Selling a house is tricky in a buyer’s market…tricky, but not impossible. Of course, in states like New Jersey, market conditions in one county can vary–just like median incomes and crime rates–from those in another.
Accordingly, those considering selling a home should consult local and regional trends over statewide and national numbers. Two adjacent counties might show strikingly different results in terms of home values and months on the market. In the northern half of the Garden State, these differences are illustrated by a few counties where the housing market is alive and well. In fact, the numbers are robust.
Home to New Jersey’s largest city–Newark–Essex County also bounds many well-to-do communities like Glen Ridge and Livingston. Home values in Glen Ridge, for instance, have jumped 5.41 percent with the median value resting at $662,100. The median list price for the county overall is $419,000. By contrast. foreclosures have dropped in the county 26 percent over the last year. Lenders with too much repossessed property in their portfolios are going to be less flexible in their credit guidelines for buyers. Fewer foreclosures make them more comfortable.
This evidence demonstrates that sellers are in a strong position when negotiating price and other terms.
Morris County has a reputation for strong schools and a highly educated populace. The poverty rate, furthermore, is less than half of that of New Jersey in general. Since the prior year, foreclosure activity plummeted by 16 percent and the median home value now rests at $479,000.
In Harding, to illustrate the high end, the median sits at 1,030,200. Adding to these impressive figures is the fact that the property tax rate is 2.14 percent, well below the Garden State average. As a consequence, buyers seek Morris County as a place to start and raise families.
Home to over half a million residents, Union County, New Jersey has averaged 350 new house construction permits per year over the last decade. Thriving retail and commercial sectors occupy this jurisdiction, perhaps contributing to the low property tax rates of communities like Summit, Westfield and Berkeley Heights. The number of homes in foreclosure has fallen by 52 percent since last year while the median sales price among the more upscale–and lower taxed–communities is about $633,000.
Several county-wide schools are ranked among the best in the Garden State, improving sale prospects considerably.
There is controversy regarding where North Jersey ends and South Jersey begins. Some place the divide at the Raritan River, running right through Middlesex County. As the state’s most populous county and home to the flagship university of New Jersey, Middlesex also hosts countless businesses of varying size, including many pharmaceutical and high-tech manufacturing companies.
The median list price county-wide is $369,000 while houses in towns like Cranbury they can sell for over $700,000, each representing strong increases over the prior year. Despite its heavy commercial, scientific and educational institutions, Middlesex is known for several intimate and tight-knit communities.
Among New York City’s premiere bedroom communities, Bergen County is also renown for its retail outlets, malls and school systems. As foreclosures nose-dive, river-front towns like Edgewater are seeing increases in median list prices that approach eight percent. Closed sales have increased over 15 percent compared to 2018 while the inventory of homes for sale has dropped by nearly 25 percent. Given its advantageous location and innumerable conveniences, Bergen County will always draw the motivated buyers. Ten of the top 50 high schools in NJ are found in Bergen.