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Home prices still climbing as COVID eases

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Looking for a home last summer, Priscilla Gabela and her husband Antonio Aluotto gave up after a month. There were bidding wars everywhere, and the North Arlington couple decided to wait and see and take a break from September to December.

When they came back on the market earlier this year, they had a sticker shock. If prices were too high in 2020, they zoomed into the stratosphere this year.

“It was crazy,” said Gabela. “We saw a lot of houses with very high prices.”

Welcome to the post-pandemic North Jersey real estate market, where price hikes are the brutal reality even as vaccines spread, interest rates soar and more homes sold. If demand continues to be high, last year’s “COVID premium” will not decrease.

Antonio Aluotto and Prscilla Gabela-Aluotto pose for a picture of their home in North Arlington on Friday, June 11, 2021.

In Bergen County, the average tenafly home sale price increased 16% in May year over year. Hackensack rose by 19% and Teaneck by a whopping 33%, according to data from the state broker association and individual agencies.

Some of the axioms of living in North Jersey have been confirmed: Cities with quaint downtown areas within walking distance or easy access to NJ transit fared well – prices in Montclair rose 22%.

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Properties in New Jersey:How hot is the property market in New Jersey in the spring? Cash offers, bidding battles, missed inspections

However, some of the sharpest increases have occurred further west as the trend towards hybrid and online work schedules encouraged buyers to relocate further from New York. Morris County’s median price rose $ 100,000, or 23%, in April, the last available month. Sussex County also skyrocketed, led by Sparta’s 23% increase.

“Sellers are taking advantage of soaring prices and buyers are feverishly taking inventory – it’s still a market for sellers,” said Max Stokes, real estate agent at Christie’s International Real Estate Northern New Jersey in Ho-Ho-Kus.

On the hunt for a home

Gabela and Alutto, both 36, were looking for a four bedroom, two bath colonial under $ 900,000 in north Bergen County – Upper Saddle River, Allendale and Wyckoff were the main hunting areas.

They stood in long lines by open houses, but found that even houses in need of work charge high prices. An obsolete property in Allendale sold for $ 900,000. While the decline in the pandemic means more homes have hit the market this year than last year, there are also more buyers, real estate agents said.

Gabela knows they’ll pay more for the same house now after putting their search on hold. But she also expects to get more for her home in North Arlington, which she plans to list at $ 430,000 once the couple buys a property. A realtor set the home at $ 350,000 last year based on an analysis of similar homes.

“It’s a wash,” said Gabela.

NJ housing guide:Everything you need to know if looking to buy or sell a home in North Jersey

Bergen County Program:This is how you get support if you are behind with rent and utilities

Average sales prices in Bergen County in April rose 14% year over year; 19% in Passaic County and 21% in Essex.

The market is facing a major test in the coming months as companies begin to urge their employees to return to work, said Stokes, the real estate agent for Ho-Ho-Kus. Right now, Bergen County homes continue to sell fast, with competition at all costs, he said.

Although the market stalled with the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, it quickly rebounded with a momentum that continued into this year. Across the state, home sales increased 20% from January through April compared to the same period in 2020. The average home price in New Jersey rose from $ 335,000 to $ 407,000, an increase of 21.5%.

The new reality of the market is “multiple deals, shorter days in the market, more cash deals and higher prices,” said Noemi Morales Barile of Coldwell Banker Realty in Alpine and Closter. Buyers forego inspections, bidding wars are the order of the day.

“I’ve seen homes worth $ 400,000 sell for $ 75,000 above asking price; I’ve seen $ 3 million homes sell for nearly a million above asking price, ”added Greg Rice, a Coldwell banker agent in Spring Lake, Monmouth County.

More space for your money

The virus has pushed city dwellers to seek more space in the suburbs and buyers have been looking for more value by heading west, said Jeff Fellers, a real estate agent at KL Sotheby’s International Realty in Mendham. Cities in Morris County offer more room for the dollar, and with remote and hybrid working models as options, an extra 15 minutes of commuting two to three times a week doesn’t seem as bad, he said.

Cities with strong inner cities and direct train connections to the city have done well as city dwellers have moved away, said Rich Stanton of the Stanton Company in Montclair.

