John Turpin says:
"After a solid 2017, many believed that 2018 would be the strongest year in over a decade for our region of New Jersey. While some towns certainly have shown impressive gains, the number of towns that have seen an increase in sales so far this year is about equal to the number that have seen a decrease.
Towns to the east, with good access to Manhattan and walkable downtowns, have in general fared better than towns that lack such amenities, though they, too, show signs of cooling. As noted in our second quarter report, the resurgent performance of some rural locales is a trend that continues to gain traction.
Vibrant Town Centers Remain a Draw Most notably, the Town of Clinton is up 68% in unit sales over the first three quarters of last year, which stands in contrast to its more rural counterpart, Clinton Township (down by 16% over the same period). A similar trend can be observed in the Chesters, where the Borough has seen an improvement in sales of 54% so far in 2018, whereas Chester Township remains relatively flat.
Another rural village that has been strong over the past few years is Peapack-Gladstone; here, an impressive 32% increase in unit sales stems from transactions in the $1-2 million market segment. Madison a Standout Among Neighbors After many years of strong performance, Madison continues to post impressive numbers, especially relative to surrounding towns. Year to date, Madison has seen gains in every price range and is up overall by 41% over last year. A combination of attributes undoubtedly makes Madison appealing, but with extremely low inventory it will be difficult to sustain this pace of sales.
Eastern Town Sales Cool Even as Average Sale Prices Increase In contrast to Madison, other towns in our eastern market are showing signs of a slight cooling in unit sales volume, even while their respective home-price averages continue to increase year over year. Specifically, Chatham Borough had a strong third quarter (unit sales up 12% versus 2017), yet it remains 8% behind last year in units sold to date. Chatham Township is down 6% in year-to-date units sold; Summit and Westfield are also down, 13% and 11% respectively. Millburn-Short Hills has been a perennial superstar, especially in the upper end. However, 2018 unit sales there have declined in every price range, most notably over $3M (down 40% over the same time last year).
Once again, the variation in performance from town to town cannot be overstated. As you investigate your own community in this report, you may observe altogether different trends; ours is an ever changing market, made even more complex by the diverse character of the many municipalities that comprise our region. An experienced real estate professional can help you assess the particulars that are relevant to your unique circumstance. I hope you will not hesitate to call on one of the fine agents at Turpin Realtors for expert advice and diligent service."