What Can We Expect in 2009 and for Tenafly real estate in particular?
I can answer this with one word – improvement. I had projected 10% depreciation but that was before the stunning sub prime mess was revealed. While we have “Monday Morning Quarterbacks,” the truth is virtually no one knew of this growing menace. The Tenafly market for homes in 2008 ended with 25% fewer sales and 18% depreciation.
Yet Tenafly homes did better than most; our market is more resilient than you’d think. Selling a home took less time in 2008 and first quarter figures indicate we’ll do even better this year.
Appraisers are still deducting 1% per month but say this will end later in the year; Jeff Otteau, the renowned analyst of New Jersey’s housing market, announced in mid March that 2009 will end with 9% depreciation statewide. This dovetails with a second half recovery; homes in Tenafly will see it during the fourth quarter.
By recovery I do not mean that prices will go up; they won’t. They will stop going down and the market will stabilize. We’ll stay there for another year or two before any upward swing bringing us to 2012 or later.
Although unemployment will continue to increase over the next several months, it should level off by year’s end. Unfortunately unemployment will not improve quickly. For now we can only estimate how this will affect our market; its impact takes a while to be felt.
But Washington funded the FHA to continue lending and increased the tax credit to $8,000 with no payback required. This enabled first time buyers to get in the market. With the lion’s share of price depreciation done and mortgage rates so low most of us have never seen this, home buyers are back in the market. Activity has really picked up since March 1st with no signs of slowing down.
What is certain is that Tenafly real estate remains one of the most in demand markets in the NYC metropolitan area. This will not change. While we can’t escape the storms of life, the truth is that Tenafly weathers them better than most in Bergen County and the New York City area.