real estate

NJ is Showing Signs of Housing Stabilization

The March housing market reports from the New Jersey Association of Realtors show a healthy stabilization of the market. Though closed sales were down in the three housing categories tracked in the study (single-family, townhouse/condo, and adult communities), the state report represents an evening-out of the beginning spring market, rather than a downturn.

“A stable market is a healthy market,” said Cindy Marsh-Tichy, president of NJAR. “March is the very beginning of the spring market, which typically is a busy time for home sales. I’m excited to see market growth at a healthy, steady rate over the next few months.”

Single-family closed sales were down 9.2 percent for March, when compared to last March. But the year-to-date change in closed sales is only down 2.1 percent, indicating the market is not necessary losing steam, but rather maintaining, something which will inspire confidence in real estate throughout the Garden State. The townhouse-condo market saw very small changes in closed sales and median sales prices in the last 12 months, with closed sales up 1.2 percent and the median sales price up 2.6 percent. Perhaps the most significant jump the market has seen for early spring is the year-to-date 19.2 percent gain in the median sales prices of adult communities, up to $155,000 from $130,000. The number of homes for sale in adult communities was down 12.1 percent compared to March 2013, so in addition to more competition among buyers’ offers, sellers saw the homes stay on the market fewer days — down 19.8 percent to 81 days from the 101 days in March 2013.

There’s still good news on both sides of the fence. Buyers continue to see interest rates remain low, though they have increased slightly from the levels they bottomed out at in 2013. Sellers are seeing increases in sales prices and the percent of list price received. Throughout New Jersey, the median sales price increased 3.3 percent in comparison to March 2013 – that’s representative of a 6.1 percent year-to-date increase on median sales price.  Since March 2013, sellers have seen the percent of list price received increase slightly to 95.5 percent. Low inventory levels are increasing competition among buyers, and with an 8.2 percent drop in the number of homes for sale since last March, sellers may be more apt to list their homes since prices are rising. Around the state, homes were on the market for an average of 98 days, a 10.9 percent drop from 110 days in March 2013.

“There are advantages to being a buyer or a seller right now,” said Jarrod C. Grasso, CEO of NJAR. “Buyers are liking the low interest rates, and sellers are enjoying rising home prices. We’re looking forward to a robust spring market.”

To view the March 2014 state and county reports, visit

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