Many of you may have seen the Record article titled, “N.J. housing market recovering, appraiser says”. It summarizes the latest report from Jeffrey Otteau, a respected leader in the field of real estate market analysis. Among the latest news is a positive trend, including a “bounce” in January and February home sales, which he describes as “nothing short of astounding.” He also predicts the current spring market will be the busiest the state has seen in four years.
This is very good news for homeowners, but the statewide numbers can vary quite a bit from those in the Glen Rock and Ridgewood markets. Below is a breakdown of the market indicators Otteau cited, with a comparison of how those statistics look locally:
- Statewide residential home sales were up approximately 30 percent in January and February. Locally, those months were slower for Glen Rock and Ridgewood, with a 21 percent combined decline in activity year over year. However, our newly written sales contracts are up 28 percent from the first three months of 2011. So, rather than our traditional spring market (which can arrive the first week in January), it seems we are seeing a more calendar-appropriate arrival of the house hunting season. We should see the overall sales statistics even out in a month or two.
- Otteau predicted that home prices will be flat this year, after falling almost 5 percent statewide last year. Glen Rock and Ridgewood performed slightly better than the state as a whole, with prices falling 4 percent, but no further decline would certainly be optimal.
- Average New Jersey home prices have fallen 26 percent from the market peak in 2006. This is an area where Glen Rock and Ridgewood homeowners can appreciate the relative protection they have had in their housing investment. While local prices have certainly been affected, the two towns combined have only posted an average 12 percent decrease since our local height of the market, which can be traced to the first quarter of 2006.
As a whole, Glen Rock and Ridgewood have been somewhat insulated from the housing decline. It’s not only because our foreclosure levels are far below average, but also because our close proximity to commuter lines continue to make Glen Rock and Ridgewood a very desirable location for New York City area homebuyers.