Somerset County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of June of 2017 – Warren Township Real Estate Edition

Somerset County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of June of 2017 – Warren Township Real Estate Edition

Somerset County May sales active with 484 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

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

In May, 484 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, as compared to 413 reported as going “under contract” in the prior month. During that same period, 611 properties were newly listed during the same period.  As a result, statistics show an overall current supply of about 3 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Somerset County, with an average of 46 days on the market for the units that were sold.

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 62 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • And, 32 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • Leaving only 7 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

Only one areas in Somerset County reported no sales last month:

  • Millstone

And two had only 2 sales or less:

  • Far Hills
  • Raritan Boro

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

  • Bridgewater Township with 83 sales
  • Franklin Township with 77 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 70 sales

These three areas combined for 47% of total sales last month.  The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $640,936 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $494,895 or about 23% 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 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 Somerset County.

Warren Township Statistics:

  • There were 43 new listings in Warren Township in March.
  • The average list price for the 43 new listings was 824,924.
  • There are 136 homes for sale in Warren Township as of this writing.
  • Of the 136 homes for sale, 13 are community properties (such as town houses and condos) and five are in our 55+ communities
  • Twenty-five homes have gone under contract in the past 30 days with an average list price of $934,176.
  • Giving us 5 months of inventory
  • The average day on market for the twenty-five that sold was 49.

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are:

New Jersey Home Sales:

Home purchase demand declined by 7% in New Jersey during April after 31 months in a row of increases. This is tied to the limited number of homes on the market and these figures run about a month behind.

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 7,100 homes as compared to a year ago or minus 14%.  And, there are currently 29,000+ fewer (-40%) 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 4.2 month vs. 4.6 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 (even with last month’s slight decline).

Interest Rates:

Interest rates at the end of January have recently increased to just over the 4% level 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 3.07% range.

The combination of the fear of steadily rising rates and slowly rising home prices is driving the current market.   And, the Fed has already instituted an initial increase 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.  This is a decrease of 17% from 2015 . In April 211,000 jobs were added based on preliminary figures which represents a strong start.

The national U-3 unemployment rate stand at 4.4% at the end of April.  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 9+%

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 will be more in the range of 59,000 in 2016 (also good).

In March thru April NJ reported a loss of 12,800 jobs resulting in a net increase of jobs in the first four months of 2017 of 12,000 as compared to 19,300 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 4.4%.

In general, things are headed in the right direction, but NJ still trails the nation.

This is resulting in local consumer confidence in NJ.

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 3.2% vacancy rate in NJ (with the average rental price topping $1,300) as compared the national vacancy rate of 4.3%.

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.  This is also reflected in our school population.

As a result of this shift, there are now nearly 300,000 more renters in NJ.

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 4.8% followed by NY and then LA, MS , ME, FL, MD and DE.  Nationally this number is just around 2.2%.

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 76,000. 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).

And, 2017 has started off strong with increases in the stock market, interest rates and, as a result, an increased consumer confidence.

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.  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 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, 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. 


Somerset County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of May of 2017 – Warren Township Edition

Somerset County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of May of 2017 – Warren Township Edition

Somerset County April sales active with 413 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

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

In May, 413 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, as compared to 429 reported as going “under contract” in the prior month. During that same period, 602 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 53 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
  • And, 25 percent of sales were in houses between $500,000 and $1 Million
  • Leaving only 4 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

Three areas in Somerset County reported no sales last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Millstone
  • Rocky Hill

And two had only3 sales or less:

  • Peapack/Gladstone
  • Raritan Boro

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

  • Bridgewater Township with 68 sales
  • Franklin Township with 83 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 48 sales

These three areas combined for 48% of total sales last month.  The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $608,108 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $448,808 or about 26% 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 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 Somerset County.  Meet Joe Peters (short video)

Warren County Statistics:

  • There were 41 new listings in Warren Township in March.
  • The average list price for the 41 new listings was 967,384.
  • There are 118 homes for sale in Warren Township as of this writing.
  • Of the 118 homes for sale, nine are community properties (such as town houses and condos) and five are in our 55+ communities
  • Nineteen homes have gone under contract in the past 30 days with an average list price of $764,147.
  • Giving us 6 months of inventory
  • The average day on market for the fifteen that sold was 81.

