Hunterdon County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of July of 2017

         Hunterdon County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of July of 2017

Hunterdon County June sales active with 219 homes sold 

Below are the latest Hunterdon County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – including

Clinton Township, Flemington, Raritan Township, Readington Township and the Town of Clinton

This information is provided by courtesy of Hunterdon County Realtor Joe Peters.

In June of 2017, 219 properties went “under contract” in Hunterdon County, down from the 236 “under contract” properties in the prior month. During that same period, 287 properties were newly listed.  Based on the most current month’s contract sales, statistics compiled show an overall current supply of about 4 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Hunterdon County, with an average of 66 days on the market for the units that were sold.

 

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 71 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • Leaving 29 percent of sales were in houses more than $500,000
  • And, only 7 percent of those sales (or 15 sales) were in houses more than $700,000

Only two areas in Hunterdon County reported no sales at all in the past month:

  • Clinton (town)
  • Stockton

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

  • Bloomsbury
  • Hampton
  • Lebanon Boro
  • W Amwell

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

  • Clinton/Clinton Township with 17 sales
  • Raritan Township with 46 sales
  • Readington Township with 29 sales

These three areas combined for 42% of the sales in Hunterdon County last month. The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $483,183 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $421,391 or 13% less.

Note:  In order to get a true picture of the status of your particular property, this needs to be done by price point within your specific town.  I do this as part of my research when listing a property and can do it for you.  I also can show you how the market is currently trending for your particular town.  Just give me a call.

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 proven advice based upon my more than 20 years of experience, with a special emphasis on Hunterdon County.

 

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are:

New Jersey Home Sales:

Home purchase demand increased by 11% in New Jersey during May after a slight decline in the prior month. This is tied to the limited number of homes on the market and these figures run about a month behind.

As there was a 9% increase in May of 2016, home sales have increased by 21% over the past two years.  May’s gain was the highest number of purchase contracts in that month over the past 12 years. And, NJ sales have increased by 6% YTD.

Activity has been most widely seen in the under $400,000 market where the millennial buyers are most active as they transition in to home ownership.  During the same period luxury housing sales showed a slight increase showing confidence in the new administration’s plans on taxes and deregulation.

At the same time, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey, has remained low, and has recently decreased.  The supply has decreased by some 7,400 homes as compared to a year ago or minus 14%.  And, there are currently 28,000+ fewer (-38%) homes on the market in New Jersey than there were at our peak in NJ in 2011.

The current unsold inventory in New Jersey sits at just under 3.8 month vs. 4.8 months a year ago. Hunterdon County has almost 12% less inventory than just a year ago.

Current increasing interest rates (combined with the fear of higher interest rates in the future) combined with the Fed’s slightly loosening lending standards seems to be driving the current market activity.

At this point, it looks as if 2017 is off to a good start.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates at the end of January have recently increased to just under the 4% level at 3.9% for a 30 year conventional mortgage. A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3.2% range. Five and seven year arms are at the 3.15% range.

The combination of the fear of steadily rising rates and slowly rising home prices is a driving factor in the current market.   And, the Fed has already instituted initial increases in rates and are currently talking about more to come. Most industry experts are forecasting  a 4.7% rate by the end of the year, 5% by the end of of 2018 and 5.5% by the end of 2019. If the rate merely increases form 4% to 5%, buyers will loose 9% of their buying power.

National and New Jersey Job Front:

On the national level the US reached full recovery in May of 2014 and saw an increase of 2,700,000+ in 2015. Revised figures show a gain of 2,242,000+ in 2016 (a decrease of 17% from 2015) . And, we are on track to add 2.3000,000 jobs in 2017.  In May 138,000 jobs were added based on preliminary figures which was under the 185,000 expected.

The national U-3 unemployment rate stand at 4.3% at the end of May.  It should be noted, due to full-time and part-time jobs being counted equally by the BLS, these numbers are misleading. Actually, the US Economy still needs to create nearly an additional 2.6+ Million jobs to achieve the same employment situation that existed prior to the start of the 2007 to 2009 recession and the U-6 unemployment rate actually stand at 8.5+%

NJ job growth increase by 65,000+ jobs in 2015 (the best in 15 years). At that pace, NJ was on track to recover all of its jobs lost in the recession by 2017 (3 years later than the national level) and has recovered about 96% of those jobs to date.

