Drawing upon my extensive knowledge of Bridgewater Township in Somerset County, this Market Report delves into the current dynamics of our local real estate market. Through my monthly market updates, I guide you through the economic climate and trends that impact our community’s property landscape. This report goes beyond conventional data, providing hyper-local statistics that are not readily available elsewhere. By the end of the report, you’ll not only be informed about the “What” in the Hunterdon County market but also gain insights into the “Why.” Armed with this understanding, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions when participating in real estate transactions in 2024.

You can also find a version of the report covering Hunterdon County here.


“What’s” Happening in Somerset County’s Real Estate Market?

317  Under Contract Listings      $694K Average List Price       23 Average Days on Market

“Fed holds interest rates at 23-year high as inflation continues to push back the timing of a rate cut.”

The robust employment indicators, especially in light of recent interest rate hikes, have raised concerns about the Federal Reserve pausing future rate increases or even implementing rate cuts. Based on the May Fed meeting, that does not seem to be possible in the foreseeable future. 📈🏠💰

In a broader sense, the market shows signs of returning to a more typical state. Fewer offers exceed the asking price, and bids now include contingencies such as mortgage approval, home sale, and inspection. The inventory of newly listed properties has increased nicely compared to the previous month, contributing to an overall rise in total inventory. Nevertheless, the strong demand continues to outpace supply, keeping prices rising only slightly or at more normal rates in our region. However, in higher price brackets, there appears to be pressure on prices as those market segments move toward a balanced or even buyer-oriented market.

The answer lies within this analysis for those contemplating selling vs. buying. Presently, the market strongly favors sellers due to the fast-moving inventory, which is helping to maintain price stability in our locality. However, there is a gradual shift toward a buyer’s market in the higher price ranges. Over the past years, prices have experienced significant increases—nearly 12% in 2020, 18% in 2021, 9% in 2022, and 11% in 2023. While modest growth was anticipated for early 2024, homes priced at $1,000K and above are seeing increased inventory, impacting their supply and demand dynamics. Conversely, prices below this threshold continue to rise, although the rate of increase has decelerated. This year, it is expected to render about another five to six percent price increase. The increase will be more moderate in future years but still show positive growth. The fifty-year average price increase is below 5 percent.

How does all this add up?

  1. Rising Home Prices: Over the past four years, home prices have increased by nearly 50%. This means that the cost of purchasing a home has gone up significantly.
  2. Interest Rates Surge: Simultaneously, interest rates (which make up a substantial portion of your monthly mortgage payment) have more than doubled in the past 18 months. When interest rates rise, it directly impacts the affordability of homes for buyers.
  3. Monthly Payments: Rising home prices and higher interest rates have significantly increased monthly mortgage payments. Buyers often consider this monthly payment when deciding whether to purchase a home. With the payments doubling, owning a home has become unaffordable for many first-time buyers.
  4. Impact on Inventory: As a result, first-time buyers are turning to more affordable rental properties instead of buying. Additionally, existing homeowners who might have considered selling and moving to a larger )or different) home are now hesitant due to their locked-in favorable interest rates. This lack of movement in the market contributes to the current shortage of available homes for sale.

In summary, the interplay between rising prices, surging interest rates, and affordability challenges has created a situation where home ownership is increasingly out of reach for many, impacting both buyers and sellers. The lack of inventory further exacerbates the housing market dynamics.

Market Statistics for Somerset County:

  • Last month, the market saw an increase in new inventory, with 232 new listings, compared to 1199 in the previous month. This increased from the 220 new listings in the same month in 2023.
  • As of the beginning of this month, the available inventory has increased to 351 units from 306 units last month. This is lower than the 373 units available in the same month last year.
  • The number of units that went “under contract” last month was 317, which is an increase from the previous month’s 265 and an inecrease from the 279 units in the same month last year.
  • Over the past month, the average number of days on the market has dropped to 23 days.
  • Currently, the month’s supply of inventory stands at just over 1.1 months, indicating a strong seller’s market. This trend holds true for properties priced under $900K.

The current market conditions show an optimal supply and demand curve that benefits sellers. Waiting until later in 2024 to sell may not be a wise strategy. The market is likely nearing its peak, and significant price increases or sustained high price points are unlikely to continue for much longer. It’s advisable to take advantage of the current situation and list your property for sale now.”

