Still a seller’s market in NJ, but buyers should act now, observers say
Even in the dead of winter, the housing market remains hot in the Garden State.
With demand heavily outpacing supply, it's still a seller's market in New Jersey. But people in the business say that both prospective sellers and buyers should act sooner rather than later, so they don't end up losing money by waiting around for springtime.
"I think we're going to see more inventory this year. It's going to slow up the crazy appreciation, but we're still going to have appreciation," Susan Marcrie, broker owner with Re/Max Innovation, told New Jersey 101.5.
Marcrie, who works mostly in the central part of the state, said any home "that's nice" is getting multiple bids right now, but even homes that "need lipstick" are getting bites.
But demand from buyers right now, in the beginning of February, is likely not as fierce as it will be when the weather warms up, and as it was for much of 2021.
"Buyers should be out now because they have less competition," she said. "If they have a need, come out now before everybody else comes out to the marketplace."
Another factor that may keep wannabe buyers from waiting around — the Federal Reserve is planning multiple interest-rate hikes in 2022, according to New Jersey Realtors.
Compared to December 2020, the number of homes for sale in New Jersey was down 35% in December 2021, according to New Jersey Realtors' latest monthly report. The median sales price on homes sold jumped by nearly 10% over the one-year period.
Low inventory is inflating the prices of homes that are available. So, prospective buyers who are on the fence don't need to wait around for the so-called spring market to attract the buyers they want, Marcrie added.
In the middle of winter, only serious buyers are in the market, she said, while many potential sellers may be waiting until they can show off their landscaping and indoor pool.
"If you're waiting for April, May, that's kind of a gamble," said Edward A. Vespi, broker/sales associate with the Brick office of Diane Turton, Realtors. "There's probably less inventory now than there would be in April, May."
Vespi said the influx of North Jersey and New York buyers has dwindled a bit since the summer, but this should remain a seller's market for at least several months.
New Jersey Realtors said it expects many of the housing market trends of 2021 to continue into 2022, but at a moderate level.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.