The Asbury Park Press ran an article on the front page of their Business Section today entitled, Bad news besets Shore builders. Despite the dramatic headline, author, David P. Willis' article suggests that the "bad news" for builders may be "good news" for REALTORS!
Mr. Willis references Economist, Patrick J. O'Keefe, Director of Economic Research at J.H.Cohn LLP, who spoke to the gathering of the Shore Builders Association of Central Jersey Inc. at the Quality Inn in Toms River, on Wednesday night. According to Mr. O'Keefe, "The health of the new home market depends on the resale market. Sales of existing homes in New Jersey hit a bottom in the fourth quarter at an annualized rate of 110,000 homes a year."
The result of this "bottom" was about an 8 percent decline in home prices last year in New Jersey, compared with a 4 or 5 percent decline the year before. These lower home prices, coupled with "historically" low mortgage rates make for a more affordable home for New Jersey's average family!
And while Mr. O'Keefe sees home prices continuing to fall in the first half of 2009, New Jersey has not accumulated the same surplus of housing as many other states like California. So, "after continuing to decline in the first half of the year, resale home prices will begin to move up. It will change the psychology of the market. People will gain confidence that if they buy the house today, it will be worth at least as much, if not more, in the future."
So, potential home-buyers in New Jersey, the first half of 2009 is the time to get off the fence! Affordable home prices, and the absolute lowest mortgage rates in history, make this the BEST TIME to buy a home in recent history.