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Buyers Back In Driver’s Seat As Housing Inventory Booms

Stacy Proebstle

The housing market nationwide and here in New Jersey is still bogged down by an inventory problem, too many homes for sale — not enough buyers.

A few years ago the residential real estate market was booming and now it has slowed to a trickle. Just take a drive around your neighborhood and you will get all the proof you need — for sale signs line the streets.

“In the area there are too many houses for sale for me to compete with” said Cliff from Metuchen, who’s had his three-bedroom, one bathroom home on the market for seven months.

Cliff says the amount of inventory out there has really put buyers back in the driver’s seat. “We’ve reduced the list price two times during that period of time only because the market has gone in the toilet the last two and a half years.”

Madeline from Toms River says people are constantly dropping their prices and sales are slowing. “I have a few people coming by this week and if we don’t get any buyers I’m going to wait until the spring, re-list it and hope for the best.”

“I’ve lowered the price $25,000 so far and I’ll probably lower it again in the future” said Shawna, who owns a home in Middlesex County.

Cliff says buyers are becoming more picky and negotiating harder these days. “We are currently adding a second upstairs bathroom and getting rid of all the carpet for hardwood floors. You just keep shelling out money while the value of your home is depreciating.”

Jim Bruno who owns a construction business says people are starting to fix up their homes again. “We are seeing a lot of people putting new roofs on, getting repairs done, there is some hope that the market might have picked up here.”

While some are leaving the state alltogether, We’re getting out of here, moving to Delaware where the taxes are lower” said Cliff.

Other homeowners remain optimistic. “I’m hopeful that the economy will get better, people will get jobs and have the money to buy a house” said Shawna.

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