If the image of a roller coaster is your preference when visualizing the current real estate market, simply close your eyes and envision the following: You just finished hearing the slow click click click of the gears lifting the cars higher and higher, which is followed by an eerie silence where you feel your heart beating faster and faster as the car you’re sitting in begins it’s fall to earth. With lungs full of air you naturally yell as you really aren’t sure how much farther and how much faster this thing will go. Freeze time … this would seem to be the exact spot we are looking at with the October Market report and our only question is how much farther and how much faster is this thing going to go?
Sale prices for homes sold in Teaneck, Bergenfield and New Milford, as well as prices of homes sold in the entire Bergen County, have reversed their gains for the year and are back to January’s numbers. To be clear, sale prices, while moving lower, are still at historic highs and, quite inexplicably, the list prices of average homes for sale in these areas are as high as they’re ever been. For all of Bergen County the numbers are actually the highest they have been all year. One explanation could be that as the lower, more moderately priced homes continue selling faster than the more expensive houses, the overall average sale price numbers become higher since the lower priced homes are taken off the market. This trend is perpetuated by the lack of new homes replenishing the inventory. Thus with more higher priced homes remaining, the average list price for the county is creeping upwards.
But the real number to watch closely is the degree to which activity has fallen. Homes sold for the month of October reflect the lowest numbers we have seen all year, coupled with fewer homes going into contract. As discussed last week, this slow down in activity may also be a contributing factor in keeping the sale price numbers higher. With such little inventory combined with lower sales, buyers who are adamant about buying now opt to pay the higher price in order to get a home in Bergen County. It’s important to emphasize that homeowners are building a lot more than just equity. I have always believed that a home is an investment in one’s family above all else!
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC, located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.