I know that many news reports are filled with gloom and doom about the housing market. Many areas are still experiencing serious challenges with an over abundance of distressed properties. We have distressed properties here too but Bergen County real estate is following a more positive path. Let’s look at the facts. According to New Jersey MLS data we are doing better than you might expect.
Through April comparing this year to last year for single family homes, here is what the NJMLS has for us:
- There are 8% fewer closings
- Barely 1% less in the average sales price.
- We had only 9 more days of marketing time.
Closing figures are a bit skewed. While the number of closings were up in February, March and April had less. It’s not like we fell off a cliff however. Closings were down 19% in March and 16% in April. This isn’t as troubling as it appears. Here’s why –
Because last year to take advantage of the tax credit you had to be in contract by April 30th and closed out by June 30th. As a result, we had an artificially high number of closings because of the Homebuyer Tax Credit last year. This overheated the market for the first 4 months of 2010. Basically people bought earlier than they would have normally to get the tax credit. As a result, 2011 figures are artificially made worse.
Let’s see how things look at the end of May. I’ll be back to you on this then. For now it sure doesn’t look like the market has jumped off any cliffs this year. What’s important to take away is that Bergen County real estate is outperforming other areas. This is typically what happens because of several facts.
First of all we are next to Manhattan. Because of this, we benefit from the commerce and jobs that go both to and from NYC. Second, Bergen County itself has a very diverse economy. Because of that, we are more protected against economic down turns. Third we are known for our strong school districts. Fourth while the most populous county in NJ, we maintain our small town suburban life style.
The bottom line is that Bergen County has so much to offer. As a result the Bergen County real estate market always outperforms other areas in NJ.