It may seem unfair but frequently we view the last quarter of each year less as an important sales period unto itself and moreso as a wrap-up for the year or sometimes even a harbinger of the Spring market. Anyone who has followed real estate trends in our market understands that the notion of “Spring market” has little or no relationship to the actual date of the vernal equinox a/k/a the first day of Spring (which this year falls on March 20th). Spring Market is simply shorthand for whenever the market shakes off its post-holiday, cold weather doldrums and shows signs of life. Many factors influence when and how dramatic the sales activity will manifest including weather, interest rates, consumer confidence, jobs and the general economy.
Of course, this past year’s last quarter played out in unique fashion due to the drama and suspense of the presidential election which, despite providing some relief by virtue of it simply being over, brings a continued sense of uncertainty in the new year as the new administration begins to take shape and take power.
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That said, 2016 single-family residential sales in Monmouth County showed a substantial increase of 16.2% over the previous
year. As this follows on the great market improvement of 2015 (which was the highest year for NJ residential sales since 2005), it says a lot about the state of our local real estate markets.
While inventories were down, something which might and did embolden many home sellers to increase their asking prices, the homeowners that were ultimately successful in finding a buyer showed an overall 2.8% decrease in average sales price.
On a hyperlocal level, 2016 played out very differently depending on location. While many towns in our survey, including Atlantic Highlands, Long Branch, Rumson and Oceanport, showed dramatic sales increases ranging from 25-49%, others such as Fair Haven (long the leader of Monmouth County residential sales pacing) showed a significant downturn (over 24% fewer than 2015). Perhaps more than ever, it pays to be an educated consumer as past rates of sales, current inventories, and average changes in sales prices will be important factors for both sellers and buyers. Of course, your best ally in this transaction is a trained professional who knows your market, the inventory and the changing trends which impact sales in your segment of the market.
We hope you enjoy our current market report. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions specific to your market or clarification on any of the report data.
See the Full 2016 4th Quarter Resources Report