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The 2017 Bergen County real estate market had a unique combination of factors – zero increase in sales from the year before with price appreciation. In fact, much of what you’ll find is a mirror image of 2016.

Home sales are nearly identical – 6915 in 2017 and 6920 in 2016. I think you’ll agree that when you’re talking about nearly 7,000 units a difference of 5 is nothing.

Statistics has it at 9% fewer days on the market. This, at least, seems impressive. What it really comes to is 1 less week on the market for sale in 2017. Time on the market went from 72.2 days to 65.5 days. One less week out of 52 doesn’t truly sound like much, does it?

As a result, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the two years. They do seem to mirror each other.

Let’s look at home prices. The median sales price rose by 4% from $465,000 to $483,000. The average sales price also went up by 4% from $571,773 to $594,053. Clearly the market appreciated by 4%. This is indeed a positive change.

The Federal Open Market Committee meeting on December 13th estimated GDP growth for 2017 at 2.5% which is also what they project for 2018. Because of this, appreciation of 4% is strong. As a result, I can tell you that Bergen County homes performed very well in 2017.

Let’s see how the housing market performed by price range looking at the unit numbers:

Price Range                        2016                       2017

$0-$200,000                        163                         113

$200-300,000                      815                         672

$300-400,000                  1,635                     1,561

$400-500,000                  1,294                     1,322

$500-600,000                      903                         910

$600-700,000                      601                         701

$700-800,000                      423                         448

$800-900,000                      285                         305

$900,000-1 million        223                         243

$1-2 million                      492                         551

$2-3 million                      55                           70

$3 million +                       23                           19

2017 did better because of several things shown here.  9% fewer homes sold at $400,000 and less.  This is 34% of 2017 sales and 38% of 2016.  Because this is a sizeable chunk of both years, it has quite an effect.  Homes were selling much more at a higher point in 2017.  Every price range after (except for over $3 million) saw more sales that year than in 2016.

The result is that Bergen County homes commanded higher prices because the bottom evaporated by 5%.  Luxury sales at over $3 million are so few that they are statistically insignificant.

Consumer demand is what drives up prices.  There was no inventory growth because both years had nearly identical sales numbers.  This is not going to change so 2018.  As a result, our New Year should be another great one for Bergen County homeowners and challenging for buyers who are not properly prepared.

I believe that whether you are buying or selling a home, it is essential to be fully and properly prepared.  Buyers have a greater challenge in this because they have more competition from other buyers.  Sellers need to prepare as well because although low inventory tilts things in their favor, this is not an easy market for homeowners.  One mistake and you can lose value quickly and severely.  Call me at 201-741-8490 if you’d like to discuss this further or Bergen County real estate in general.

Note:  Data is sourced from the New Jersey MLS




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