Finalized numbers show that this number was more in the range of 59,000 in 2016 (also good).

In March and May, NJ reported large decreases in jobs jobs resulting in a net increase of jobs in the first five months of 2017 of only 100 as compared to 15,700 over the same period in the prior year.

The NJ unemployment rate has decreased slightly to 4.1% which is now under the overall US rate of 4.3%.

NJ still trails the nation and is currently trending flat job growth for the year.

Still consumer confidence in NJ seems to remain high.

Rental Market Trends:

Prior restrictive mortgage standards have forced younger age buyers (millennials) to postpone their transition to home ownership until later in life than was previously seen.  For the most part, these potential buyers have been living with mom and dad or sharing rentals with others in the same situation.

Yet, we are starting to see them now re-enter the rental and first time buyer markets.

The average age of our first time buyer is reported to have risen from 29 to 37 years over the past five years.

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 net result of these actions are continuing to cause rental prices to quickly rise in New Jersey (about +10% annually) and keeping rental inventory extremely low. We currently have a 2.3% vacancy rate in central NJ (with the average rental price topping $1,300) as compared the state vacancy rate of 3.8%.

Contributing to the demand in rentals is the drop in home ownership in NJ which has dropped from 71% to 62% over the past 12+ years.  This is a drop of nearly 13% in NJ as compared to a drop of nearly 8% at the national level and contributes to the slower recovery of home prices in the state.  Also affecting it is the increase in 1 or 2 person households that have no children (now 65%).  This is also reflected in our school population.

As a result of this shift, there are now nearly 300,000 more renters in NJ and very few rental available.

Foreclosures:

NJ continues to face very high foreclosure rate filings while other states have begun to, or already have recovered.

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

NJ still ranks as number one in the country at 4.6% followed by NY and then LA, MS , ME, FL, MD and DE.  Nationally this number is just around 1.7%.

NJ experienced a slightly decreased rate in foreclosure filings. In 2016 there was a 3% decrease over the prior year and added an additional nearly 71,100 filings as compared to 76,800 in 2015.  In 2017 foreclosure filings in NJ are forecasted to be in the vicinity 0f 78,000. These foreclosures will continue to add pressure to home prices (especially in areas where they are concentrated).

The positive news is that in a market starved for inventory, these foreclosures are now only selling at a small discount.

Recap:

Last year, 2016 was not a normal year from the elections viewpoint to the US and NJ economy viewpoint.

And, we did not have a severe winter which has kept the buyers out (also not normal).

2017 has started off strong with increases in the stock market, interest rates and, as a result, an increased consumer confidence.  The affordability index is also fueling this confidence.

Yet, industry forecasters are concerned that this confidence could begin to diminish as interest rates and prices continue to rise.

We saw surge in home sales  (but not prices) in central NJ in 2016 and early 2017.  Especially in the sub $400,000 market.  We are plagued my not having enough inventory in those more popular price points and these sales increases could be even better if we had more inventory.  But, as inventory builds up as prices continue to rise (and people are no longer under water), this should have a positive effect on prices.  In 2016 we saw a less than 1% rise in prices in NJ.  In 2017 prices have already risen by about 3% in the more popular price points. And, it is dependent on location and price point.

Year over year in 2017 we have seen a 3% rise so far and it is predicted the this should rise to 5% by end of year in NJ.  Once again, this dependent on location and price point

We are also seeing people in their home over 10 years thinking about making a change.   They were reluctant over the past five or so years because of the poor economy.  Their equity has built back up and they now can more comfortably make a change and is now rising greatly as the portion of payments going towards principal has increased.

We are seeing the most effect on prices in the under $400K markets where the first time buyers and millennials are shopping.  The just over $500K market is holding steady to diminishing slightly depending on location and price.  A lot of times when a $500K property come on the market, it is completing with a $600K that really needs to sell is and now in the $500s competing with them (and so on…). And, in the higher price points there is definite pressure on pricing.

There is also minimal new construction in  our area which adds additional value to the current inventory.

And, the foreclosures are to some extent helping to offset the fewer listings.

