The premier newspaper in Bergen County is the The Record. Kathleen Lynn is one of their top reporters and she focuses on our real estate market. Today Kathleen published a terrific article. She went over figures from both Standard & Poor’s Case-Schiller index and the local Multiple Listing Services. She gives you a very insightful view of home prices.
What she found is very interesting and positive. Comparing the real estate market from August 2009 to August 2010, she found that home prices rose 10.2% in Bergen County but “the number of sales dropped about 24%”. Ms. Lynn’s bottom line on the housing market is that while prices got a kick from the home buyer tax credit, activity fell off once the program ended. Frankly this was no surprise; many home buyers bought houses earlier than they would have to take advantage of the tax credit. Just ask a mortgage banker how busy he was processing home loans in May and June.
I find this report to be positive simply because the comparison showing prices are up is for the month of August.
To qualify for the tax credit, you had to close on your home by June 30th. Yes, there was an extension but it wasn’t authorized by Congress until late at night on June 30th after almost every tax credit home buyer had bought their new house. The extension really helped people who were delayed by banks on short sales and REO transactions. August closings had nothing to do with the tax credit push and in spite of 24% fewer transactions prices still rose by 10.2% from the year before. That’s positive!
On a personal note, I have always found Kathleen Lynn’s articles to be excellent. I have a tremendous respect for how carefully she researches and analyzes the market. She often updates how home prices are doing. You can read her entire article at http://tinyurl.com/KLynnHomePrices If you want good information on the Bergen County housing market I encourage you to read the Real Estate Section in the Sunday edition of the The Record and to look for more articles by Kathleen Lynn. You can get The Record online by going to www.NorthJersey.com