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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Real estate market going soft?

Has the housing market in New Jersey finally cooled off? According to the fourth-quarter report on median home sales released by the National Association of Realtors this week, yes and no. While the number of houses sold in New Jersey fell by 7 percent last year, median prices continued to rise. In the region that includes Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Somerset counties, the median resale price, fourth quarter over fourth quarter, rose 11.9 percent, to $384,600. In the Newark metro region, which includes Essex, Union, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties, the median price increased 14.5 percent, to $427,600.

Median prices in the fourth quarter fell slightly in Monmouth and Ocean from the previous quarter, but that's not particularly unusual. My hunch is the market will stay strong in central and north Jersey unless interest rates jump markedly, which seems unlikely. As long as the demand far outstrips the supply, which has been the case in New Jersey for at least five years, prices should hold or rise. If the stock market keep showing signs of life, that should make for an even stronger housing market.

Anyone disagree. Anyone think the bottom is about to fall out? Anyone having a particularly tough time selling their home? Any buyers seeing some better values out there?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all I ever read was the Asbury Park Press to get information about the housing market at the Shore, I would probably have the same optimistic view as you. Fortuneately, other media, both mainstream and blogs, have collected a siginifcant amount of information that leads myself and many others to believe that the housing market peaked last Summer, and that prices will be lower year-over-year by the fall 2006. Evidence of the slowdown in sales and price stagnation is apparent when looking at the big increase in local inventories from last summer to the present. Increases in interest rates, restrictions on exotic mortgages and the exit of flippers and speculators will all serve to further reduce demand in the coming months and years. If you would like to learn more about the impending collapse of real estate prices at the shore and other place, be sure to visit
lots of other relevant blogs.

10:22 AM, February 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you figure that demand will continue to outstrip supply? Given the lead time - 1 to 3 years - to build a multi unit development, it seems that a large amount of supply is due to hit the market in the next 2 years as builders flocked to this market as prices started to rise in the 2000-2003 time period.

7:31 PM, February 21, 2006  

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