The median sale price of homes and the number of units sold continued to climb in the Jersey Shore region in October, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute Report. Median sale prices rose by 28% in Atlantic County and by 17% in Cape May County. The number of homes sold, compared to October 2019, was up by 42% in Cape May County and 32% in Atlantic County. Active inventory continued to drop in the double digits throughout the region.
There’s been a consistent reduction of housing inventory numbers for the past three years, which continues to be a headwind for the real estate market. The gap between supply and demand is so significant that the expansion in building new homes is barely scratching the surface of the actual demand for homes.
“This is arguably the best time ever to sell,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “If someone is thinking about selling in the next one to three years, I’d advise that it’s not going to get any better than it is now. Lack of inventory and historically low interest rates is a fundamental recipe for successfully selling your property.”
When asked if a COVID-19 vaccine would have any impact on mortgage rates or the overall housing market, Scott indicated he believes a vaccine and interest rates are not related. “Instead, a vaccine will hopefully open schools, restaurants and let businesses impacted by the virus experience economic opportunity and growth, which should help the housing industry,” said Scott. “People who were taken out of the housing market will be able to get back to work and get back in.”
Many home trends have popped up due to COVID-19 such as touchless appliances, home offices and home gyms. We asked Scott if he sees this trend continuing in future years. “Consumer behavior shifted so quickly, causing a flight from density,” said Scott. “As each month goes by, we see businesses make announcements of their remote vision for the future. They’re seeing high productivity from people working remotely, so I believe these home trends are here to stay.”