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where are we now in Bergen County homesWhere are Bergen County homes now?  We’ve just begun the last quarter of the year so it’s time to take a good look.

2021 makes sense because we haven’t had unusual circumstances.  There was no lockdown.  Most of us are vaccinated.  People are more accommodated to Covid.  Many businesses and restaurants have opened up.  A lot has returned to normal as a result.

The New Jersey MLS

I use data from the New Jersey MLS because the NJMLS is Bergen County’s multiple listing service.  It is the best and most reliable source of information on the Bergen County real estate market.  What I have here is for single family homes since the beginning of this year.

Year to Date (Jan 1 – Nov 10)

  • 13,876 Sales
  • 17,969 New Listings
  • 16,222 Under Contract
  • Sold at 101.7% of Asking Price
  • 40 Average Days on the Market

Let’s Do This Again Up to $999,000

  • 12,163 Sales
  • 7,285 New Listings
  • 6,873 Under Contract
  • Sold at 101.3% of Asking Price
  • 36 Average Days on the Market

Now Look at Up to $500,000

  • 5,866 Sales Under Contract
  • 7,728 New Listings
  • 7,700 Under Contract
  • Sold at 102.7% of Asking
  • 41 Average Days on the Market

Upper Tier – We Begin at $1-2 million

  • 1,027 Sales
  • 1,347 New Listings
  • 1,081 Under Contract
  • Sold at 99% of Asking
  • 54 Average Days on the Market

$2 million And Up

  • 206 Sales
  • 448 New Listings
  • 231 Under Contract
  • Sold at 93.7% of Asking Price
  • 107 Days on the Market

Where are Bergen County homes now? 

So based on the above, where are Bergen County Homes now?

Overall Thoughts

There isn’t anything unexpected.  You might wonder why under 500 homes take extra time.  While usually the lower the price, the quicker the sale, there’s good reasons for this.  People can get caught up in bidding wars.

They want to win, go overboard and soon see they’ve made a mistake.  Others take a 2nd look and realize needed repairs are more than they can handle.  Sometimes it’s the mortgage.  While you can qualify for a loan amount, calculating the monthly payment is entirely different.  Since this includes everything, it can be more than you bargained for.  Such folks cancel quickly and the seller moves on to a backup offer.

What has changed dramatically is the percent of under contracts to new listings.  We’re at 90%, last year was 87% and in 2019 – the last “normal” year – it was 73%.  What happened?

Covid and low mortgage rates.  We all know how Covid changed Bergen County real estate.  Mortgage rates being so very low, with increasingly an end in sight, has fueled home buying.  This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

How about I give you a sense of perspective on this?  Here’s the cost of a $100,000 mortgage when:

  • I began my real estate career – 16% for $1,345 p/month
  • I bought my home in Tenafly – 9% for $805 p/month
  • Historically low rates today – 3.25% for most at $435 p/month

2022 at 5% will be $537 p/month.  This is over $100 more each month costing you tens of thousands more over the life of the loan.  This is why home buyers are scrambling to get a house.

High End Homes

We would expect upper tier homes to take longer.  Their time on the market, however, has dramatically reduced.  Take a look at 2018:

  • $1-2 million – 95% of asking – 80 days
  • $2 million+ – 91% of asking in 141 days

Compare this to 2021:

  • $1-2 million – 99% of asking – 54 days
  • $2 million + – 93.7% of asking – 107 days

Luxury homes have made a remarkable come back.  They never really recovered since the Great Recession.  Covid changed everything because the value of being home became dominant as well as getting out of densely populated urban areas.  Not wanting to be far from Manhattan, Bergen County became one of the primary destinations for the affluent.

Where are Bergen County homes now?  They’re in a strong seller’s market.  However, headwinds are beginning to appear.  I just published an article that explains it all.  For now, luxury homes are moving forward positively along with the rest of the market.  Indications are that this will continue on into the start of 2022.

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