Buyers also like the small-town, pedestrian-friendly charm of Morris County’s towns like Denville, said Ilene Horowitz, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Mountain Lakes.

Lake communities like White Meadow Lake in Rockaway Township are also seeing higher demand from transplants like Meredith and Nick Huddy, who have shopped in the neighborhood In April. They moved a new baby from Arlington, Virginia in March and found that homes were being sold as soon as they were listed.

So Meredith, 32, jumped into action when she saw a three bedroom colonial with a two car garage that she liked online. The family drove the next day to a tour of New Jersey and immediately made an offer. The competition was tough: the Huddys had to bid $ 21,000 over the $ 439,000 price tag.

“It was the first house we saw and we knew we had to move immediately,” said Meredith. “We knew the market was hot. We didn’t know how crazy it is.”

Mary Chao 趙 慶 華 covers the Asian community and real estate for NorthJersey.com. For full access to the latest North Jersey news, subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: mchao@northjersey.com

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Unflattering audit of San Diego real estate deals prompts push-back from city attorney

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A July report by the San Diego auditor investigating the city’s Ash Street lease and other real estate transactions appears to have driven a wedge between the elected city attorney and the appointed auditor.

A new memo from auditor Andy Hanau states that prosecutor Mara Elliott rejected several invitations to participate in the month-long review of real estate transactions and then criticized Hanau for not interviewing her before his report was published.

“We met at least seven times with representatives of the public prosecutor’s office during the examination,” Hanau wrote in the message last Thursday. “No one in the prosecution stated that we had a reason to question the city attorney, or that the city attorney wanted an interview.”

The auditor’s memo was in response to Elliott’s official rebuttal of the audit published two months ago, which harshly criticized the way city officials have handled a number of real estate transactions in recent years.

In her refutation of the August 31st audit, Elliott reiterated her criticism of the July 22nd audit as an incomplete review. She said the legal conclusions were wrong and the assessment was based on speculation rather than fact.

“I spent nearly two decades of my legal career advising state auditors and audit boards on their roles and responsibilities in the San Diego County and City of San Diego,” Elliott wrote. “This failure to obtain complete information resulted in inaccuracies in the audit report.”

The prosecution issued a similar response to the exam when it was first published.

The city council’s audit committee is due to look into Elliott’s rebuttal along with a subsequent response from Mayor Todd Gloria at its Wednesday meeting on the audit.

Gloria’s rebuttal suggested that the mayor’s office would implement any recommendations made by the auditor under his control, although implementation will take several months or even until 2023.

“The department intends to create a robust and enduring policy that will regulate real estate transactions of many types,” wrote Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone to Hanau on September 7th. “The revised guideline will serve as a guideline and instrument for the city council and city administration to comply with, even if no concrete transactions are envisaged today.”

Hanau’s July 22 report found that former Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his staff withheld information and misrepresented some facts when they approved the council for the 20-year lease for the former Sempra Energy headquarters at 101 Ash in 2016 St.

“The former city administration has limited the supervisory capacity of the city council in large property purchases by not providing complete and accurate information,” the audit said.

The auditors also criticized other real estate investments made under the Faulconer administration, including a failed indoor skydiving facility that the city bought for $ 7 million without a valuation and a repair yard that was $ 8 million more than expected had improved.

Elliott, who is now trying to suspend the Ash Street lease and an earlier contract for the nearby Civic Center Plaza, said the Court of Auditors’ office mistakenly blamed her for the prosecutor’s legal work prior to her 2016 election.

Her rebuttal also criticized the audit for saying it was her office’s failure to spot “red flags” on the Ash Street transaction that cost the city at least $ 60 million for a 19-story skyscraper. that cannot be safely occupied due to asbestos and other topics.

“We have to rely on experts. And those with expertise report to a different branch of government – the executive, ”wrote Elliott. “The lawyers have to rely on facts presented by the city officials.”

The dispute over the auditor’s audit is not the first dispute between the audit office and the city’s public prosecutor’s office.

Last year, then-acting city auditor Kyle Elser applied for permission to hire an independent attorney for his office. Sometimes there are conflicts of interest between city auditors and city attorneys, he said at the time.

Elliott has resisted the request, which relies on both the prosecutor’s office and the mayor’s human resources department to move forward.

