 10 months’ supply
- Sales over $500,000 were 17% of this total with an average of nearly 26 months’ supply
- Sales over $700,000 were 10% of this total with an average of 22 months’ supply
You can see how these statistics are calculated here.
We did record 77 properties going under contract in December which is down slightly from the 85 sales that were recorded for the prior month in Hunterdon. And, at the during that same period, we listed 76 new properties.
These were seven areas in Hunterdon County reported no sales at all in the past month which were:
- E. Amwell
- Lebanon Boro.
And, these seven areas had only had one or two sales each last month:
- Clinton (Town)
- Glen Gardner
- W. Amwell
So, of the twenty-six municipalities in Hunterdon County fourteen of them (54%) accounted for only 11 (14%) of our total sales last month.
At the same time, there were the several usual hot spots:
- Clinton Township with 7 sales
- Raritan Township with 9 sales
- Readington Township with 13 sales
These three areas accounted for nearly 38% of our total sales last month. This is natural as it is about as far as most people want to commute is they need to get into the city on a regular basis.
The average new listing coming on the market in December was at nearly $462,600 while the average price of a unit going under contract during that same period was at nearly $376,800, or 19% less (appears to be some room for price reductions). Last month the average sale was $445,400. So, we are seeing buyers spending a little more in December.
When these numbers are broken down by price point, they look as follows:
While you could argue that some of these computations do not have enough statistics within them to be representative and are not only factor in measuring the market conditions for a specific area, in general they are a strong barometer of how a particular local market is doing.
Other conditions impacting this statistic, as recently reported by industry experts are:
November sales in NJ were unchanged over a year ago mainly due to hurricane Sandy. Yet YTD sales as of November were up 22% over the prior year.
And, the decline of available inventory continued in November adding up to a 21% decline YTD vs. the over the prior year.
The combined effect of the increase in purchase demand he decline in available inventory will likely result in home prices remaining stable to increasing in the second half of 2012 and will also will vary by local market (eg. the counties closer to NYC usually faring better).
In Hunterdon County this has resulted in the 11 months’ supply of houses on the market that we currently experiencing.
On a national basis, the extension of the mortgage interest deduction and the mortgage debt forgiveness on short sales should help as well.
Interest rates remain at the lowest levels that we have ever seen and are under 3.5% (and dropping) for a 30 year conventional mortgage. A fifteen year conventional mortgages are now in the upper 2% range.
New Jersey Job Front:
The US pace of job creation remained fairly stable in November adding 146,000 jobs in the private sector. While this is far below the estimated that over 200,000 are required per month to sustain growth abd lower unemployment, it is still an improvement over the 66,600 average which was gained in 2Q.
At the same time New Jersey private sector jobs saw a net loss in November of 8,100 jobs with much of the effect resulting from hurricane Sandy. Also, NJ is projected to lag behind the nation in this critical area for the foreseeable future.
This market continues being affected by two trends:
More restrictive mortgage standards are forcing younger age buyers to postpone their transition to home ownership until later in life than was previously seen.
And, many older age households are selling their homes and moving into rentals to close their gap in underfunded retirement plans which were affected by the recent economic downturns.
The lifting of foreclosure moratorium and the recent settlement agreements between the states and the banks have resulted in increased foreclosure filings in New Jersey. In the three-month period ending in November foreclosure filings in the state rose 236% vs. the same period last year. That is more than double the year before.
And, Gov. Christie has signed a bill that will allow lenders to foreclose more quickly on vacant and abandoned properties. With about one-third of the states delinquent properties in this category, this will surely have an impact as we could see sherif’s sales in as little as two months in the near future.
As this is happening at the same time we are receiving the good news mentioned above, the strength in home purchases will hopefully be able to absorb some of this increased inventory. Yet, it could put increased pressure on prices and this will vary by area as well.
These combined factors are putting further downward pressure on NJ home prices.
One positive note is that interest rates are hovering just at or under the 3.5% range and we did sell 77 of the approximately 851 properties listed in Hunterdon County last month giving us an overall months’ supply of eleven.
Houses that are priced properly are selling. There is a current market for them with many active buyers. More than ever, you need to be working with an experienced agent who has a strong grasp if the market conditions specific to your local area.
I can share information on all of these statistics with you. Just call me at (908) 238-0118.
____________________________________________Note: The information presented is deemed accurate but not reliable or guaranteed. Reasonable precautions were taken in the preparation and presentation of this information to ensure accuracy, but the author assumed no liability for any actions taken based on this information. Some opinions expressed represent forecasts of economic conditions as the impact real estate values. All such information is solely conjecture and should be regarded as opinion only and not serve as the sole basis of any financial decision.