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

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Somerset County February sales remain active with 258 homes sold

JP 180  X 180marketupdate(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 February 2013. This information is provided by courtesy of Somerset County Realtor Joe Peters.)                        

 

 

02  by townIn February of 2013, 258 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, up from the 230 “under contract” properties in January of 2012. Also during February, 431 properties were newly listed.

Statistics compiled at the end of February show an overall current supply of about 6 months for Somerset County, with an average of 89 days on the market for the units that were sold.

It is interesting to note that at the same time last year we had 1967 properties on the market and we achieved only 222 sales.  As a result, we are seeing the current market turn into a seller’s market in many popular price points.

 

 

 

 

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 02  recap70 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • 27 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • 03 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
  • Raritan
  • Rocky Hill

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

  • Bernards Township with 32 sales
  • Bridgewater Township with 27 sales
  • Franklin Township with 36 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 38 sales

These four areas combined for nearly 52 percent of total sales last month.

The average new listing coming on the market in January was at nearly $473,300 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $427,600.

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 continued their upward momentum in January of 2013 with an increase of 23% over the same month in the prior year.

And, the decline of available inventory continued in January reached its lowest level since 2006 resulting in an eight month current supply of houses on the market.

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).  In popular price points, we are starting to see it become a seller’s market again.

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 January adding 157,000 jobs in the private sector.  While this number has remained stable, it is still below the 200,000 number that is required to keep pace with the labor forces’ natural growth.

In that same period New Jersey private sector jobs saw its largest increase in years 20 year in Q4 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. In January foreclosure filings in the state rose 193% vs. the prior month.  For the full year this number rose by 118%.

These number have been affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Recap:

We have fewer listing, more buyers, lower pricing and interest offset by more foreclosures.  The result is a mixed market based on location and price point.  The foreclosures are to some extent helping to offset the fewer listings, but there is still downward pressure on pricing in many markets.

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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