Registration applications will be going out for many of the schools in our area over the coming days. Parents will be expected to know already which schools they are planning to send their kids to and, in many instances, they will need to commit to these schools for the coming year. It’s no wonder then that, in these parts, early February signals the beginning of the “spring market” in real estate.
For years people have asked me when is the best time to buy and sell houses in Bergen County and my reply in most instances has been the same. “In this area, houses sell 12 months a year!” This does not mean to say that there won’t be an increase in activity during the coming months. There most certainly will be, but it does mean that, traditionally speaking, there isn’t one time of year when you can get more money for your home than another. Anecdotally, as demand for homes picks up this time of year, there is a parallel supply increase as more sellers are contemplating their next move in the springtime as well. If all is in balance, there will be more buyers plus more inventory in the spring with fewer of both in the colder months allowing for prices to remain stable throughout the year.
As of the writing of this article the trends that were apparent last year, one of high demand and low supply, are continuing. Take for example the following statistics: as of February 2, 2020 there were 178 houses for sale in Teaneck, New Milford and Bergenfield combined. This year on February 2, there are 64 homes for sale in these same markets. That is over a 60% reduction in housing stock. How this staggeringly low inventory will impact our market has already been felt with prices reaching higher and higher numbers. Conversely, Laurence Yen, chief economist at the NAR, predicts that there may be a move toward stability in supply and demand. Rising mortgage rates, with the Federal Reserve predicting up to three interest rate hikes in 2022, may help to alleviate some of the demand as the actual cost of owning a home will go up, taking some buyers out of the market.
In my mind, the real story to watch this spring, and the one I believe will play the biggest role in shaping our local market, will be all those sellers who have been sitting it out during covid contemplating their next move. It’s been said before many times but I can hardly remember a time when it rings more true: There has probably never been a better time to sell your home than spring 2022.
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC, 1401 Palisade Ave, Teaneck, New Jersey. 201 826 8809, [email protected]