November brought a rise in the median sale price of homes and a brisk number of units sold in the Jersey Shore region, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute Report.
Median sale prices rose by 35% in Atlantic County and by 9% in Cape May County. The number of homes sold, compared to November 2019, was up by 29% in Cape May County and 19% in Atlantic County. Housing inventory continued its downward trajectory throughout the region.
We’ve seen a very strong real estate market this year. Second home markets, such as at the beaches and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, had brisk sales, which are expected to continue into the foreseeable future, but not forever. “Throughout all regions where we conduct business, we’re currently seeing a decrease in showings and listings but an increase in sales,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “Looking forward to 2021, we believe the market will be more traditionally seasonal.”
There has been a significant increase in the use of technology in the real estate industry this year due to the pandemic. When asked if Scott sees this reliance on virtual tools continuing in the future, he commented that real estate is a relationship business and while there is no substitute for personal service, technology enhances our ability to keep in touch with clients and build rapport with them. “It’s all about balancing technology with personal service,” said Scott.
As more people have bought and sold homes using virtual tools this year, cybercrimes have become prevalent, with phishing scams and wire fraud being chief among them. Scott recommends not clicking on anything unless you’re sure it came from a legitimate source. “Consumers should have heightened awareness that it can happen and no one is immune to it,” said Scott. “Particularly in a real estate transaction or anything having to do with money, double-check with a phone call to the sender, when receiving money wiring instructions via email.” Scott advised against forwarding a suspicious email to others because it could cause the receiver to also be prone to a cyberattack.
“We’ll look back at 2020 in a few years and be surprised and blessed that the real estate industry clearly was the shining star of 2020 from an economic perspective,” said Scott. “Many other industries benefit from real estate when people buy and sell homes. For instance, when purchasing a home, people may buy such things as a refrigerator, light fixtures, carpets, etc., which have a significant trickle-down affect into the economy.”