The proposal is expected to be reintroduced by the city’s audit office later this year.

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Real estate agent appreciates mentors

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Sep 26 – In Beckley’s real estate sector, Carol Pugh is known for her dedication to clients and her knowledge and expertise.

Pugh is the agent at Sigmund-McLean & Associates on Prince Street. In 2010, she and broker Don Martin entered into a five-year buy-in plan and became co-owners of the agency.

Many in Beckley live in properties that Pugh listed, sold, co-developed, and in some cases re-listed and resold.

“I’ve got so many stories, houses I’ve sold two or three times, families I’ve met along the way,” Pugh said. “There was a lot of property.”

In the late 1970s, Pugh was the mother of two young children. She enrolled in a real estate course at Beckley College taught by local real estate agent Jim Lilly.

“It was just something I did,” she said. “I knew I liked real estate, and it was a course I took without thinking that I would actually get a real estate license.”

But in the summer of 1989 her children – she had three children now – were of school age.

“I just thought, you know, I’d like to get into the real estate business,” she said.

She enrolled in a real estate course taught by Mike Tyree.

She spent the day in class every Saturday and Sunday for the next six weeks. Next she was licensed.

“The first company I thought of that I wanted to work with was a male-dominated company,” she recalls. “Sigmund McLean Hunt and Payne.

“I’ve always respected them. They were family friends. Good, honest business people.”

Pugh said she never treated real estate as a part-time business. She went to the office every day.

The owners were great mentors, she recalls.

“They were in the office every day in a coat and tie, and I would come into the office every day and try to get their knowledge of them.”

The trio developed three sub-divisions in Beckley: Woodcrest, The Landmark and Old Mill Village, she reported.

“I loved hearing about it,” she said.

The story goes on

The agency was still selling lots on Woodcrest when Pugh joined the agency, and Pugh saw an opportunity. She teamed up with a local contractor, Howie Lambert, who was building houses in upscale Woodcrest.

“We worked together,” she said.

“I would sell him a lot. He was going to build a house and Howie would let me sell his house.

“So I learned building development.

“Woodcrest’s development was a real learning experience, watching Bill (Sigmund) and Bob (McLean) develop and even pave the roads and bring the utilities to the properties.

“I had just learned so much in development by watching builders build their homes,” she said.

“Sometimes realtors have the wrong idea what real estate agents are doing and they step in and fail to realize the work that needs to be invested and the time,” she added.

“You have to spend time with experienced real estate agents to learn the business because what you learn in your real estate course doesn’t have much to do with the real world of real estate.”

Pugh said real estate was a full-time job for her from the start.

“I was very fortunate that my family were great supporters,” she said. “My children were still in school, but I was still able to pick them up from school.

“My husband supported me a lot back then. He helped with the children.

“There was a lot of night work and weekends. That’s how I got into it.

“I’ve worked hard and the rewards have been wonderful.”

Pugh is a two-time winner of the Beckley Board of Realtors (BBR) “Realtor of the Year” (1999 and 2005) and was nominated for West Virginia for “Realtor of the Year”.

She has served as secretary to the West Virginia Real Estate Commission and twice as BBR president.

She is consistently a top producer of real estate sales in the Beckley market and is widely respected by sellers, buyers, and other real estate agents.

Her advice to others is to always be honest with customers. She said it was one of the most important things in business.

A supportive family is a help to success, Pugh added.

“There are many ups and downs,” she advised. “There is a lot of heartache.

“I’ve had some deals that I just cried about when they fell apart, buyers regretted, sellers regretted.

“If a deal fails, I live with them.”

Most of the deals were successful, however.

Pugh said she could drive through Beckley, view a property, and remember a deal.

“I do it all the time,” she said. “I wish I could go back and see everything I sold. It went quickly.

One of her mentors did the same.

“Bob McLean used to walk around town calling the homes from the original owners … by the owner’s name even though they had sold it two or three times,” she added.

Pugh’s favorite aspect of business isn’t necessarily making a big profit on an expensive property.

“I’ve sold a lot of commercial properties over my years and I love the challenge,” she said.

“But I have to say, my favorites are my first-time home buyers.

“I feel best about all of the people I’ve helped get into houses.

“They are most grateful to have their home.”

