March Housing Data

Single family home housing data for the month of March was released by the New Jersey Association of Realtors providing us a snapshot of the prime spring selling season. Statewide, pending sales, those with contracts not yet closed were up 17.4% in March compared to March 2014 while closed sales were up 13.3%. New listings increased by a healthy 8.4% margin, year over year.

In March of 2014 the median sales price came in at $290,000 and this past March the median price was $280,000, a marginal reduction. Homes are being sold for nearly the asking price as in March the final sales price was 95.6% of the initial list price. We’ll be looking at the April numbers next month for any pullback in prices as March saw an increase of 4.0% in new listings compared to last year while during the same period the Days on Market tally dropped to 101 days. There was a slight increase in the number of new listings there were 11,830 new listings in March compared to 11,372 listings last March. Year to date, there have been 54,583 homes listed for sale.
The Townhouse-Condo market is still making gains, with the median sales price up 4.9%, pending sales up 13.2% with closed sales up by 7.9%. The median sales price in this category increased by 4.9% while the days on market number dropped to 93 days from 96, a –3.1% fall.
Central Jersey Data
Housing prices in Central Jersey were down compared to the rest of the state and is reflected in the median sales price for March. The median sales price for single-family homes was $400,000 this past March compared to $435,000 the same period last year. This is a good signal for buyers since prices are down approximately 8%. Home sellers are getting nearly their listing price as homes sold at 96.1% of the initial list price.
The Days on Market saw an increase as it took around 103 days for a closing to take place from the initial listing date. Over the past 12 months, this number has increased by 15.7%. Great news for buyers yet not so much for sellers. There are new homes listed for sale and there were 1201 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 second quarter. The New Jersey Association of Realtors will release the numbers for April later in the middle of May. Prices are lower than last year and is a great time to be a buyer.
Mortgage Rates
The consensus of the fancy fortune tellers is that interest rates are going up. It’s a matter of only a few months before the Fed is going to increase the discount rate. As reported by Freddie Mac, the lowest average rate during the past 30 years was 3.35% in December 2012. Rates reached a 2 year high of 4.46 in December of 2013 and Freddie is reporting rates only approximately .25% higher than the 30 year low. It would be great timing if you can lock in a rate within .25% of the lowest rate in 30 years. Both prices and interest rates are at a desirable level to purchase a home. By the way, at Montgomery Mortgage we are usually .25% lower than our competition with lower fees. Our current rate is at 3.5% with no lender fees.