Somerset County’s only Monthly Real Estate Market Conditions Update February 2013

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Somerset County January sales remain active with 230 homes sold

JP 180  X 180(Below is a market update on the real estate and property activity in Somerset County – including Barnchburg, Bridgewater, Somerville and Hillsborough– as of the end of January 2013. This information is provided by courtesy of Somerset County Realtor Joe Peters.)                        

 …

01 by townIn January of 2013, 230 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, up from the 206 “under contract” properties in December of 2012. Also during January, 388 properties were newly listed.

Statistics compiled at the end of January show an overall current supply of about 6 months for Somerset County, with an average days on the market of three months for the units that were sold

 

 

 

 

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 01 recap72 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • 23 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • 05 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

 

Four areas in Somerset County reported 2 sales or less at all last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Millstone
  • Peapack Gladstone
  • Rocky Hill

At the same time, there are the usual hot spots:

  • Bernards Township with 25 sales
  • Bridgewater Township with 28 sales
  • Franklin Township with 37 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 25 sales
  • Montgomery township with 20 sales

These five areas combined for nearly 60 percent of total sales last month.

The average new listing coming on the market in January was at nearly $537,860 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $419,981.

home_worth.jpgHouses that are priced properly are selling. There is a current market for them with many active buyers. But more than ever, buyers and sellers need to be working with an experienced agent who has a strong grasp of 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. I can offer you knowledgeable and proven advice based upon my more than 20 years of experience, including a special emphasis on Somerset County.

 

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are:

New Jersey Home Sales:

State wide home sales in NJ resumed their upward momentum in December over a year ago after taking a pause the month before due to hurricane Sandy.  And, YTD sales were up 21% in 2012 over the prior year.

And, the decline of available inventory continued in December adding up to a 18% decline YTD vs. the prior year.

The combined effect of the increase in purchase demand with the decline in available inventory will likely result in home prices remaining stable and possibly increasing in the second half of 2013 and will also will vary by local market (eg. the counties closer to NYC usually faring better).

Interest Rates:

Interest rates remain at low levels but have creeped up slightly to 3.625 for a 30 year conventional mortgage. This upward movement has added a sense of urgency to many buyers and in a large part is driving the market.  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 December adding 155,000 jobs in the private sector.

In that same period New Jersey private sector jobs saw its best in years 20 year in December adding 30,200 non-farm jobs raising additional hopes for recovery in the state.  And, NJ added 48,000 non-farm jobs in 2012 which is a 54% increase over the prior year.

Rental Market 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.

Foreclosures:

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 prior months. However, in the in December foreclosure filings in the state fell 66% vs. the prior month.  However, for the full year this number rose by 50%.

A ruling passed in the NJ Supreme Court would allow Wells Fargo Bank to charge homeowners full back interest for mortgages that were delayed by a judicial review.  These charges could be as high as 13%.  When homeowners are hit with these accrued back interest charges, many more could end up facing foreclosure.

Other recent Real Estate related News Items…

Note:

ask_joe.jpgThe 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.

 

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About Joseph Peters

Your “Local Neighborhood Specialist” focused on the Hunterdon, Somerset & Warren County areas. As an agent with Weichert Realtors, my 20+ years of residential real estate experience can benefit you in locating a new property or in the marketing and selling of your current one. I can be reached at (908) 238-0118 or via www.jpeters.com
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