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The Bright Side of NJ’s Iffy Housing Market

Featuring a worst-in-the-nation foreclosure rate and a significant inventory shortage, New Jersey’s housing market is far from perfect and still reeling from the economic downturn of late last decade.

SOLD sign
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

But, sales are on the rise in the Garden State — up 7.7 percent from June 2016 to June 2017, according to New Jersey Realtors — proving that the allure of homeownership is still alive and well.

The median sales price of homes in New Jersey registered an uptick as well.

“The median sales price for the total market did remain strong at $275,000 for the first two quarters of 2017. That’s an increase of 1.9 percent over the same period last year,” New Jersey Realtors President Bob Oppenheimer told New Jersey 101.5.

Oppenheimer noted, though, the price/inventory/sales situation can’t be described by one statistic in such a diverse state as New Jersey. Three segments of the market are performing quite differently from one another.

Performing the strongest, the entry-level housing market is dealing with a substantial inventory shortage. The homes that are available are bringing in multiple offers, driving up the end transaction price.

The mid-level market is a bit cloudier, Oppenheimer explained. While there’s strong demand, there’s also more inventory. And buyers who may want to “move up” are hesitant about making the switch.

The high-end market — homes well into the seven-figure area — is very soft, Oppenheimer said. There is no shortage of inventory, and while purchasers may have the financial wherewithal to take the financial jump, they’re still queasy about doing so. This market is dealing with flat-to-softer pricing.

Inventory is down 20.5 percent form the same time last year, New Jersey Realtors data show. According to statistics released in January by ATTOM Data Solutions, an online real estate database, New Jersey posted the highest foreclosure rate last year at 1.86 percent.

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