Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back To School!

Today marked the return to the classroom for school children across Ocean County, NJ. By most accounts it was a long, dry, hot summer. Am I talking about the weather? An interesting analogy could be drawn between this past "Summer Break" and the Summer Real Estate Market here in Toms River...

"We want to be in our new home before school starts."

Traditionally, these words meant the three months of June, July and August were our biggest closing months here at the Jersey Shore. But if we compare 2007 with 2008, two of those three months were down from the same time last year and August of this year was significantly below August of 2007:

Category - Single Family-Toms River
Mo/Yr Monthly Sales Avg List $ Avg Sale $ % Diff Sell/list Avg DOM Curr Inventory Mos Inventory

June 2007 88 $445,644 $425,660 95.52% 80.0 871 9.90
July 2007 81 $402,287 $383,148 95.24% 76.0 877 10.83
August 2007 90 $403,178 $381,372 94.59% 100.0 860 9.56

June 2008 95 $455,884 $427,894 93.86% 99.0 829 8.73
July 2008 79 $391,795 $372,642 95.11% 95.0 806 10.20
August 2008 65 $361,688 $343,605 95.00% 100.0 786 12.09

What do these numbers mean?

Well, lets go "Back to School"!

As we can see, there were 95 closings, in Toms River, in June of this year, compared to 88 in June of 2007. Which means that these homes probably went under contract in April and May (Peak Selling Season). Nothing new here...

But when we look at July and August of 2008, compared to the same time last year, the data tells us that the homebuyer took the summer off! Why? Good question.

The homebuyer who bought in April and May and closed in June of 2008 was the traditional Nuclear Family. They wanted to be in their new home before school started! But what about the homebuyer who bought, or didn't buy, in June, July and August?

The NAR (National Association of Realtors) estimates that 40%* of all homes purchased this year (2008) will be purchased by First Time Home Buyers! These particular buyers are far different than their predecessors of the last "buyers market", 1990-1993.

Tomorrow, we will go back to school and examine exactly what today's First Time Homebuyer thinks, wants and buys!

*This percentage is probably higher locally (Ocean County, NJ) by about 5%.

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