July saw another increase in median sale prices in the South Jersey Shore real estate market, according to the latest Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute report. Cape May County exhibited a sale price rise of 14%, followed by a 13% increase in Atlantic County. Both counties experienced a dip in units sold, with Atlantic County decreasing by 20% and Cape May County by 7%. Inventory varied between the two counties, with an 11% rise in Atlantic County and a 5% decline in Cape May County.
“One item to note about this market is the healthy level of increases in home values,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “Homeowners are experiencing 2% to 6% appreciation in 80% of the nation’s markets.”
In our volatile stock market environment, and with mortgage interest rates declining, Scott commented he is bullish on the purchase of homes – including investment properties and second homes. “If you are thinking about diversifying and putting some of your money in the real estate market, now is the time, while interest rates are so low,” he added.
For those homeowners who are contemplating selling, we asked Scott for his opinion on the best time to sell a home. “From Labor Day to Thanksgiving, the market is fairly active. There are also quite a few buyers in December, who are not just looking, but are motivated to buy,” said Scott. “But the best time to list your home depends on your personal needs – whenever the time is best for you, your family, and your job.”
With fewer homes on the market and increased competition for affordable homes, Scott provided advice for the best way to find a home now. “First, engage the help of a real estate professional who is attuned to the market, and don’t rely on digital data alone, as it is not always accurate, nor up-to-date,” said Scott. “Have your financing in order and be ready to buy, because there will be five other people in line to buy the home.”
Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you navigate the complexities of this market, whether you are selling or buying a home.