Interest rates are now giving home buyers sticker shock. The market has dropped in Staten Island, as well as much of the United States. The Jersey Shore market continues to hold its own.
Mortgage rates around the country are now 5.37% according to CNBC Real Estate, the highest since 2009. Borrowing rates have risen faster than expected to, and are projected to rise further by year’s end.
Home prices fell in Staten Island by $26,775 to an average of $669,258. Active listings are also up by more than 100, from 1,279 in February to 1,381 in March. New listings came in at a healthy 654 new homes this month. This is on par with one year ago, when 659 new homes were listed in March. Sales are up from February’s 374 to 425 in March. Seasonally adjusted, this is totally normal. Days on the market actually fell to 75, from 77 the prior month.
This represents a modest price decline, but with other positive indicators for sellers. Homes are still selling fast at 2.5 months on average. Both new listings and sold listings are about the same as last year, and prices are still up over the same time in 2021. In addition, the list-to-sell ratio is up to 98.5 from 97.8.
In New Jersey, all metrics point upward to maintain a strong seller’s market. While home prices fell in Staten Island, Monmouth and Ocean Counties enjoyed a $30k price increase to an average price of $534,031. Active listings were up just slightly at 2,390 for both counties, but about the same as February. But active listings are significantly down from last year when the Jersey Shore listed 3,429 homes in March. And homes in New Jersey sell fast! The average days on the market was just 30 days.
The US real estate market surged in 2021 thanks in large part to low mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed rate is now double what it was at the lowest point. And rates continue to rise. If borrowing rates exceed 6% then the market will start to tip toward buyers, reducing the bidding competition.
But as we’ve mentioned before, sluggish new construction over the past decade has left a hole in the market inventory. Lumber shortages further added to this during the pandemic. Though home prices will likely stabilize and perhaps fall a bit more, don’t expect a crash to happen anytime soon.