Lower Mortgage Rates May Boost Buyer Demand in Central New Jersey Real Estate Markets

Local markets throughout New Jersey continue to see sustained interest, and this week’s news that mortgage rates are drifting lower may get more buyers moving.

Asking prices for homes for sale throughout much of New Jersey rose in December, as high interest from potential home buyers and low inventories continue to boost select real estate markets as 2023 gets underway. 

Key mortgage rates edged lower this week, and as a result buyers may be prompted to lock in rates. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages slid. As of January 18, 2023, the 30-year fixed rate dropped to 6.5%, while the 20-year fixed rate dropped to 6.125% Some adjustable-rate mortgage also ticked downward.

In December 2022, home prices in New Jersey were up 2.7% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $429,900. Some Northern New Jersey counties, including Hudson and Bergen, are seeing home prices edge lower. 

But in 17 counties, including locations in Central and Southern New Jersey, prices have increased from a year ago. A sellers market remains intact in many local markets despite rising interest rates, as buyers continue to drive high demand in many markets. Inventories remain low compared to previous years in much of Central New Jersey. Strong interest from first-time homebuyers remains a factor, especially in more affordable areas. 

In Middlesex county, the median sold price for homes rose 8.6% in December from the prior year, climbing to $434,696 based on new market data. Meanwhile, 44% of houses on the market in Middlesex county sold for above asking price in December. 

Elsewhere in Central New Jersey, the data is showing similar trends. Prices are even stronger in Monmouth County, which saw the median price for homes sold in December 2022 rise 12.4% from the previous year to $549,923. A similar rise in the median sold price was reported in Ocean County. 

Houses are still selling fast in many of the most active markets in Central New Jersey, although the time on the market is slightly higher than a year ago. 

Homebuyers need to be ready to move quickly and need to make sure that they have mortgage pre-approvals in hand before making an offer on a home.