In summary, acting promptly in the current market could be advantageous for sellers.


New Jersey Residential Real Estate Market Forecast

The winter seasons of 2023/4 brought about solid listings and sales despite not being as strong as the previous two years, which were above average (called unicorn years). This was attributed to the increased move to the West (urban flight), pent-up demand, challenging mortgage rates, and sellers entering the market as COVID-19 concerns waned.

Although inventory levels still remain low, new listings are selling quickly, resulting in strong sales and prices for sellers. However, the most significant uncertainty in 2024 is finding a more suitable home and an affordable mortgage.

On the buyer side,  the recent movements in interest rates offer a disadvantage compared to just a few months ago. Trade-up buyers are experiencing similar effects.

The higher interest rates resulted in many first-time buyers being priced out of the market and most trade-up buyers being reluctant to make a move. The recent jitters in rates offer little optimism in this area. If possible, it is an excellent time to purchase a home as the terms have stabilized due to the lack of competition, and refinancing is always an option as interest rates decrease further in the future.



Somerset County Real Estate Market Inventory Breakdown By Price For Last Month:

April April Total
Somerset County New Under Active Months’
Listings Contract Listings Supply
Condos/Town Houses * 69 130 106 1
Over 55 Communities* 10 18 24 1
$000K to $199K 1 2 4 2
$200K to $299K 11 15 16 1
$300K to $399K 25 36 31 1
$400K to $499K 40 76 51 1
$500K to $599K 24 44 33 1
$600K to $699K 27 27 33 1
$700K to $799K 21 30 32 1
$800K to $899K 18 24 23 1
$900K to $999K 10 20 17 1
$1,000K and Up 55 43 111 3
Totals for April 232 317 351 1
Average Price $871,792 $694,200 -20.4%
Average Days on Market 23
* Included in $ breakdowns
  • 41% of sales in houses > $500,000
  • 46% of sales in the $500,000 to the $1,00,000 range
  • 14% percent of total sales (or 43 in total) in houses >$1,000,000

Somerset County Real Estate Market Inventory Breakdown By Municipality For Last Month

Active Listings Under Contract Month’s Supply
Bedminster Twp 13 26 1
Bernards Twp 29 35 1
Bernardsville 22 9 2
Bound Brook 8 6 1
Branchburg Twp 13 15 1
Bridgewater Twp 54 40 1
Far Hills Boro 6 1 6
Franklin Twp 43 57 1
Green Brook 5 3 2
Hillsborough 40 40 1
Manville Boro 15 14 1
Millstone Boro 0 1 0
Montgomery Twp 31 22 1
North Plainfield 15 9 2
Peapack Gladstone 4 1 0
Raritan Boro 3 3 1
Rocky Hill Boro 1 2 1
Somerville Boro 8 11 1
South Bound Brook 2 3 1
Warren Twp 26 15 2
Watchung Boro 13 4 3
Totals 351 317 1

No areas had no sales last month:

These areas had 1 or 2 sales each last month:

  • Far Hills
  • Millstone
  • Peapack/Gladstone
  • Rocky Hill


  • Bernards/Bernards Twp. – 61 Sales
  • Bridgewater – 40 Sales
  • Franklin Twp. – 57 Sales
  • Hillsborough – 40 Sales
  • Warren/Watchung – 19 Sales

These hotspot areas equaled 68% of the sales last month. The average new listing coming on the market last month neared $871,792. The average unit price going “under contract” was $694,200 (20% less).

Bridgewater Township Statistics:

  • There are 54 homes for sale in Bridgewater Township as of this writing.
  • Of the 54 homes for sale, 16 are community properties (such as townhouses and condos) and six are in our 55+ communities.
  • The average list price for all listings in Bridgewater Township is $868,861.
  • There were 39 new listings in Bridgewater Township last month with an average list price of $794,624.
  • There were 54 homes that have gone under contract in the past month with an average list price of $654,606 and 24 days on market.
  • Giving us 1 months of inventory


If you want to obtain a competitive price for your property based on its location and uniqueness, you can contact me at (908) 304-4660. By leveraging Coldwell Banker’s big data technology and Artificial Intelligence capabilities, you can gain a unique advantage in the market. I can demonstrate the latest age and earnings breakdown for your area, including where people are moving from and how to market directly to those specific areas and demographics. This approach will maximize the selling price while reducing the time on the market. Accurately priced and marketed homes tend to sell faster with the assistance of a seasoned real estate industry veteran and a local area expert.