 

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are:

New Jersey Home Sales:

Home purchase demand increased in New Jersey during March (these figures run about a month behind) showing strong consumer, rising by a plus 10% over the same month last year, which marks the 31st monthly increase in a row.

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 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 8,700 homes as compared to a year ago or minus 17%.  And, there are currently 32,000+ fewer (-43%) 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 3.7 month vs. 4.9 month 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 strong start.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates at the end of January have recently increased to just over the 4% level for a 30 year conventional mortgage.A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3.25% range. Five and seven year arms are at the 3.12% range.

The combination of the fear of steadily 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 and are currently talking about more to come. Most industry experts are forecasting at least another 3/4% increase for this time next year (which would decrease buying power by about 9%).

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.  This is a decrease of 17% from 2015 . In March only 98,000 jobs were added based on preliminary figures which represents a strong start.

The national U-3 unemployment rate stand at 4.5% at the end of March.  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 9.5%

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 will be more in the range of 59,000 in 2016 (also good).

In march NJ reported a loss of 17,500 jobs resulting in a net increase of jobs in the first quarter of 7,300.

The NJ unemployment rate has decreased slightly to 4.2% which is now under the overall US rate of 4.5%.

In general, things are headed in the right direction, but still trail the nation.

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 3.2% vacancy rate in NJ (with the average rental price topping $1,300) as compared the national vacancy rate of nearly 7%.

Contributing to the demand in rentals is the drop in home ownership in NJ which has dropped from 71% to 64% over the past 10+ years.  This is a drop of 10% in NJ as compared to a drop of 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.  This is also reflected in our school population.

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 followed by NY and then LA, MS , ME, FL, MD and DE.  Nationally this number is just around 2.6%.

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.  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).

And, 2017 has started off strong with increases in the stock market, interest rates and  as a result in increased consumer confidence.

We saw surge in home sales  (but not prices) in central NJ in 2016 and earl 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.  And, it is 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.

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.  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, 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 slightly 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. 


Somerset County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – Warren Township Edition – as of April of 2017

 Somerset County March sales active with 429 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

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

In February, 429 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, as compared to 352 reported as going “under contract” in the prior month. During that same period, 550 properties were newly listed during the same period.  As a result, statistics show an overall current supply of about 3 months (4 to 6 months is a normal market) for Somerset County, with an average of 60 days on the market for the units that were sold.

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 64 percent of sales were in houses under $500,000
  • And, 30 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

Three  two areas in Somerset County reported no sales last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Rocky Hill

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

  • Bridgewater Township with 58 sales
  • Franklin Township with 89 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 50 sales

These three areas combined for 46% of total sales last month.  The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $594,795 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $476,201 or about 20% 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 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 Somerset County.  Meet Joe Peters (short video)

 

Warren County Statistics:

  • There were 37 new listings in Warren Township in March.
  • The average list price for the 37 new listings was $1,036,932.
  • There are 103 homes for sale in Warren Township as of this writing.
  • Of the 103 homes for sale, twelve are community properties (such as town houses and condos) and six are in our 55+ communities
  • Nineteen homes have gone under contract in the past 30 days with an average list price of $837,784.
  • Giving us 5 months of inventory
  • The average day on market for the fifteen that sold was 74.

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are:

New Jersey Home Sales:

Home purchase demand increased in New Jersey during February (these figures run about a month behind) showing strong consumer, rising by a plus 35% over the same month last year, which marks the 30th monthly increase in a row.

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 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 6,700 homes as compared to a year ago or minus 14%.  And, there are currently 32,000+ fewer (-44%) 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 4.7 month vs. 5.9 month 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 strong start.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates at the end of January have recently increased to just over the 4.2% level for a 30 year conventional mortgage (10 basis point move). A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3.5% range. Five and seven year arms are at the 3.25% range.