Net, net:  As either a seller or buyer, the time could not be better to be in the market.  We still have low (but increasing) interest rates, a pent up demand from both a buyer and seller viewpoint and a very active market with increasing prices in the more popular price points.  Give me a call at 908-238-0118 to discuss your particular situation and let me put my expertise to work for you.

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.

Request a monthly copy of this newsletter to be sent to you here. 


Where to celebrate the Fourth of July in Hunterdon County

Reposted from NJAdvancedMedia

Where to celebrate the Fourth of July in Hunterdon County
There are several places to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks in Hunterdon County.

  • Lambertville and New Hope have fireworks on the Delaware at 9:30 p.m. on July 1; delawarerivertowns.com
  • Flemington-Raritan Parks and Recreation hosts fireworks at 9 p.m. July 3 at Reading Fleming Intermediate School in Flemington. Rain date July 5; flemingtonraritanparks.org
  • Lebanon’s Fourth of July Parade, the oldest in the county, steps off at 10 a.m. on July 4 and moves west along Main Street, down Myrtle and Brunswick avenues. Roads into the borough close at 9 a.m.; lebanonboro4thofjulyparade.com
  • There will be fireworks at the Califon Fire Company’s carnival on July 6 and 8; califonfire.org

Hunterdon County’s first attempt at celebrating the Fourth of July did not go as planned. Back in 1876, when the idea to have a Hunterdon County-wide July 4 celebration was first floated, it had everyone “kerflumixed,” according to the Hunterdon County Democrat.

Instead, the paper reported: “Today is the 4th – when our whole people should be united in shouting! So long a period of prosperity in our glorious Republic. But instead, the county celebration is in the hands of Young America to indulge in fire crackers and powder. That will be all to remind us of our 100th birthday.”

The ultimate N.J. fireworks guide

Pyrotechnics, parades and more, for more than 160 events in all 21 counties

The biggest celebration of the Fourth of July in 1901 in Hunterdon County was in Sergeantsville, “when the celebrated Germanic 25-piece band entertained, many historical anecdotes were related, and there were fireworks in the field next to Williamson’s Grove. It was a success in every way except financial.”

Fourth of July celebrations were hampered by a truck drivers’ strike in 1951.

“Only one store in Flemington had bread of any kind at 5 p.m. Tuesday when the pre-holiday rush for foodstuffs was on,” according to the Democrat. “The Acme Store received an extra shipment from the company’s Philadelphia bakeries but by 5 o’clock it was nearly gone.

“None of the other county seat food stores had a single loaf of bread, a hot dog or hamburger roll. Reason for the scarcity of the staff of life was the AFL bakery truck drivers’ strike in New York City and metropolitan New Jersey. By Tuesday the strike had hit Trenton, but not Philadelphia.”

Hunterdon once had no interest in Fourth of July

Hunterdon County was not always so fast to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The outcome was much better in 1976, during the nation’s Bicentennial celebration, when “Only a brief but heavy shower in the late afternoon and a monumental traffic jam after the fireworks marked an otherwise perfect day and night Fourth of July show at the Fairgrounds (in Flemington).

“The traffic jam developed close to 11 p.m. after more than an hour-long fireworks show, judged by most to be the longest and most resplendent in Hunterdon history, thanks to Dean Iorio and his crew.”


Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Call Joe at (908) 238-0118


 

Guides to buying or selling your home

Hunterdon County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of September of 2016

Hunterdon County August sales active with 173 homes sold

market-update

(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 August of 2016  This information is provided by courtesy of Hunterdon County Realtor Joe Peters.)

In August of 2016, 173 properties went “under contract” in Hunterdon County, up from the 159 “under contract” properties in the prior month. During that same period, 211 properties were newly listed.  As a result, statistics compiled show an overall current supply of about 6 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Hunterdon County, with an average of 95 days on the market for the units that were sold. Sales broke down as follows:

 

recap

 

  • 75 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • Leaving 25 percent of sales were in houses more than $500,000
  • And, only 7 percent of those sales (or 12 sales) were in houses more than $700,000

By townOne area in Hunterdon County reported no sales at all in the past month:

  • Bloomsbury

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

  • Frenchtown
  • Glen Gardner
  • Hampton
  • Lebanon
  • Stockton

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

  • Clinton/Clinton Township with 15 sales
  • Raritan Township with 41 sales
  • Readington Township with 18 sales

These three areas combined for 43% of the sales in Hunterdon County last month. The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $431,534 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $404,889 or 6% 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 proven advice based upon my more than 20 years of experience, with 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 demand increased in New Jersey during July, rising by a plus 2%, which marks the 23rd monthly increase in a row.  On a year over year basis this gives us a 21% increase.