“Why” is it happening…


New Jersey’s Economic Drivers:

New Jersey Home Sales and Inventory levels:

Contrary to what you see on the news, the market in our area remains strong.  While the network news is correct for some areas in the country (mostly those with heavy new development sales), my report focuses only on our two counties in NJ which consists primarily of resales. Our only new construction is primarily on the high end of the market.

  • The pace of sales across NJ declined by 18% in 2023.
  • Locally, we saw a nice increase in April in Hunterdon and a small increase in Somerset.
  • Sales have now declined for 33 consecutive months on a YOY basis (but the declines are diminishing).
  • There are early signs of some pullback in pricing at the higher price tiers, but the lower tiers are still seeing price increases, just not as aggressive as in the past.
  • First-time buyers are cooling down considerably due to higher pricing (price resistance), inventory shortages, and higher interest rates. Their purchasing power has decreased for these reasons and many have been priced out of the market for now..
  • Potential sellers find it challenging to locate suitable housing in the current market and are hesitant to list until they do. They are also dismayed by higher interest rates than they currently have in place on their current homes and, for the most part, are not willing to make a move unless they have an urgent issue, such as a life event or job transfer. Their purchasing power is diminished by about the same amount, but it is offset by their equity increases.
  • Current mortgages show that nearly 70% of all mortgages are under 4%, and 90% are under 5%.
  • The current month’s supply of inventory in Hunterdon County remains just over 1.5 months, and in Somerset County, it is around 1.1 months due to the rapid sales of new listings (which is called velocity) as the market remains active.
  • Hunterdon and Somerset County have considerably less inventory than a year ago. The unsold inventory in New Jersey has steadily decreased since reaching a peak of over 20,000, and it is down to about 12,300 today.
  • Inventory reductions have occurred in all price ranges, with the under $400,000 market experiencing the most significant impact with 14% fewer homes and the $400K to $600K price tier seeing a decrease of 7%. The $600K to $1,000K price tier is 6%.
  • New housing development has not kept up with population growth and is now focused on the rental market.


Interest Rates:

  • Interest rates are now hovering around 7.4%. At the end of December, they had fallen to 6.67%. At the end of April, they were hovering just under 7.2% again.
  • It was anticipated that rates would drop as inflation improved but not come anywhere near the rates we saw just two years back as those were artificially bought down to create demand.
  • The Fed announced “Fed holds interest rates at 23-year high as inflation continues to push back the timing of a rate cut” at their May 1st session.
  • Many buyers are considering attractive ARM rates and creative other buy-down plans as alternatives.
  • Based on the current rates, first-time buyer mortgage applications have dropped, but restructuring debt and paying down high-interest items remain active.
  • The Fed’s efforts to slow things down have resulted in the above

National Job Front:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in April, and unemployment rose to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment continued growing in government, health care, social assistance, and construction.
  • At the same time, job gains for February and March were revised down by a combined 22,000 jobs. This gets little exposure on the network news channels but is not a strong indicator of the market.
  • A large portion of the new jobs was part-time, indicating that people are finding “side hustles” to help account for inflation.
  • It’s important to note that this number includes natural job growth of about 175K per month.
  • The analysts also state that many new jobs were lost as small businesses failed and those people reentered the labor force.
  • The labor force participation rate held at 62.7 percent. This rate is calculated by dividing the sum of all workers employed or actively looking for a job by the working-age population. It also fluctuates due to people taking a second job to meet ends.
  • Many people are resigning to pursue new career paths due to perceived health risks, the desire for more remote work, and a better work-life balance. New technology-based jobs are affecting this trend.
  • For those under $50K, there is even some incentive not to work and collect benefits, contributing to the current unemployment rate.
  • The lower end of the job market has benefited the most from this trend, with higher starting pay rates competing for the lack of workforce. Jobs starting in the mid to upper $20 per hour are already being offered.