The combination of the fear of steadily 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 and are currently talking about more to come. Most industry experts are forecasting at least another 3/4% increase for this time next year (which would decrease buying power by about 9%).

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.  This is a decrease of 17% from 2015 . In January and February 473,000 jobs were added based on preliminary figures which represents a strong start.

The national U-3 unemployment rate stand at 4.7% at the end of February.  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 9.5%

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 will be more in the range of 59,000 in 2016 (also good).

The NJ unemployment rate has decreased slightly to 4.4% which is now under the overall US rate of 4.8%.

In general, things are headed in the right direction, but still trail the nation.

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 2.2% vacancy rate in central NJ (with the average rental price topping $1,330) as compared the national vacancy rate of 6.8%.

Contributing to the demand in rentals is the drop in home ownership in NJ which has dropped from 71% to 64% over the past 10+ years.  This is a drop of 10% in NJ as compared to a drop of 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.  This is also reflected in our school population.

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 is at  5.7 percent (which is down from 11.4% four to five years earlier).  This ranks NJ as number one in the country followed by NY and then LA, MS , ME, FL, MD and DE.  Nationally this number is just around 2.6%.

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.  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).

And, 2017 has started off strong with increases in the stock market, interest rates and  as a result in increased consumer confidence.

We saw surge in home sales  (but not prices) in central NJ in 2016 and earl 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.  And, it is 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.

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.  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, 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 slightly 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. 


Somerset County’s Real Estate Market Conditions – as of March of 2017 – Warren Township Edition

 Somerset County February sales active with 352 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

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

In February, 352 properties went “under contract” in Somerset County, as compared to 237 reported as going “under contract” in the prior month. During that same period, 418 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 66 days on the market for the units that were sold.

Sales broke down as follows:

  • 72 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 4 percent of sales were in houses more than $1 Million

Three  areas in Somerset County reported no sales last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Millstone
  • Rocky Hill

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

  • Bridgewater Township with 46 sales
  • Franklin Township with 62 sales
  • Hillsborough Township with 49 sales

These three areas combined for 47% of total sales last month.  The average new listing coming on the market last month was at nearly $618,022 while the average price of a unit going “under contract” was at nearly $432,386 or about 30% 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 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 Somerset County.  Meet Joe Peters (short video)

 

Warren County Statistics:

  • There are 101 homes for sale in Warren Township as of this writing.
  • There were 35 new listings in Warren Township in February
  • The average list price for the new listings was $1,053,082.
  • Of the 101 homes for sale, twelve are community properties (such as town houses and condos) and four are in our 55+ communities
  • Fifteen home gone under contract in the past 30 days with an average list price of $671,633.
  • Giving us 7 months’ of inventory
  • The average day on market for the fifteen that sold was 51.

Other conditions impacting sales in our area are:

New Jersey Home Sales:

Home purchase demand increased in New Jersey during January, rising by a plus 14% over the same month last year, which marks the 29th monthly increase in a row.

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 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 5,400 homes as compared to a year ago or minus 14%.  And, there are currently 34,000+ fewer (-47%) 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 5.4 month vs. 7.0 month 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.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates at the end of January have recently increased to just around the 4.2% level for a 30 year conventional mortgage (10 basis point move). A fifteen year conventional mortgages is at just under the 3.4% range. Five and seven year arms are under the 3.2% range.

The combination of the fear of steadily 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 and are currently talking about more to come. Most industry experts are forecasting at least another 3/4% increase for this time next year (which would decrease buying power by about 9%).

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.  This is a decrease of 17% from 2015 . In January 227,000 jobs were added based on preliminary figures which represents a strong start.

The national U-3 unemployment rate stand at 4.8% at the end of January.  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 9.5%

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.

Preliminary numbers show that this number will be more in the range of 13,500 in 2016. This is a loss of 80% over the prior year.

