The Top Ten Events in Somerset County, NJ This Weekend June 23 – 25, 2017

The Top Ten Events in Somerset County, NJ This Weekend June 23 – 25, 2017

 

1. Essex Horse Trials, Moorland Farm

2. Pony Tales, Jacobus Vanderveer House

3. 5K Race to Wellness, Colonial Park

4. The Jazz Supper Club Series featuring The James Zeller Trio, The Bernards Inn

5. Glen Burtnik’s Beatles Bash, State Theatre New Jersey

6. Wildlife Treasure Hunt, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary

7. Annual Non-Juried Members’ Exhibition – Opening Reception, Center for Contemporary Art

8. New Moon Midnight March, Environmental Education Center

9. Community Garden Snoop Tour, Duke Farms

10. Meet the River, Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve

 

Check out our full calendar of events!

 


Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Call Joe at (908) 238-0118

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The Top Ten Events in Somerset County, NJ This Weekend June 16 -18, 2017

The Top Ten Events in Somerset County, NJ This Weekend June 16 -18, 2017

 

1. Somerville’s Craft Beer Festival, Downtown Somerville

2. Sourlands Music Festival, Hillsborough Golf & Country Club

3. Pony Up! Festival, United States Equestrian Team Foundation

4. Italian Festa, St. Ann’s – Raritan

5. Middlebrook Symposium, Heritage Trail Association

6. Comedyville Street Jam, Downtown Somerville

7. Bees!, Children’s Museum of Somerset County

8. Keith Sweat, State Theatre of New Jersey

9. Father’s Day Horseback Ride, Lord Stirling Stable

10. Advaned Wine Education: Big, Bold Reds for Father’s Day, Ninety Acres

 

In addition to these fabulous weekend activities, be sure to take a peek at our Father’s Day Weekend Events article for some additional fun!

 

Check out our full calendar of events!

 


Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Call Joe at (908) 238-0118

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Somerset County Tourism Weekend Top 10 – June 2-4, 2017

 Somerset County Tourism Weekend Top 10  – June 2-4, 2017

  1. 1. Sounds Around Town and Art Walk, Downtown Bernardsville
  2. 2. National Trails Day Family Obstacle Course, Environmental Education Center
  3. 3. Homes of Distinction, United States Equestrian Team Headquarters
  4. 4. Jay Leno, State Theatre New Jersey
  5. 5. An Appetizing Afternoon with George Washington, Old Dutch Parsonage
  6. 6. Open Farm Weekend, Bluebird Farm Alpacas
  7. 7. Of Mice and Men, Farmstead Arts Center
  8. 8. Jazz in the Gallery, Watchung Arts Center
  9. 9. Warner Bros. presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, State Theatre New Jersey
  10. 10. Community Garden Snoop Tour, Duke Farms

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Call Joe at (908) 238-0118

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

 Somerset County August sales active with 366 homes sold 

market update

(Below is a market update on the real estate and property activity in Somerset County – including Branchburg, Bridgewater, Somerville and Hillsborough– as of the end of August of 2016. This information is provided by courtesy of Somerset County Realtor Joe Peters.)

In Augustof 2016, 366  properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, as compared to 419 reported as going “under contract” in the prior month. Also 401  properties were newly listed during the same period.  As a result statistics show an overall current supply of about 5 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Somerset County, with an average of 68 days on the market for the units that were sold.

 

 

recapSales broke down as follows:

  • 71 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • And, 24 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • Leaving only 5 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

By townThree areas in Somerset County reported no sales last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Millstone
  • Rocky Hill

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

  • Bernards Township with 43 sales
  • Bridgewater Township with 51 sales
  • Franklin Township with 67 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 51 sales

These four areas combined for over 58% of total sales last month.  The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $546,674 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $436,177 or about 20% 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 Somerset 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

question

Over 20 pages of expert guidance on the latest marketing trends

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

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

 Somerset County May sales active with 467 homes sold 

market update

(Below is a market update on the real estate and property activity in Somerset County – including Branchburg, Bridgewater, Somerville and Hillsborough– as of the end of May of 2016. This information is provided by courtesy of Somerset County Realtor Joe Peters.)

In May of 2016, 467  properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, as compared to 427 reported as going “under contract” in the prior month. Also 630 properties were newly listed during the same period.  As a result statistics show an overall current supply of about 4 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Somerset County, with an average of 54 days on the market for the units that were sold.

 

Sales broke down as follows:

recap

  • 68 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • And, 26 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • Leaving only 6 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

By townThree areas in Somerset County reported no sales last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Millstone
  • Rocky Hill

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

  • Bernards Township with 57 sales
  • Bridgewater Township with 64 sales
  • Franklin Township with 91 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 50 sales

These four areas combined for over 56% of total sales last month.  The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $601,724 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $470,600 or about 22% 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 Somerset 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 April, rising by 11,000+ home purchase contracts vs. one year ago or plus 15% , which marks the 20th increase in a row and the largest increase in February since 2005.  For the year so far , sales rose be by 19% 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 decreased slightly in last month by some 3,o00+ homes vs. one year ago or minus 6%.  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 4.6 month vs. 5.6 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 3.6% 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 2.8% 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 2,300,000 jobs (16% less than in 2015).

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 decrease by 6,400+  jobs in 2015 .  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 90% of those jobs to date.  However, NJ has shown a decline in jobs in three of the past four months but showed a gain of 22,000+ in March.  This is not forecasted to be a long term trend and it is forecasted the New Jersey’s economy will outpace most other states over the next six months. NJ unemployment is down to 4.7% as compared to the national unemployment rate of 5.0%.

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 4.5%.

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 7.4 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 3.1%.

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 69,000+, showing 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 (especially in the 2’s, 3’s and 4’s), 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, most prices under $500K 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.

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.