New Jersey Job Front:

  • State wide we saw a decrease in new jobs of 23% in 2023.
  • The unemployment rate in NJ for March remained at 4.8%, quite a bit above the national rate.
  • NJ has lost about 12,300 YTD through December of 2023 as compared to 128,000 the prior year.
  • January job creation YTD was about 20,000 jobs vs. nearly 26,000 jobs a year ago.
  • Job losses are still prevalent in industries such as construction, food services, and accommodations, with retail and wholesale trade also experiencing a downturn in some states. Even health care, social assistance, and manufacturing are shedding workers.
  • NJ was hit harder than most states in the early months of the pandemic, but it has made a remarkable recovery since then.
  • It should be noted that the NJ jobs numbers run a month behind the national numbers.

Rental Market Trends:

  • Rental prices in New Jersey have continued to increase in 2024, with a year-over-year average of over 3%, and are currently averaging just over $2,200 per unit. However, recent data shows a slight decrease in these prices.
  • The vacancy rate in central New Jersey is currently at 4.0%, indicating a limited rental supply and leading to a rise in rental prices.
  • The rental market typically includes low-end buyers who opt to rent due to a shortage of available inventory. However, the recent constraints in the mortgage market have also contributed to the increase in this sector.
  • NJ was on track to add 30K new apartment units in 2023.

New Jersey Foreclosures:

  • The delinquency rate (more than 90 days past due) in NJ has decreased, which is a positive development.
  • NJ’s current foreclosure rate remains low at 1.1%.
  • Nationally, $11 trillion in equity is needed to protect homeowners during a potential recession.
  • The average FICO score of mortgage holders is over 750, higher than during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • A slowdown and recession could still cause job losses and put mortgages at risk.
  • Only 18% of mortgages in forbearance are at risk due to unresolved forbearance issues.
  • A housing bust is not predicted to occur since there is a lot of positive equity in houses, thanks to recent appreciations.

Real Estate Market Recap


  • The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be all but over.
  • Supply chain shortages have affected inflation, and concerns remain that undersupply could cause further price increases.
  • The consumer price index, which rose .4% in March, continues to cause havoc on auto, finished goods, and energy pricing and is the enemy of long-term interest rates.
  • Mortgage rates had risen a bit but are now back to just in the mid-7% range.
  • The local inventory supply has risen slightly from the previous month’s levels, and the housing affordability index has increased slightly (based on wages, rates, and home prices). As a result, mortgage payments are now at an all-time high percentage of gross ( which slows spending in other sectors).
  • Due to COVID-19 and recent unrest in NYC, interest in living in more suburban counties such as Hunterdon and Somerset has all but disappeared.
  • Many people have found that working from home (in total or part) is a reality, and as opportunities start to open up again, we will see less commuting and traveling in general.
  • Retailing and using vacant industrial space will transform to meet the new altered demands and lifestyles.
  • The local market will have to adapt to the new suburban renaissance of where people will be working and what they need to adapt.
  • The lingering question has been, “Can we keep this momentum up with low to slightly rising inventory?” as predictions for slower sales and price increases in 2024 have already been made. Price increases were about an 11% increase in 2023 in NJ. The new year sees more normalized increases (based on your price points) of under 5% (but that is what we said this time last year as well).
  • Days on the market in our area have dropped, showing buyers are becoming seasonally more active.
  • But change is resulting in a trend towards a more normalized environment if inventory continues coming onto the market and the first-time buyer fatigue that we have seen continues.
  • Younger (millennial) buyers are coming of age in the pipeline for at least the next four to five years, which will continue to put more demand on the first-time buyer market, usually under $400K.
  • In a nutshell, 2024 will probably look a lot like 2023 unless we see major shifts in the factors affecting inventory and rates.

This is substantial information, and the situation is evolving daily. Nevertheless, it appears to be moving in a positive direction for now. If you require further clarification or have any concerns about how this could impact your circumstances, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (908) 304-4660. I’m always available to chat and assist you in gaining a better understanding.

Note:  Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Although reasonable care has been taken to provide this information, it is advised that you seek the guidance of a professional sales agent and avoid making any decisions solely based on my views, gathered trends, and statistics. I am not responsible for any consequences that may result from using this data.


If you have any questions or would just like to talk out your situation, please call 908-304-4660


Home Prices Forecast To Climb over the Next 5 Years [INFOGRAPHIC]

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