Now that we’re halfway through the year, I took a quick look at the New Jersey MLS data. Here is what I found for Bergen County single family homes –
In spite of a woefully low number of available homes, sales are up 13% over last year (from 2,265 sales to 2,559). A 13% gain means that demand is soaring and that’s great.
Homes are selling quicker this year – from 103.2 to 92 days for a 10% reduction in the time a home is on the market. This is really significant. Why? Because I can tell you that it’s taking much longer this year to get things settled. Processing time has increased. If homes are selling because offers are coming in quicker. I’d have to agree – homes are selling in weeks and not months in 2013 with many experiencing scorching bidding wars.
Now let’s look at pricing. This is what I found: Dollar volume is up 18% and the average sales price is up 4%. Wait a minute! This doesn’t make any sense or perhaps it does.
An 18% rise in dollar volume can mean only 1 thing – more higher priced homes are selling and the bottom has risen. In other words, the starting point for buying a home in Bergen County is higher and luxury homes are moving strongly. This is terrific news because when a market recovers, it recovers at both ends first and this has happened.
The average price is an over all figure. 4% is a good, healthy figure for a rise in the average sales price. However this does not tell you the whole story when you are buying a home because real estate is extremely local. As a result, you have to look at the data for both a particular town and neighborhood.
Some towns are up 10% while others are lagging. The difference is distressed homes. Towns with a good number of short sales and foreclosures have lower average pricing. However the distressed home market is a shadow of what it was even 1 year ago. Eliminate locations with higher numbers of distressed homes and I bet the overall average price rise would be 6%.
What you can take away from New Jersey MLS data is that Bergen County homes are doing very well indeed.