NJ Market Facts
The local real estate markets in the Garden State have opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Knowing all the facts about local real estate conditions and about New Jersey’s advantages is crucial to making the most of these opportunities.
What's the Latest?
March Pending Home Sales Improve but Overall Pace Leveling
Pending home sales increased in March and remain above year-ago levels, but contract activity in recent months shows only modest movement, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 1.5 percent in March from a downwardly revised February, and is 7.0 percent above March 2012. Pending sales have been above year-ago levels for the past 23 months; the data reflect contracts but not closings.
Regionally, the PHSI in the Northeast was unchanged in March and is 6.3 percent higher than March 2012.
March Existing-Home Sales Remain Higher than 2012, Prices Maintain Uptrend
Existing-home sales eased in March from inventory constraints, which continued to pressure home prices, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.6 percent in March from a downwardly revised February, but remain 10.3 percent higher than in March 2012.
Sales have been above year-ago levels for 21 consecutive months, while prices show 13 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged in March and are 6.8 percent above March 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $237,000, up 3 percent from a year ago. Find out more in NAR's press release.
Commercial Real Estate Sectors Steadily Improve
Major commercial real estate sectors continue to improve, albeit slowly, with gradual economic improvement and job creation driving absorption of space, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) quarterly commercial real estate forecast.
National vacancy rates over the coming year are expected to decline 0.4 percentage point in the office market, 0.4 point in industrial, 0.3 point for retail and 0.1 point in multifamily, with that sector experiencing the tightest availability. Find out more in NAR's press release.
Local and State Market Reports - New Jersey
These metro market reports reflect data available for the fourth quarter of 2012 and provide insights into the fundamentals and direction of the nation's largest metropolitan housing markets. Each downloadable report evaluates a number of factors affecting home prices, including the local job market, foreclosure rates, housing inventory and debt-to-income and mortgage-servicing-costs-to-income ratios. Click here for written guidance on interpreting the reports, or watch this video issued by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®(NAR).
Affordability Rates are Soaring
Data released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) supports the attainability of homeownership as the affordability index figures are highest than ever. The current rate of 174.4 in New Jersey indicates that getting that dream home is more attainable than ever. This, combined with low interest rates and a diverse housing inventory, create the perfect recipe for those in a position to buy.
NAR’s affordability index formula accounts for many variables that contribute to how affordable home buying is in New Jersey: home price, mortgage rates, payment as a percentage of income, median family income, qualifying income, and monthly Principal and Interest (P&I) payments. For example, an affordability value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, assuming a 20-percent down payment.
To learn more about affordability, click here.
Study: ‘Hurdle Rate’ Favorable for Buying
Now is a great time to buy because the “hurdle rate” is very favorable toward home ownership, an academic study by researchers at three universities finds. Learn more in a 2-minute video in which one of the researchers talks about the findings.
Christie Launches Website Detailing Property Tax Records and Other Vital Public Information
In an effort to increase government transparency, Governor Chris Christie recently launched a website that provides the public with data that makes it easier to understand New Jersey’s public finances. Included on this website, www.YourMoney.NJ.Gov, is an interactive map that displays the Garden States’ 3.1 million property tax assessment records. With the new property tax feature, REALTORS® and consumers can check individual records in their town or community, jump from record to record and compare assessments and taxes from one town to another.
Be sure to visit the website frequently to provide your feedback and view other reports.
Get the Facts
Despite the national trends and statistics you might have heard, the old adage that all real estate is local has never been truer. Market facts in New Jersey, combined with national incentives, make now a good time to get active in New Jersey’s real estate market. Here's why:
• Seven-year real estate appreciation in the Garden State -- at 37% -- is five times the national average.
• Mortgage rates are near historic lows, giving buyers a better chance to secure low payments for years to come.
• Housing affordability – determined by home prices, income data and other factors – is high in New Jersey.
• The NJ Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) offers low-interest loans and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers. Find out more about those programs and the Live Where You Work initiative for all eligible buyers.
With unique and attractive neighborhoods, great schools, and other benefits, New Jersey is a great fit for the three rules of real estate – location, location, location. See what makes the Garden State such a great place to live and check out our interactive map to see specific county information and local real stories.