Housing demand remained high throughout 2017, with sellers reaping the benefits of a low-inventory, consistently-priced market. Despite the tight inventory, buyers were active, with closed sales for the state up 9 percent when comparing 2017 to 2016, according to data from New Jersey Realtors.
According to the organization, inventory saw a 19.4 percent drop in December 2017, compared to the same time in 2016. With less options to choose from, properties are moving faster. The days a property spent on the market dropped to 73 days in December 2017, down 11 percent from that same time in 2016. The months supply of inventory — which is the inventory of homes for sale at the end of a given month, divided by the average monthly pending sales from the last 12 months — for single family homes in the state is at a very low 4.3, down 27.1 percent over 2016.
The median sales price has remained strong, a respectable $280,000 for the total market in 2017. Mortgage rates saw some ups and downs throughout last year, but ended high in the first month of the year, settling at 4.04 percent as of Jan. 18, according to Freddie Mac.
Still, concerns on how the new tax plan will affect New Jersey residents, particularly those with mortgages higher than $750,000, continues to be a top concern for the industry. Considering the luxury market has been slow in some parts of the state, how the tax plan shakes out could determine that market segment’s health for all 2018 and beyond.
“With all the uncertainty 2017 brought, we’re pleased to see prices and sales are staying level,” said 2018 NJ Realtors President Christian Schlueter. “Still, we remain cautiously optimistic about the 2018 market, keeping a close eye on inventory levels.”
Pending sales for December 2017 were up to 7,050, a 5 percent jump from the same period last year, a hopeful sign the beginning of 2018 will be leading off with high activity.