On a year to date basis , sales rose be by 13% vs. the prior year.  The increase has been most widely seen in the under $400,000 market where the millennial buyers are most active as they transition in to home ownership.  During the same period (priced above $2,500,000) decreased by 3% reflecting the increase in first time buyers.

At the same time, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey, has remained low, and has recently decreased.  The supply has decreased by some 6,000 homes as compared to a year ago or minus 10%.  And, there are currently 22,000+ fewer (-30%) homes on the market in New Jersey than there were at our peak in NJ in 2011.

The current unsold inventory in New Jersey sits at just under 5.3 month vs. 5.9 month a year ago.

Current steady to slightly decreasing interest rates (combined with the fear of higher interest rates in the future) combined with the Fed’s slightly loosening lending standards seems to be driving the current market activity.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates have remained at just below the 3.5% level for a 30 year conventional mortgage. A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3% range. Five and seven year arms are in the 2.75% range.

The combination of the fear of rising rates and slowly rising home prices is driving the current market.  And, we have seen several industry experts state that the economy could support a 6 to 7% interest rate making you wonder what is coming down the pike.  And, the Fed has already instituted an initial increase in rates. Most industry experts are forecasting at laeast a 1% increase for this time next year (which would decrease buying power by about 9%).

New Jersey Job Front:

On the national level the US reached full recovery in May of 2014 and saw an increase of 2,700,000+ in 2015.  After a slow start, only approximately 1,300,000 gave been reported so far year to date.  If this pace continues, the 2016 number is forecasted to be 2,200,000 jobs as compared to last years increase. This is a drop of 19%.

It should be noted, due to full-time and part-time jobs being counted equally by the BLS, these numbers are misleading. Actually, the US Economy still needs to create an additional 3+ Million jobs to achieve the same employment situation that existed prior to the start of the recession.

NJ job growth increase by 65,000+ jobs in 2015 (the best in 15 years). At that pace, NJ is on track to recover all of its jobs lost in the recession by the end 2016 (3 years later than the national level) and has recovered about 98% of those jobs to date.

However, NJ has shown an decrease of 4,700 in jobs added July after continuing its erratic record for the year so far (there were job declines in five of the first seven months in 2016) showing a gain of 8,900+ jobs year to date as compared to 34,600 jobs added last year.  The NJ unemployment rate has increased for the fifth consecutive month to 5.2% which now surpasses the overall US rate of 4.9%.

Rental Market Trends:

Prior restrictive mortgage standards have forced younger age buyers (millennials) to postpone their transition to home ownership until later in life than was previously seen.  For the most part, these potential have been living with mom and dad or sharing rentals with others in the same situation.

Yet, we are starting to see them now re-enter the rental and first time buyer markets.

The average age of our first time buyer is reported to have risen from 29 to 37 years over the past five years.

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 net result of these actions are continuing to cause rental prices to quickly rise in New Jersey (about 10% annually) and keeping rental inventory extremely low (we currently have a 3.4% vacancy rate in NJ (with the average rental price topping $1,400) as compared the national vacancy rat of 4.5%.

Contributing to the demand in rentals is the drop in home ownership in NJ which has dropped from 71% to 60% over the past 10+ years.  This is a drop of 15% in NJ as compared to a drop of 9% at the national level and contributes to the slower recovery of home prices in the state.

Foreclosures:

NJ continues to face very high foreclosure rate filings while other states have begun to, or already have recovered.

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

The percentage of delinquent mortgage loans in NJ that are 90+ days past due has fell to 6.5 percent (which is down from 11.4% four years earlier).  This ranks NJ as number one in the country followed by NY and then FL, MI , ME,  MD and RI.  Nationally this number is just around 2.8%.

NJ is experiencing an increased rate in foreclosure filings while most states are seeing the reverse of this. In 2105 there was a 15% increase over the prior year and added an additional nearly 77,000 filings.  For 2016 the foreclosure filing rate in NJ is forecasted to be nearly 73,000, a slight improvement.  These foreclosures will continue to add pressure to home prices (especially in areas where they are concentrated).