NJ has shown an increase of 3,100 in jobs added December (year end numbers are still not out) after continuing its erratic record for the year so far (there were job declines in six of the twelve months in 2016).  The NJ unemployment rate has decreased slightly to 4.7% which is now under the overall US rate of 4.8%.

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 3.2% vacancy rate in central NJ (with the average rental price topping $1,330) as compared the national vacancy rate of 6.8%.

Contributing to the demand in rentals is the drop in home ownership in NJ which has dropped from 71% to 64% over the past 10+ years.  This is a drop of 10% in NJ as compared to a drop of 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.  This is also reflected in our school population.

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 increased to 5.7 percent (which is down from 11.4% four to five years earlier).  This ranks NJ as number one in the country followed by NY and then LA, MS , ME, FL, MD and DE.  Nationally this number is just around 2.6%.

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 74,200 filings as compared to 76,800 in 2015.  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 was been 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.

2017 has started off strong with increases in the stock market, interest rates and consumer confidence.

We saw surge in home sales in central NJ in 2016 and earl 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.  Year to date we have seen a 2 to 3% rise in prices in NJ.  And, it is 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.

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.  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, 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 slightly 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. 


Next Steps after Warren Township Planning Board Votes Unanimously to Recommend Redevelopment Zone for King George Inn in Warren Township

Reposted from TAPintoWarren

WARREN, NJ – In case you missed it, with a room full with supporters of the King George Inn, the Warren Township Planning Board voted, 10-0, to recommend the property be designated as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment at their meeting on Monday night.

Many of the supporters wore Burger King crowns revised to say, “Save the KGI.” At the time of the meeting, a petition to “Save the King George Inn had 1,178 signatures.

The article can be found here: Warren Township Planning Board Votes Unanimously to Recommend Redevelopment Zone for King George Inn(with video)

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/warren/articles/warren-township-planning-board-votes-unanimously

The next meeting of the Warren Township Committee is Thursday, Feb. 16. Township Committeeman Gary DiNardo, who sits on the Planning Board, said the committee will vote on the recommendation at an upcoming meeting, though not necessarily the next meeting.

The agenda for Thursday is:

http://warrennj.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/02-16-17_TC-REGULAR-FEB-16.pdf

The next meeting of the planning board is scheduled for Feb. 27.

Of the planning board meeting Max Hayden III said, “We spoke and they listened.  This is how it’s supposed to work – and work is what we all have ahead to ensure that this building is saved; however, the planning board laid the groundwork with their vote to approve the redevelopment plan with a non-condemnation provision and a promise to work to  preserve the building.  So many eloquent and passionate speakers on both sides of the table.  It should make us all proud to have been active in this first step and spur us on to greater actions.  I am deeply indebted to you all.”

 

Warren Township Planning Board Votes Unanimously to Recommend Redevelopment Zone for King George Inn

WARREN, NJ – With a room full with supporters of the King George Inn, the Warren Township Planning Board voted, 10-0, to recommend the property be designated as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment at their meeting on Monday night.

Many of the supporters wore Burger King crowns revised to say, “Save the KGI.” At the time of the meeting, a petition to “Save the King George Inn had 1,178 signatures.

https://www.change.org/p/save-the-king-george-inn

On the agenda was the Redevelopment Area Public Hearing for 181 Mount Bethel Road, Block 78, lot 12, the King George Inn property.

Warren Township Planning Board chairman Peter Villani explained to the crowd that the meeting was about a redevelopment plan and that although there’s been a lot of talk of the possibility of apartments or stores or offices going in there, that discussion might, ” be for another day but that’s not for tonight.”

Warren Township Planner John Chadwick explained that the creation of a redevelopment zone allows the township to control aspects of development down to the appearance and architecture of the buildings and gives the township, “a heck of a lot more control over what goes on.”

“We don’t know what is going to happen here, but we don’t want the building to disappear in the process,” Chadwick said.

The Township Committee passed a resolution in December authorizing the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation into whether the property is an area in need of redevelopment, and to make a recommendation back to the committee.

