June 10, 2020
I’ve been saying, “The sky is NOT falling,” for months. Now, I’m going to go a step further and say, “This is the strongest Seller’s Market we have had in Bergen County in a long, long time.”
Talk to any professional real estate agent in Northern New Jersey and they will tell you they are crazy busy. Their buyers are losing multiple houses in bidding wars. Houses are selling over asking price in a matter of days, sometimes hours. Loan officers are jammed up too – first with the re-fi boom, and now with new purchases.
There are still plenty of folks who do not believe the tales of stiff competition and multiple offers. We’ve got buyers who are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for prices to drop. But the proof, as always, is in the numbers.
Last week, our accepted offers were 3% HIGHER than last year (data provided by the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, www.NJMLS.com.) And we are STILL IN LOCKDOWN!
This chart shows the week over week numbers comparing this year to last year:
You can see that in the early days of quarantine, the numbers dropped like rocks. Since that first month, however, they have risen steadily.
Some of those super-negative predictive models have turned out to be wrong, too. For example, unemployment stats were a big surprise this week. And as we said in our last blog (and this chart shows), unemployment has no correlation to the housing market:
All of the emotional reasons for buying a home – safety, security – remain the same. And as a result of the pandemic, we’re seeing people coming from densely populated adjacent areas who want more for their families now. Couple this with ridiculously low interest rates, and you can understand why Bergen County is ON FIRE – metaphorically speaking.
To those who refuse to accept this reality and seem unfazed by alternate opinions, I say, “Wake up, people!” Look at the facts – the sales that are happening right now – and forget all the hoopla and the drama. (Do yourself a big favor and turn off the nightly news – I promise you’ll feel better.)
I may be going out on a limb here, but not only is it NOT going to get easier to buy a home in Bergen County anytime soon – it will get MORE competitive and the prices will rise. No doubt about it.