Spring 2011 poses challenges for sellers and unique opportunities for buyers.
Statistical reports released by the New Jersey Multiple Listing Services indicate that in March, 2011, 4,578 new listings came on the market (all categories) with a total of 10,704 new listings for the first quarter. Only 755 properties sold in March 2011 and a total of 2,135 sold during the first quarter. With a disproportionately larger supply of inventory and significantly lesser consumer demand sellers must continue to work hard to sell their homes.
There are, however, some encouraging indications that we are on a recovery path. In the first quarter of 2011, according to the New Jersey Association of Realtors, the Garden State has demonstrated its second straight quarterly gain in existing home sales since the post home buyer tax credit period. Compared to the first quarter of 2010, New Jersey sales declined only 2.8 percent. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, expects the improving sales pattern to continue and projects moderate improvements into 2012.
As the market attempts to recover and self-correct, it has become increasingly evident that the economic meltdown and housing downturn of recent years have had a humbling effect. With diminished job security and increasing scrutiny by lending institutions, buyers these days take much longer to arrive at a decision to purchase a property and are then inclined to spend more conservatively than in the past. Poor inspection reports may kill a deal unless the seller addresses the issues and/or offers credit to buyer. Sellers beware: Nowadays, the inspection phase often represents the next round of price negotiation. Buyers be encouraged: Historically low mortgage rates and affordable home prices offer today’s consumers a phenomenal window of opportunity with an impressive array of real estate inventory.