The positive news is that in a market starved for inventory, these foreclosures are now only selling at a small discount.

Recap:

2016 has not been a normal year from the upcoming elections viewpoint to the US and NJ economy viewpoint.

Yet, we have seen a surge in home sale in central NJ in 2016.  Especially in the sub $400K market.  We are still plagued my not having enough inventory in those more popular price points and these sales increases could be even better if we had more inventory.  But, as inventory builds up as prices continue to rise (and people are no longer under water), this should have a positive effect on prices.  Year to date we have seen a 1+% rise in prices in NJ.  It is forecasted to be under 4%, but time will tell. And, it is dependent on location and price point.

We are also starting to see people in their home over 10 years thinking about making a change.  They were reluctant over the pas five or so years because of the poor economy.

We are seeing the most effect on prices in the under $400K markets where the first time buyers and millennials are shopping.  The over $500K market is holding steady to diminishing slightly depending on location and price.

And, the foreclosures are to some extent helping to offset the fewer listings.

Net, net:  As either a seller or buyer, the time could not be better to be in the market.  We have the lowest interest rates in history, a pent up demand from both a buyer and seller viewpoint and a very active market with slightly increasing prices.  Give me a call at 908-238-0118 to discuss your particular situation and let me put my expertise to work for you.

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.

———————————————————–

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Weichert, Realtors

Call Joe at (908) 238-0118

Meet Joe Peters
View my latest monthly real estate newsletter for Hunterdon and Somerset County

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Over 20 pages of expert guidance on the latest marketing trends

and methods for buying or selling your home by available here.

 

 

 

Hunterdon County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – for June of 2016

Hunterdon County May sales active with 204 homes sold

market-update

(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 May of 2016  This information is provided by courtesy of Hunterdon County Realtor Joe Peters.)

In May of 2016, 204 properties went “under contract” in Hunterdon County, up from the 200 “under contract” properties in the prior month. During that same period, 254 properties were newly listed.  As a result, statistics compiled show an overall current supply of about 5 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Hunterdon County, with an average of 77 days on the market for the units that were sold. Sales broke down as follows:

recap

 

 

  • 73 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • Leaving 27 percent of sales were in houses more than $500,000
  • And, only 7 percent of those sales (or 15 sales) were in houses more than $700,000

By town

Two areas in Hunterdon County reported no sales at all in the past month:

  • Milford
  • Stockton

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

  • Bloomsbury
  • Califon
  • Flemington
  • Glen Gardner
  • Hampton

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

  • Clinton/Clinton Township with 23 sales
  • Raritan Township with 50 sales
  • Readington Township with 27 sales

These three areas combined for 49% of the sales in Hunterdon County last month. The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $530,357 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $421,103 or 21% 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 proven advice based upon my more than 20 years of experience, with 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 demand increased in New Jersey during March, rising by 10,000+ home purchase contracts vs. one year ago or plus 23% , which marks the 19th increase in a row and the largest increase in February since 2005.  For the year so far , sales rose be by 21% vs. the prior year.  The increase has been most widely seen in the under $400,000 market where the millennial buyers are most active as they transition in to home ownership.

At the same time, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey, has remained low, and has recently decreased.  The supply has increased slightly in last two months by some 1,100+ homes vs. one year ago or plus 2%.  And, there are currently 23,000+ fewer (-31%) homes on the market in New Jersey than there were at our peak in NJ in 2011.

The current unsold inventory in New Jersey sits at just under 5 month vs. 5.9 month a year ago.

Current steady to slightly decreasing interest rates (combined with the fear of higher interest rates in the future) combined with the Fed’s slightly loosening lending standards seems to be driving the current market activity.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates have inched up and are at just under the 3.75% level for a 30 year conventional mortgage. A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3% range. Five and seven year arms are in the 2.86% range.

The combination of the fear of rising rates and slowly rising home prices is driving the current market.  And, we have seen several industry experts state that the economy could support a 6 to 7% interest rate making you wonder what is coming down the pike.  And, the Fed has already instituted an initial increase in rates. Most industry experts are forecasting an upper 4% number for this time next year (which would decrease buying power by about 9%).

