June Housing Data

Single family home housing data for the month of June was released by the New Jersey Association of Realtors providing us a snapshot of the very middle of the selling season. Statewide, pending sales, those with contracts not yet closed were up 6.5% last June compared to June 2013 while closed sales were down by -2.7%. New listings increased by a healthy 12.0% margin, year over year.

In June of 2013 the median sales price came in at $335,000 and this past June the median price was $333,000, a marginal reduction. Homes are being sold for nearly the asking price as in June the final sales price was 96.8% of the initial list price. We’ll be looking at the July numbers next month for any pullback in prices as June saw an increase of 12.0% in new listings compared to last year while during the same period the Days on Market tally dropped yet again to 75 days. It’s conceivable to think this number will increase slightly as there are 13,000 new listings for June compared to 11,605 for June 2013. Year to date, there have been 72,940 homes listed for sale.

The Townhouse-Condo market is still making gains, with the median sales price up 4.9%, pending sales up 4.1% with closed sales off slightly by -1.2%. The median sales price in this category increased by 4.9% while the days on market number dropped to 73 days from 81, a -9.9% fall.

Central Jersey Data

Housing prices in Central Jersey are much higher compared to the rest of the state and is reflected in the median sales price for June. The median sales price for single family homes was $511,000 this past June compared to $501,550 the same period last year. Home sellers are getting nearly their listing price as homes sold at 97.2% of the initial list price.

The Days on Market count indicated a healthy drop as it took just 62 days for a closing to take place from the initial listing date. Over the past 12 months, this number has dropped by -22.9%. Great news for sellers yet not so much for buyers. There are new homes listed for sale and there were 483 new listings in Somerset County alone.

The Central Jersey real estate market is healthy with no indication of any falloff as we head into the fall. The numbers for July will be released later this month by the New Jersey Association of Realtors.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage interest rates have been stuck in their relative ranges for quite some time with the average 30 year fixed conforming rate bouncing between 4.11% to 4.25% since early June. The Fed announced yet another $10 billion reduction in their monthly buys of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage bonds as the QEIII program comes to a halt in late October.

When the Fed made the announcement of the impending end of the QEIII program way back in June of 2013, both the stock and bond markets took a hit with interest rates rising at their fastest clip in over two decades yet since then have fallen to their current levels. Last year the 30 year fixed rate averaged 4.40% as of August 15, 2013 while at the end of July 2014 that same average pegged at 4.12%.

The economy has been showing signs of improvement in pockets and investors took a hard look at the 2Q GDP number which came in at a healthy 4.00% gain. There have been more than 200,000 new jobs created for each month this year as well. Yet economic indicators are taking a back seat to geopolitical events as investors are putting more funds into bonds, helping to keep rates low. Until the global hotspots cool off, home buyers can expect lower rates well into the fall.