February 7, 2020
The very first person to enroll in our new Robbinsville real estate school asked one question before she even enquired about how to get a NJ real estate license: “How’s the real estate market nowadays?” It’s not just people who want to get a real estate license who ask that. When you become a REALTOR®, that very question will be asked frequently once people discover you have a real estate license.
All real estate is local.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O’Neil famously said, “All politics are local.” The same applies to real estate. When people were desperately trying to sell homes in New Jersey in 2009-2010 and multiple properties on the same block were “under water” with no buyers in sight, REALTORS® in areas such as Austin, Texas and Seattle and San Francisco were complaining that every home their buyers wanted was selling above list price after multiple offers.
Even in New Jersey, the real estate market in North Jersey recovered much faster than that in South Jersey, and homes on the Jersey Shore are still selling faster than those just a few miles inland. For this article, I will compare 2018 and 2019 sales in the three core areas from which our real estate license students come. This report is only for residential properties.
Burlington County home sales.
2019 was a good year for South Jersey in general, and the Burlington County real estate market in particular. We saw 9,720 homes come on the market in 2019 from which 7,290 sold. In 2018, there were 10,466 new listings that resulted in 7,509 homes sold. So 3% fewer homes sold in 2019 than in the previous year.
However, the homes sold for a significantly higher average price in 2019 than in 2018: $249,203 vs. $231,029. That’s a 8% higher average sale price—a good indicator of a healthy local housing market. It took about the same time for homes to sell in 2019 (80 days) than in 2018—78 days.
Why were there fewer home sales in 2019 compared to 2018? Because the inventory of good saleable properties is low. There were 7% fewer new homes listed last year compared to 2018. When word spreads that homes are selling quickly, it motivates many “on the fence” homeowners to put their home on the market. Evidence of this happening is reflected in the fact that at the end of 2018 there were 610 homes for sale in Burlington County whereas on December 31st, 2019 that had jumped 79% to 1,091 listings for sale!
Camden County home sales.
Camden and Burlington County are usually very close in home sales statistics, and it was no different in 2019. 10,241 new listings came on the market in 2019—7% fewer than the 10,990 in 2018. Because of this lower inventory, the units sold dropped 2% from 7,698 in 2018 to 7,561 in 2019.
While Burlington County’s home sellers were happy with an average 8% higher home sale price in 2019, their Camden County neighbors were doing the happy dance. The average sale price of $181,194 in 2018 jumped 12% to $202,356 last year. The total marketing period remained constant at 80 days vs. 79 days a year earlier.
Again, as word spread, more people put a For Sale sign on their lawn and 2019 ended with 1,075 homes on the market, 69% more than the inventory of 635 homes for sale at the end of 2018.
Gloucester County home sales.
There were 10,241 new home listings in 2019, a 7% decline compared to the 10,990 new listings in 2018. But while Burlington and Camden counties saw unit sales decline last year, Gloucester County saw a healthy 4% increase in home sales: from 4,774 in 2018 to 4,915 in 2019.
Those homes also sold at a higher price last year, averaging $202,075 compared to the 2018 average home sale price of $189,905. Again, unlike its two northern neighboring counties, the selling period dropped. Homes sold after 87 days on the market last year, whereas average sales time was 91 days in 2018. And like the other areas in South Jersey, inventory leapt 63% by the end of the year to 800 homes listed, compared to the inventory of 490 homes for sale on December 31st, 2018.
What does this mean for you?
It means that there has not been a better time in more than a decade for you to earn your New Jersey real estate license. The public is motivated to sell their homes and when that happens, they usually want to buy another one.
If you consider the sales for 2019, imagine how perfect the time is right now for you to get your new real estate license in time for the spring market. Our 75-hour pre-licensing course can prepare you for the New Jersey real estate licensing exam in just two weeks. Alternatively, for those who cannot attend our real estate school in Cherry Hill or Robbinsville during the day, we have the same course that runs three evenings a week—and BOTH classes are about to begin.
Go to our website: www.GSREacademy.com to see how New Jersey’s top-rated real estate school can set you off on a great new career in 2020!
David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 31 years ago. During his career, David and his business partner sold more than 450 homes in South Jersey. He is now 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 15 books. David can be reached at David@GSREacademy.com