New Jersey Job Front:

On the national level the US reached full recovery in May of 2014 and saw an increase of 2,700,000+ non-farm jobs last year.  In 2016 this number is forecasted to be 2,500,000 jobs.

It should be noted, due to full-time and part-time jobs being counted equally by the BLS, these numbers are misleading. Actually, the US Economy still needs to create an additional 3+ Million jobs to achieve the same employment situation that existed prior to the start of the recession.

NJ job growth increase by 65,000+ jobs in 2015 (the best in 15 years). NJ is on track to recover all of its jobs lost in the recession by the end 2016 (3 years later than the national level) and has recovered about 83% of those jobs to date.  However, NJ has shown a third consecutive month of job declines in March showing a loss of 3,600+ jobs year to date.  This is not forecasted to be a long term trend and it is forecasted the New Jersey’s economy will outpace most other stats over the next six months. NJ unemployment is down to 4.4% which is the lowest since 2007.

Rental Market Trends:

Prior restrictive mortgage standards have forced younger age buyers (millennials) to postpone their transition to home ownership until later in life than was previously seen.  For the most part, these potential have been living with mom and dad or sharing rentals with others in the same situation.

Yet, we are starting to see them now re-enter the rental and first time buyer markets.

The average age of our first time buyer is reported to have risen from 29 to 37 years over the past five years.

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 net result of these actions are continuing to cause rental prices to quickly rise in New Jersey (about 10% annually) and keeping rental inventory extremely low (we currently have a 3.5% vacancy rate in NJ with the average rental price topping $1,400). The national vacancy rate is now 4.4%.

Foreclosures:

NJ continues to face very high foreclosure rate filings while other states have begun to, or already have recovered.

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

The percentage of delinquent mortgage loans in NJ that are 90+ days past due has held at 7.5 percent (which is down from 11.4% three years earlier).  This ranks NJ as number one in the country followed by NY and then FL, MI , ME,  MD and RI.  Nationally this number is just around 3.2%.

NJ is experiencing an increased rate in foreclosure filings while most states are seeing the reverse of this. In 2105 there was a 14% increase over the prior year and added an additional nearly 77,000 filings.  For 2016 the foreclosure filing rate in NJ is forecasted to be around 67,000, a slight improvement.  These foreclosures will continue to add pressure to home prices (especially in areas where they are concentrated).

The positive news is that in a market starved for inventory, these foreclosures are now only selling at a small discount.

Recap:

We still have fewer listings, an a very very active buyer market for early 2016, stable to increasing prices in some of the most popular price points and increasing interest + slightly loosening lending standards.  The result is a mixed market based on location and price point, but very active for this time of the year.  The foreclosures are to some extent helping to offset the fewer listings.  As a result, prices have continued to rise.

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.

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Weichert, Realtors.

Meet Joe Peters
View my latest monthly real estate newsletter for Hunterdon and Somerset County

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Over 20 pages of expert guidance on the latest marketing trends

and methods for buying or selling your home by available here.

 

 

 

Hunterdon County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – for April of 2016

Hunterdon County March sales active with 162 homes sold

market-update

(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 March of 2016  This information is provided by courtesy of Hunterdon County Realtor Joe Peters.)

 

In March of 2016, 162  properties went “under contract” in Hunterdon County, up from the 126 “under contract” properties in the prior month. During that same period, 319 properties were newly listed.  As a result, statistics compiled show an overall current supply of about 6 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Hunterdon County, with an average of 94 days on the market for the units that were sold. Sales broke down as follows:

 

  • reca75 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • Leaving 25 percent of sales were in houses more than $500,000
  • And, only 7 percent of those sales (or 11 sales) were in houses more than $700,000

By townTwo areas in Hunterdon County reported no sales at all in the past month:

  • Bloomsbury
  • Stockton

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

  • Califon
  • Delaware
  • Frenchtown
  • Glen Gardner
  • Hampton

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

  • Clinton/Clinton Township with 25 sales
  • Raritan Township with 34 sales
  • Readington Township with 21 sales

These three areas combined for 49% of the sales in Hunterdon County last month. The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $525,802 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $431,773 or 18% 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 proven advice based upon my more than 20 years of experience, with 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 demand increased in New Jersey during February, rising by 8,000+ home purchase contracts vs. one year ago or plus 26% , which marks the 18th increase in a row and the largest increase in February since 2005.  For the year so far , sales rose be by 22% vs. the prior year.  The increase has been most widely seen in the under $600,000 market where the millennial buyers are most active as they transition in to home ownership.

