Will the NJ Housing Market Continue Upward Trend in 2013? [AUDIO]
For the first time in four years, existing home sales are on the rise and new home sales are up about 24 percent.
"Keep in mind, a 24 percent gain is a big jump, but we are coming off of a record low," said Walter Maloney of the National Association of Realtors. "We have a long way to go to get where we need to be, but new home sales are improving on a sustained basis and that trend will continue. All of the major price measures are showing sustained increases and we think that will continue with gains above historic norms, a little bit above the rate of inflation."
Supply and demand has gone from being balanced now to favoring sellers in many parts of the country. "Inventory levels have come down to the lowest levels we've seen since 2001 and new home inventories are tight as well," said Maloney. "That is putting pressure on prices. When you look at the impact of Sandy, all of that inventory is gone. Some of the homes that were on the market for sale have become rental units and there are acute housing shortages in the coastal areas of New Jersey and Long Island and it will take a while to work that through."
"We are looking at decent mortgage rates and they are remaining stable, so that is giving buyers incentive to be out and looking," said Amber Noble-Garland, licensed New Jersey Real Estate Agent. "I expect there will be many more attractive homes coming on the market in the spring which will increase the supply buyers will have to select from. It'll be a bit more competitive as a result. We are beginning to see bidding wars for the attractive homes that are on the market right now which is a good sign."
But buyers are much more cautious as a result of Sandy. "I am seeing a lot more questions being asked about flooding and flood insurance, especially for homes that are near water, which is to be expected," said Noble-Garland. "May folks also are talking a great deal about the fiscal cliff, but I think it's important for people to continue living their lives and using their better judgment. They need to do their homework and trust their gut. We can't predict what will happen with the economy. But, we can live for today and plan for tomorrow. If owning a home is something they have dreamt of doing, then they need to connect with a licensed agent, get their nest egg started and do it."