Home costs in N.J. on the rise in 2018, N.J. Realtors finds

Housing costs in New Jersey were on the rise in 2018, according to new data released by New Jersey Realtors.

The median sales price for a single family home last year was $315,000, a 5 percent increase when compared to 2017.

Closed home sales remained steady, New Jersey Realtors said, with no increases or decreases seen in 82,152 single family homes sold in 2018.

Days on the market saw a drop compared to 2017, moving from 72 days to 64 days (9.7 percent decrease) in 2018. New Jersey Realtors said this makes sense due to current home inventory being low — there were only 29,954 single family homes for sale in December 2018, a 10.4 percent decrease over December 2017. The year-over-year decrease, even with fewer homes for sale during the winter months, is a trend that’s been happening for several years, New Jersey Realtors said.

However, new listings for the entire market (single family homes, townhomes and condominiums, and adult communities) have increased 1.2 percent to 183,156 for 2018, New Jersey Realtors said.

The state also saw foreclosures drop this year, down 12 percent to 18,801 from 2017’s 21,274, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Mortgage rates have been on the rise since 2016, coming close to 5 percent (4.45 percent) in 2018. New Jersey Realtors said this is likely due to the four Federal Reserve hikes in 2018.

“We cautiously forecast prices will continue to rise for 2019 by a few percentage points at most,” Ilene Horowitz, New Jersey Realtors 2019 president, said. “But, as always, all markets are local so what we’re seeing in North Jersey for first-time buyers is not necessarily indicative of what’s happening in other areas throughout the state with different buyers and sellers. The best place for specific market knowledge is your local Realtor.”