Q: What can we expect for the spring/summer 2021 real estate market?
A: March 2020 was one of the busiest real estate seasons in recent memory. But when the pandemic hit, all activity came to a halt and it seemed as if all momentum would be lost. I set up an office in my den, put on a mask and waited. In June, as people ventured outside again and restrictions loosened, all the pent-up demand that existed pre-COVID, plus the renewed attraction to the open spaces of suburban living, led to unprecedented sales. 2020 is on pace to finish as one of the strongest on record in Bergen County. Interest in home buying this fall has not waned and if last year’s March is any indication, this year’s spring/summer market will be on track for another strong finish.
Q: Baby boomers: Stay put or make the next move?
A: Some sentiments I’ve heard from my peers who have called Bergen County home for a generation is that this is their “base.” If they need to shelter in place they will do so in the comfort of their own home. Coincidentally, there is the phenomenon of millenials moving back to Bergen County. Their parents, now “grandparents” are loath to leave as their kids are moving closer. So what to do now? One alternative is to simply downsize to a smaller home or condo/coop and remain in the area. Another possibility is “staking” out a place in your children’s new home (ensuite bedroom/bath on first floor, finished basement with guest quarters) and then make the next move. I have had many conversations with customers where Florida and Fort Lee remain popular destinations, and have sold in Netanya, which is becoming ever more in demand.
Q: Are prices going up?
A: While we’ve seen a slight impact in pricing year over year across the broader market, certain higher priced homes ($1M+) have seen a surge in both price and sales. Conversely, there continues to be an incentive for sellers to price their homes at market value. As we’ve seen time and time again, homes priced right will sell quickly. Even in today’s competitive market, homes that are priced too high tend to languish. It will be interesting to watch the impact of construction pricing on the housing market due to lumber/material shortages, which have led to dramatic price increases. I will be discussing “new construction” in a future article as we are seeing big changes coming to that segment of the market. Spoiler alert: Can you guess how much the first spec home in Teaneck sold for? Email me at [email protected]
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V&N Group LLC at 1401 Palisade Ave., Teaneck. She can be reached at 201-692-3700.