At the same time, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey, has remained low, and has recently decreased.  The supply has increased slightly in February by some 1,400+ homes vs. one year ago or plus 3%.  And, there are currently 26,000+ fewer (-35%) homes on the market in New Jersey than there were at our peak in NJ in 2011.

The current unsold inventory in New Jersey sits at just under 6 month vs. 7.2 month a year ago.

Current steady to slightly decreasing interest rates (combined with the fear of higher interest rates in the future) combined with the Fed’s slightly loosening lending standards seems to be driving the current market activity.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates have inched up and are at just under the 3.75% level for a 30 year conventional mortgage. A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3% range. Five and seven year arms are in the 2.75% range.

The combination of the fear of rising rates and slowly rising home prices is driving the current market.  And, we have seen several industry experts state that the economy could support a 6 to 7% interest rate making you wonder what is coming down the pike.  And, the Fed has already instituted an initial increase in rates. Most industry experts are forecasting an upper 4% number for this time next year (which would decrease buying power by about 9%).

New Jersey Job Front:

On the national level the US reached full recovery in May of 2014 and saw an increase of 2,700,000+ non-farm jobs last year.

It should be noted, due to full-time and part-time jobs being counted equally by the BLS, these numbers are misleading. Actually, the US Economy still needs to create an additional 3+ Million jobs to achieve the same employment situation that existed prior to the start of the recession.

NJ job growth increase by 65,000+ jobs in 2015 (the best in 15 years). NJ is on track to recover all of its jobs lost in the recession by the end 2016 (3 years later than the national level) and has recovered about 83% of those jobs to date.  However, NJ has shown a second consecutive month of job declines in February showing a loss of 24,000+ jobs year to date.  This is not forecasted to be a long term trend and it is forecasted the New Jersey’s economy will outpace most other stats over the next six months. NJ unemployment is down to 4.3% which is the lowest since 2007.

Rental Market Trends:

Prior restrictive mortgage standards have forced younger age buyers (millennials) to postpone their transition to home ownership until later in life than was previously seen.  For the most part, these potential have been living with mom and dad or sharing rentals with others in the same situation.

Yet, we are starting to see them now re-enter the rental and first time buyer markets.

The average age of our first time buyer is reported to have risen from 29 to 37 years over the past five years.

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 net result of these actions are continuing to cause rental prices to quickly rise in New Jersey (about 10% annually) and keeping rental inventory extremely low (we currently have a 3.4% vacancy rate in NJ with the average rental price topping $1,400). The national vacancy rate is now 4.4%.

Foreclosures:

NJ continues to face very high foreclosure rate filings while other states have begun to, or already have recovered.

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

The percentage of delinquent mortgage loans in NJ that are 90+ days past due has declined slightly to 7.5 percent (which is down from 11.4% three years earlier).  This ranks NJ as number one in the country followed by NY and then FL, MI , ME,  MD and RI.  Nationally this number is just around 3.2%.

NJ is experiencing an increased rate in foreclosure filings while most states are seeing the reverse of this. In 2105 there was a 14% increase over the prior year and added an additional nearly 77,000 filings.  For 2016 the foreclosure filing rate in NJ is forecasted to be around 68,000, a slight improvement.  These foreclosures will continue to add pressure to home prices (especially in areas where they are concentrated).

The positive news is that in a market starved for inventory, these foreclosures are now only selling at a small discount.

Recap:

We still have fewer listings, an a very very active buyer market for early 2016, stable to increasing prices in some of the most popular price points and increasing interest + slightly loosening lending standards.  The result is a mixed market based on location and price point, but very active for this time of the year.  The foreclosures are to some extent helping to offset the fewer listings.  As a result, prices have continued to rise.

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.

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Weichert, Realtors.

Meet Joe Peters
View my latest monthly real estate newsletter for Hunterdon and Somerset County

ask_joe.jpg

Over 20 pages of expert guidance on the latest marketing trends

and methods for buying or selling your home by available here.