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

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Somerset County April sales active with 418 homes sold

marketupdate

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(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 April 2013. This information is provided by courtesy of Somerset County Realtor Joe Peters.)

 

 

 

04 recapIn April of 2013, 418 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, up from the 365 “under contract” properties in March of 2013.  Also during April, 571 properties were newly listed.

Statistics compiled at the end of April show an overall current supply of about 4 months for Somerset County (4 to 6 moths is considered average), with an average of 78 days on the market for the units that went under contract.

It is interesting to note that at the same time last year we had 2,335 properties on the market (about 33% more).  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:

  • 65 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • 30 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • 05 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

 

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

  • by townFar Hills
  • Millstone
  • Peapack Gladstone
  • Rocky Hill

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

  • Bernards Township with 49 sales
  • Bridgewater Township with 60 sales
  • Franklin Township with 67 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 47 sales

These four areas combined for nearly 53 percent of total sales last month.

The average new listing coming on the market in April was at nearly $628,788 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $463,559 or 26% less..

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:

Home purchase activity has now increased for 18 consecutive months with March having a 7% increase in signed purchase contracts year over year.  And, this purchase demand has actually increased by 31% over march of two years ago.  2103 year to date contracts are the strongest in the past six years.

At the same time, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey has fell to the lowest level in the past eight years.  Unsold inventory has actually declined in the state by 20% year over year.  The current level of unsold inventory in the state has decreased from 8.3 months from a year ago to 6.2 months this year.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates remain at low levels but have crept up slightly to 3.5 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 over the past nine months adding 88,000 jobs in the private sector in March. This same number has slowed a bit for the first quarter of 2013 vs. the last quarter of 2012.  However, it still remains stronger that the second and third quarters of 2012.

In March New Jersey private sector jobs recorded a gain of 8,300 private sector jobs which is less that the 9,400 recorded in February.  And the first quarter of 2013 private sector jobs added 13,200 jobs which is about half of the fourth quarter in 2012.

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:

February foreclosure filings in NJ declined by 10% over the same month last year.  This is the first decline in that number since February of 2012.  This is somewhat affected by the loan forbearances that were enacted after hurricane Sandy.

Q1 foreclosure finings in New Jersey are up 49% year over year.  The positive news is that in a market starved for inventory, these foreclosures are now only selling at a 5% discount which will have little impact on overall prices.

Recap:

We have fewer listing, more buyers, lower pricing and interest.  The result is a mixed market based on location and price point.  The foreclosures are to some extent helping to offset the fewer listings.  As a result, prices have begun to stabilize and are actually rising in certain price points.

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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