August 2023 Real Estate Market Update

One of the most common questions I get every week is “How’s the market?” It’s a fair question to ask, especially in the midst of a pandemic and economic uncertainty. As a real estate agent in New Jersey, I have been closely monitoring the market and tracking its trends. In this blog post, I’m going to dig into what we’re seeing here at the Jersey Shore in South Jersey, as well as what we’re seeing across the entire country. Whether you’re a home buyer or seller, you deserve to have a clear understanding of the current real estate market.

Home Inventory

Firstly, we’ve continued to see inventory decline further, meaning there are even fewer properties on the market. This has resulted in fewer properties selling this year compared to last year. As we head towards the end of the year, we’re still having significantly fewer transactions, meaning the market remains very competitive for buyers. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to sell. In fact, it’s still a fantastic time to sell. If you’re a seller, interest rates have been moving around a little bit, and they keep kind of topping out around that 7% number.

Last year we thought that we were going to alleviate some of our inventory issues as we actually saw more properties coming onto the market. A lot of the economists predicted that that trend was going to continue. However, that is not what we’re seeing this year. We’ve seen that trend reverse, and inventory has dropped even further. Nevertheless, the reason there’s not a market crash is because prices have gone up enough that almost everyone has a significant amount of equity in their home.

Home Prices 

As 2022 drew to a close, about 37% of people thought prices were going to go down and even thought we were heading into a crash. Well, we’re already in August, and it’s safe to say it’s not true. The opposite has happened – prices have continued to go up. The best time to buy real estate was yesterday, but today’s the second-best time. Real estate tends to go up over time and not go down. As of June, a couple of months ago, that number has gone down slightly, but the trend of increasing prices is definitely still there.

Is It STILL A Sellers Market?

It’s important to recognize that the real estate market is dynamic, and it changes day by day. However, the overall trend has been favorable for sellers, with prices continuing to rise and inventory remaining low. Homebuyers need to be prepared to act quickly and decisively if they want to secure a property in a highly competitive market. Home sellers, on the other hand, need to take advantage of the favorable market conditions and list their property at a price that reflects the current demand.

What To Expect In Coming Months

As we look ahead to the next year, mortgage rates are expected to trend downwards, which is great news for buyers who have been waiting for rates to drop. My personal opinion is that once rates start to approach the 5% mark, the market is going to take off. It’s important to note that a neutral market typically lasts between five to six months. However, it’s also important to consider the overall number of properties selling compared to last year. We’re seeing significantly fewer properties selling, but this can largely be attributed to the explosive market we experienced in 2020, 2021, and parts of 2022. Additionally, there’s a lack of available inventory which is making it difficult for homes to be sold. With all of this in mind, it’s likely that we’ll never see the same number of transactions that we saw in 2020 again.

The real estate market in New Jersey is still in favor of sellers due to low inventory levels. However, homebuyers need not despair, as interest rates remain low, and prices are relatively stable. The best approach for both buyers and sellers is to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who can help them navigate the complex and ever-changing market. At the end of the day, the New Jersey real estate market remains a valuable investment opportunity for anyone looking to buy or sell a home. So, if you’re thinking of making a move, now might be the time to act.

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