Bergen County real estate is important. This is the largest county in New Jersey with 948,000+ people and we are one of the most affluent counties in the US. What happens here influences everyone in the NYC metropolitan area. The Bergen County housing market reflects the Tri-State economy and outlook. So let’s take a look at our first quarter real estate market.
Home Prices Are Moderately Higher
Comparing the 1st quarter of 2018 to 2019 we find that the average sales price is almost identical. 2019 is $1,380 less at $488,606. Time on the market is only 4 days less at 71 days. You’d say this is a flat market. Examining this by price range tells you a different story.
At $500,000 and less home prices are up by 3%. Move that to $500-$1 million and prices rise by 2%. Let’s now go to the $1-1.5 million category and we find prices higher by 3%. At $1.5-2 million we see a 2% rise. However going higher things change to the negative.
The Pace of Sales
2019 is ahead overall by 4% more closed sales. Looking at under contract units gives us an even better idea of how things are shaping up. Under Contract units soared this year.
January was up 6% and February rose a whopping 10%. March was pretty flat but I attribute that to the weather. We had a mild winter until March which was filled with storms. We averaged out at a 5% improvement over 2019. This is a tremendous increase statistically. As a result we can say that in general, the Bergen County housing market is on pace for a record year.
The number of transactions begins to dive once you get to $2 million and above. There are so few sales that it really is statistically insignificant. While I understand that transactions above $2 million are not large in numbers, going from 24 to 12 closings is a huge difference. Under contract units are also negative.
Every month is negative and the worst is March at -57%. The average is -47% going from 29 to 17 units. The high end market has been in a stall now for several years. It shows no signs of improvement.
Below $2 million
However below $2 million, demand is up. If you eliminate luxury homes, we have a dynamic, positive real estate market this year. You can really say that prices are up around 2-3% so far this year. It’s reasonable to assume they will be higher because we haven’t hit the full spring market yet. We’re just getting there.
The split between high end luxury homes sales in the Bergen County housing market and those below $2 million has been going on for a while. The question is how to interpret this. I’ll be writing an article on it soon.
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