During a pandemic, NJ’s housing market was stronger in 2020
You'd think due to obstacles related to viewing homes or getting the final ink on paper, New Jersey's housing market would see a dip during a global pandemic.
But new year-end figures suggest business was booming in 2020, after a temporary near-standstill in transactions at the pandemic's onset.
"May, through the end of the year, anything that went on the market was here today, gone tomorrow," said Robert White, 2021 president-elect for New Jersey Realtors.
Aside from inventory, major indicators were up year over year in New Jersey last year, according to the association. The median sales price jumped 14% to $350,000, and closed sales were up 5.5% for the whole year, indicating a strong buyer demand during a year that was impacted by COVID-19 for nearly 10 months.
"Right through today, were still seeing multiple-offer situations, we're seeing over-ask accepted prices," White said.
Hunterdon County saw the greatest percentage change in closed sales last year (29.1%), followed by Sussex County (22.9%) and Cape May County (17.6%).
Demand and median sales prices are expected to continue climbing in the first quarter of 2021, with low interest rates forecast to stay put for much of the upcoming year and potentially beyond.
New listings, and the overall number of homes for sale, were down in 2020 compared to the year prior. Contributing to that dip was hesitation among wannabe sellers who looked to avoid having strangers in their home for a walk-through during an infectious disease outbreak.
"I think as the vaccine beings to roll out, you'll start to see more people put their home on the market," White said.