Looking Back, Looking Forward
January 22, 2019
Legend has it that the very moment the announcement is made from Buckingham Palace that the reigning monarch has died, the same announcer immediately—in the same sentence—declares loyalty to his or her successor.
Whether they are agents in real estate school trying to earn a New Jersey real estate license or a friend we meet for a drink, the question is always the same when they discover you’re a Realtor®: “How’s the market?”
In real estate, agents spend December furiously trying to close transactions that can help them win awards for that calendar year, and then the moment the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, all of that is irrelevant. As I like to tell our agents, “We go from hero to zero the minute the ball drops in Times Square.” The only thing that now matters is, “How am I going to structure my practice to deliver even better results in the new year.”
South Jersey real estate sales in 2018
So, before we look at predictions for the real estate market in 2019 (in next week’s blog), let’s look at how 2018 compared to the year before in our three local South Jersey counties.
Residential Sales in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties, 2018 vs 2017
2017 units sold: 7,214
2018 units sold: 7,326
Change: 1.5% more
2017 average sale price: $228,445
2018 average sale price: $232,814
Change: 1.9% higher
2017 average days to sell: 127
2018 average days to sell: 115
Change: 9.4% fewer
2017 average original list price to sale price: 83.1%
2018 average original list price to sale price: 80.7%
Change: 2.9% lower
2017 units sold: 7,600
2018 units sold: 7,496
Change: 1.4% fewer
2017 average sale price: $180.060
2018 average sale price: $184,619
Change: 1.5% higher
2017 average days to sell: 138
2018 average days to sell: 113
Change: 18.2% fewer
2017 average original list price to sale price: 90%
2018 average original list price to sale price: 92.4%
Change: 2.7% higher
2017 units sold: 4,422
2018 units sold: 4,605
Change: 4.1% more
2017 average sale price: $191,812
2018 average sale price: $192,626
Change: 0.04% higher
2017 average days to sell: 130
2018 average days to sell: 122
Change: 6.2% fewer
2017 average original list price to sale price: 95.6%
2018 average original list price to sale price: 95.9%
Change: 2.9% lower
If we were searching for a simple word to describe the year-on-year results, it might well be, “yawn!” In Burlington County, the number of homes sold is essentially the same as the previous year, with average sales prices rising just 1.9%–less than the inflation rate. The good news in Burlington County is that homes sold significantly faster—in 115 days versus 127 in 2017. The bad news is that BurlCo homes sold, on average, for only 80.7% of their original listing price—a terrible number. This is caused by homeowners listing their properties for an unrealistic price in the first place (which generally causes them to sell a lot slower). Secondly, Burlington County has several communities with luxury homes, and the market for $700,000+ homes has plummeted in the last year. Homes listed over $1 million two years ago are still languishing on the market for prices in the 700s.
Look at the sales-to-list price ratios for the three counties: 95.9% in Gloucester, 92.7% in Camden, and 80.7% in Burlington County.
Camden County home sales were also relatively flat but took 18% fewer days to sell and then sold for a better price compared to their original list than did the previous year. An encouraging improvement on both counts.
Finally, Gloucester County showed the best improvement overall, with significant improvements in the number of sales, the days-on-market, and yet average sale price was flat.
David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 30 years ago. He is School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and is the author of 13 books. David can be reached at David@GSREacademy.com