Are Real Estate Markets Cooling as Summer Ends?

As the summer real estate season draws to a close, there are reports nationally that housing prices are trailing lower due to a combination of factors, including higher prices and mortgage rates. What does this mean for real estate markets here in New Jersey? 

While nationally, the red-hot market, with its intense bidding wars, may be slowing down, in NJ a sellers market is still in place. Despite the higher cost of buying a house in 2022, buyers still outnumber sellers by a large margin in locations throughout the state.  Sales prices of single family homes remain high due to continued low inventories.

Housing inventories remain very low and are still well below pre-pandemic inventories. Recent data for NJ Realtors shows that new listings in NJ are down 8.8% from a year ago, and that there were 16,300 homes for sale, down 20.5% from a year ago. In addition, houses are not remaining on the market very long, and buyers and sellers want to close quickly. According to NJ Realtors most recent data, in June 2022, the average days on market dropped to 26, remaining lower than previous years.

Meanwhile, sales data from late spring indicates that in NJ, the median sales price of a single family home was up 12.6% from a year ago to $490,000. In the most desirable locations in the state, recent data shows sales prices are up by almost 20% from one year ago. 

Locally, in Middlesex county, the median sold price in June 2022 was $419,900, up more than 10% from June 2021. In Monmouth county, the median sold price in June 2022 rose to $535,000, an increase of 9.2% from the prior year. 

Buyers interest has not cooled dramatically despite the recent fluctuation in mortgage rates. First time buyers in particular have not been swayed by the recent price increases and remain very motivated. However, because of the rise in mortgage rates, some buyers have had to adjust their price ranges lower in order to qualify for a loan.