Chadwick said that he’s found the building to be in need of redevelopment but the township has not authorized the building inspector to inspect the building, because he believes the inspector would find the building to be derelict and would then be obliged to recommend that the building be demolished.

“We, being the Township of Warren, don’t own that building,” Chadwick said. That isn’t going to be our investment. Somebody is going to make that decision, and we’re going to try to influence its outcome with all the efforts we have.”

Maximilian James Hayden III, whose family owned and operated the King George Inn,  testified that the building can, and should, be saved, if township officials think outside the box and find an “adaptive re-use” for the building.

Hayden is an architect, and is chair of the Hopewell Township Historic Preservation Commission where he now lives.

After Hayden’s comments, committeeman Sal DiBianca said that as a Warren resident for 42 years living within walking distance of the King George Inn, and using it for many occasions, he appreciated his comments.

Hayden, who started the petition to “Save the King George Inn,” said residents care about the building’s history and that the board should read the more than 500 comments on the petition.

Hayden’s family owned and operated the KGI for 35 years.  He says on the petition website, ” it had a long and storied past before we owned it as it dates back to the late 1700’s.  It has been a hotel, a restaurant, a post office and the town hall, a venue for opera, moving pictures, a summer retreat and services for a church.  It is a piece of Warren’s history, interwoven with its people and its landscape.  If you believe that it’s an important building and should be preserved please consider attending the meeting.  Old buildings can be rehabilitated and made vital again.  Once a building is gone the history often also vanishes with it.  A show of support will strengthen the resolve of the town to do the right thing.”

 

Woodrow Wilson made his 1912 campaign speech from the inn’s front porch, and one of the speakers said her grandmother was there to shake his hand.

“We’re requesting a conversation,” Hayden said. “We’re requesting a team approach. So often development is done in a vacuum. Sure, everyone likes money, everyone likes to make money – but history, no one owns it. We all own it. And we all have a share in it.”

Villani urged residents to come back whenever the process returns to the Planning Board.

“At some point in the near future we’re going to get it back again,” Villani said. “And when we do get it back again, we’d appreciate you coming back up. Because if we can incorporate some of what you just talked about into whatever’s going to be put there, I think it’ll be a win for everybody.”

Betty Grossweiler, a Warren resident of 63 years said, “I’ve seen a lot of historic things torn down, like the schoolhouse on Mount Bethel Road, that was heartbreaking. Now another thing? Come on, don’t keep tearing things down.”

Historic Sites Committee Chairman Rory Britt asked whether the building can be saved. “We don’t know whether it can be saved,” Chadwick said. “It isn’t ruled out, but we don’t know. The best thing I can give you is a definite maybe.”

Britt said the Historic Sites Committee supports the Planning Board’s recommendation. When Hayden spoke he said that he ” wished you (the town) would allow the Historic Sites Committee to become a commission so they would have some tooth.”

Villani said the board will do what it can to preserve the site.

“Whatever happens, we’re not going to lose sight of the fact that this is a very important piece of property,” Villani said. “And we’re going to try our best with the help of directing whoever the developer is. We have leverage… in getting them to try to put something together that does not eliminate the feeling and look of what the King George Inn was.”

If the Warren Township Committee designates the property as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment, the issue returns to the Planning Board to work out the specifics of a redevelopment plan.

 

After the meeting Hayden said,

“We spoke and they listened.  This is how it’s supposed to work – and work is what we all have ahead to ensure that this building is saved; however, the planning board laid the groundwork with their vote to approve the redevelopment plan with a non-condemnation provision and a promise to work to  preserve the building.  So many eloquent and passionate speakers on both sides of the table.  It should make us all proud to have been active in this first step and spur us on to greater actions.  I am deeply indebted to you all.”

The next meeting of the Warren Township Committee is Thursday, Feb. 16. Township Committeeman Gary DiNardo, who sits on the Planning Board, said the committee will vote on the recommendation at an upcoming meeting, though not necessarily the next meeting.

The next meeting of the planning board is scheduled for Feb. 27.

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

You can all Joe at (908) 238-0118

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