Hunterdon County’s only Monthly Real Estate Market Conditions Update December 2013

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Hunterdon County November sales active with 113 homes sold

JP 180  X 180marketupdate(Below is a market update on the real estate and property activity in Hunterdon County – including Clinton Township, Flemington, Raritan Township, Readington Township and the Town of Clinton – as of the end of November 2013.  This information is provided by courtesy of Hunterdon County Realtor Joe Peters.)

 

In November of 2013, 113 properties went “under contract” in Hunterdon County, down only slightly from the 128 “under contract” properties in October of 2013.  Also during November, 123 properties were newly listed.

Statistics compiled at the end of November show an overall current supply of about 7 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Hunterdon County, with an average of 87 days on the market for the units that were sold.

It is interesting to note that we currently have about 13% less inventory on the market than we did at this time last year.  And, we actually sold 33% more units than we did in the same period last year.  As a result, we are seeing the current market turn into a seller’s market in many popular price points with prices increasing.

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 11 recap81 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • 19 percent of sales were in houses more than $500,000
  • Only 8 percent of sales were in houses more than $700,000

 

 

 

Only 3 areas in Hunterdon County reported no sales at all in the past month which were:By town

  • Bloomsbury
  • Lebanon Twp.
  • Milford

And, these twelve areas had only had one or two sales each last month:

  • Alexandria
  • Califon
  • Clinton (town)
  • E. Amwell
  • Flemington
  • Franklin Twp.
  • Frenchtown
  • Hampton
  • Lebanon Boro
  • Stockton
  • Union Twp.
  • W. Amwell

At the same time, there were the several usual hot spots:

  • Clinton/Clinton Township with 20 sales
  • Raritan Township with 21 sales
  • Readington Township with 18 sales

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

The average new listing coming on the market in October was at nearly $443,928 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly 371,878 or 16% less.

Houses 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 home_worth.jpgproven advice based upon my more than 20 years of experience, including a special emphasis on Hunterdon County.  Meet Joe Peters (short video)

 

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are: 

New Jersey Home Sales: 

Home purchase activity rose sharply in October with a 19% increase in signed purchase contracts year over year And, since last October rose by 16% over the prior year, we are seeing a 39% increase in demand over the past 24 months. 

At the same time, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey (which has been stable) is still at the lowest level in eight years.  There are currently 2,000 fewer homes on the market in New Jersey than there were one year ago which equates to a 4% decline in inventory over last year and 23% decline over two years ago. 

The current level of unsold inventory state-wide is 6.9 months.  One year ago this figure was 8.5 months. 

Interest Rates: 

Interest rates have crept up slightly to 4.5% 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 have crept up to the mid 3% range. 5 year arms are around the 3% mark, 

The combination of higher mortgage rates and rising home prices is driving the current market.  And, we have seen several industry experts state that the economy could support a 6.5 to 7% interest rate making you wonder what is coming down the pike. 

New Jersey Job Front: 

On the national level job creation showed surprising results in October (despite the government shutdown) by adding 204,000 jobs. 

In NJ, we saw a slowdown of 16,000 fewer jobs being added in the period of the period of July thru October.  Yet, we are still on course to add 34,200 private sector jobs in 2013. 

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. 

Both of these actions are causing rental prices to rise in New Jersey. 

Foreclosures: 

About 10.5% of all mortgages in the state are in some stage of foreclosure making NJ second in the nation to  Florida which has about 11.9%. 

This figure varies widely by local market.  It is also impacted greatly in areas hit particularly hard by hurricane Sandy (which was just a year ago). 

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 still have fewer listing, more buyers, rising  prices and steady interest (with fears of more increases to come).  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 our more popular 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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