Sigmund-McLean & Associates’ business gives Pugh a sense of achievement.

“I am very proud of my company,” she said. “I am a proud owner here.

“A lot of real estate has been bought and sold in this corner of Beckley.”

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BREVARD REAL ESTATE REPORT: Listings Increase for Single-Family Homes, Median Sales Price Up 21.0% to $325,000

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new listings for condominiums are down over 2.8%

The Brevard housing market reported higher median prices, more new offers and a year-over-year increase in cash sales in August. The average sales price for Brevard single-family homes is up + 21.0% to $ 325,000, compared to $ 268,500 a year ago.

The median sales price for townhouses and condos is up 17.6% to $ 261,868, compared to last year’s $ 222,750.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard housing market reported higher average prices, more new listings and a year-over-year increase in cash sales in August.

“The latest data shows that the number of new offers for single-family homes here on the Space Coast continues to rise,” said Jennifer McCoy of McCoy Freeman Real Estate, which looks after the entire Space Coast of Florida.

“However, the new entries for condominiums fell by over 2.8% and the active portfolio by over 36%. This means that we are still very deep in the seller’s market area and there is still a long way to go back to a balanced market. “

The average contract term for single-family houses is 8 days, 61.9% less than in the previous year.

Single family home closed sales were up 7.9% year over year, which is impressive given the rate of home sales at that time over the past year.

However, the condominium and townhouse market remains the hotter market for now. In August, sales in this property category rose by over 11 percent compared to the previous year.

A brief summary of Brevard County’s single-family report for August 2021.

Summary of Brevard County’s Single Family Report for August 2021

■ Closed sales increased 7.9% in August 2021, with the number of closed units being 1,069 compared to 991 in August 2020, with cash sales increasing + 61.9%.

■ New pending sales increased + 3.2% and new offers increased + 23.5%.

■ The average sales price for Brevard single-family homes is up + 21.0% to $ 325,000, compared to $ 268,500 a year ago.

■ Monthly inventory levels are down -38.9% to 1.1 months, down from 1.8 months in August 2020.

■ Traditional sales are up 8.4%, with an average selling price of $ 325,000.

■ Foreclosure / REO Sales are down -33.3%, with 8 closed sales and an average sale price of $ 245,080.

■ Short sales are 0.0% with 2 closed sales in August 2021 and 2 closed sales in August 2020.

A brief summary of the Brevard County Townhouses & Condos Report for August 2021.

Summary of the Brevard County Townhouses & Condos Report for August 2021

■ Closed sales increased + 11.1% in August 2021, with the number of closed units being 300 compared to 270 in August 2020, with cash sales increasing + 21.4%.

■ New pending sales down -10.7% and new offers down -2.8%.

■ The median sales price for townhouses and condos is up 17.6% to $ 261,868, compared to $ 222,750 a year ago.

■ The supply of inventory in months decreased by -48.1% from 2.7 months in August 2020 to 1.4 months in August 2021.

■ Traditional sales are up + 10.8%, with an average selling price of $ 263,660.

■ Foreclosure / REO Sales are N / A, with 1 closed sale and an average sale price of $ 170,000.

■ Short sales are 0.0% with 1 closed sale in August 2021 and 1 closed sale in August 2020.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family owners of the McCoy-Freeman Real Estate Group on Florida’s Space Coast. Together, they have over 40 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry, have sold over $ 420 million, and are among the top 1% of all Florida real estate agents.

Bobby Freeman, a lifelong resident of Brevard County, has been a top real estate agent in the area for over two decades. In his first year as an agent, Freeman received a Rising Star Award from his brokers. Since then, he has received numerous sales awards from some of the largest real estate companies in the world.

Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family owners of the McCoy-Freeman Real Estate Group on Florida’s Space Coast. Together, they have over 40 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry, have sold over $ 420 million, and are among the top 1% of all Florida real estate agents.

McCoy-Freeman Group’s achievements include Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and Brevard County’s Best Real Estate Agent. The group has been featured in many news publications including CNN Money Magazine, CNNMoney.com, WFTV 9 News, News 13, WKMG News 6, Coastal Condo Living Magazine, Hot Retirement Towns Magazine, and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST NEWS FROM BREVARD COUNTY

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