The real estate market in the Delaware Valley/Lehigh Valley region of New Jersey has continued to experience a number of positive trends compared to July of last year, according to The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports. Though the pull-forward phenomenon of the homebuyer tax incentives continued to impact sales across the region in July, some areas in the New Jersey counties surrounding Philadelphia, including Camden, Burlington, Mercer and Gloucester counties, experienced an improvement in the number of days a house remained on the market before going under contract.
The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales.
In July, active inventory in the Delaware Valley/Lehigh Valley region was mixed compared to July of last year. In Camden and Burlington counties, July’s data suggests that active inventory may be moving toward stabilization, as each experienced moderate 2 percent increases, respectively, versus the same month in 2009. Gloucester County’s inventory was unchanged compared to year-ago levels. In Mercer County, total active inventory increased more significantly, at a rate of 7 percent in July compared to the same month last year.
The average number of days a house remained on the market before going under contract varied throughout the region, but generally the data indicates stabilization or improvement in days on market (DOM). In Camden County, DOM fell to 87 days, down 8 percent year-over-year. Mercer and Gloucester counties experienced a 22 percent and 13 percent decrease in its DOM, respectively, to 75 days and 90 days. In Burlington County, DOM increased 5 percent compared to July last year to 104 days.
Strong sales activity in recent months has driven increases in median sale price in some parts of the Delaware Valley/Lehigh Valley region. Burlington County and Gloucester County experienced year-over-year median sale price increases in July of 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively, to $237,000 and $212,000. Though median sale price in Camden and Mercer counties each fell 9 percent versus the same month a year ago, these areas have been stabilizing since the start of the year. This is likely due, in part, to the demand spurred by the tax incentives and record-low mortgage rates.
As expected, the local market continued to feel in July the impact of the pull-forward phenomenon created by the tax incentives offered to homebuyers through the end of April, with year-over-year decreases in sales in most areas ranging from 28 percent to 41 percent.
“We knew when we saw buyers rushing to the table this spring to take advantage of the tax credit that we would see some ripple effects throughout the summer in terms of sales,” says Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer of The Long & Foster® Companies. “But with ideal affordability conditions and mortgage rates remaining at record lows, we may see continued strengthening in the marketplace in the second half of this year.”
“The Long & Foster Market Minute reports help consumers make educated decisions on how they can best fit into today’s real estate market,” says Barry Redler, chief marketing officer for the Long & Foster Companies. “With the guidance of their experienced Realtors, buyers and sellers are likely to find that, while national headlines are painting a picture of a down housing market, there are actually opportunities in the local marketplace worth exploring.”
The Long & Foster Market Minute™ is an overview of market statistics based on residential real estate transactions and presented at the county level. The easy-to-read and easy-to-share reports include information about each county’s units sold, active inventory, median sale prices, months of supply, new listings, new contracts, list to sold price ratio, and days on market. In addition to more than 100 counties in seven states it currently covers, The Long & Foster Market Minute will include more counties in future releases.
The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports, available at no charge at www.LongandFoster.com, is one tool of many that the firm provides its sales associates so that they can help homebuyers and sellers make informed decisions