Increased demand, plus a shortage of inventory, paved the way for a "strong real estate market" in New Jersey in 2018, according to an analysis of housing data released by New Jersey Realtors.

A 5 percent increase over 2017, the median sales price in the Garden State for a single-family home in 2018 was $315,000. Homes spent an average of 65 days on the market in 2018, compared to 72 a year prior.

"This falls in line with the current inventory situation the market is seeing, which is consistently low," New Jersey Realtors said.

In December 2018, the analysis shows, there were fewer than 30,000 single-family homes for sale throughout the state, a 10.4 percent decrease over December 2017.

"While the winter months often see fewer homes for sale due to the season, the year-over-year decrease is a continuation of a trend that has been occurring for several years," the organization said.

New listings for the entire market — single-family homes, townhouses, condos and adult communities — increased 1.2 percent in 2018.

The count of closed sales presented no statistical difference from year to year. in 2018, 83,152 single-family homes were sold.

Ilene Horowitz, 2019 New Jersey Realtors President, said the organization "cautiously forecasts" that home prices will continue to rise in 2019, by a few percentage points at most.

While nicer weather is likely to bring out more prospective buyers, Horowitz said sellers are advised to list their home between late January and March, as long as it's "organized and ready for market."

"Many times you're positioned better when there's less inventory up for sale," she said.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.