“So, what’s the real estate market like these days?” is a question we hear several times over the course of a day — from customers, from the staff of our local delis/cafes, from our friends, etc. It’s a good question. The national economy and our personal economic prospects and the US residential real estate market are intertwined in a complex, inter-dependent web.
The reporting of numbers that we hear is interesting and instructive, but needs to be interpreted carefully, as there is frequently information that on the surface seems contradictory. For example, we received email from the same mortgage lender with the following messages in the economic updates he sent recently:
- reported on 7/23/2012 — “Retail sales fell 0.5% to $401.5 billion in June. This follows a 0.2% decrease in May. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales increased 3.8% in June.”
- reported on 7/16/2012 — “Retail sales rose 2% for the week ending July 7, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3%.”
Is it any surprise that so many people are wondering what’s really going on?
At Leaf, Realtors we follow the information reported for national, regional, and New Jersey economic factors as well as numbers pertaining to specific trends in the national, regional, and New Jersey residential housing market. However, when we are asked questions about how the real estate market is doing, we have noticed that usually, the person who asks that question wants to know how market conditions pertains to their specific real estate needs. Accordingly, before we can answer the question, we need to know: are they interested in selling property? Are they interested in buying property? Where are they looking to do that? What price range are they in? This matters because, for example, the market in many places in Hunterdon County is performing differently than the real estate market in Somerset County. Similarly, what’s happening in towns at the 300,000 price level is different than what’s happening at the $1,500,000 level. The condo market has a different dynamic to the single-family housing market.
We’re in the business of analyzing the data at every level, explaining it to our customers so they can make informed decisions, and formulating strategies for our buyers and sellers to help them get the best results no matter where they’re positioned in the market.
So, if you’d like to know our answer to the question “What’s the real estate market these days?”, contact us. Tell us if you’re planning to buy, sell, or rent and where in Hunterdon, Somerset, or Morris County (or elsewhere!) you want to do this and the price range you’re in. We’ll give you an answer to your question that’s relevant to you.