NJ Realtors: Last year’s housing market saw more buyer activity than seller activity

The housing market in 2019 saw demand outweigh supply, according to a year-end review by New Jersey Realtors.

The inventory of home sales in the state was down by more than 20% in December 2019, continuing a trend seen in 2018, the real estate association said.

According to the review, there was more buyer activity than seller activity in 2019, resulting in an unbalanced but strong market. Affordability improved, with lower mortgage rates helping offset higher priced homes.

With seller activity down, prices increased, though not at the same rates. The median sales price for all properties in 2019 was $307,000, up 5.9% over 2018. The 64 day start to 2020 showed properties moving at the same rate as 2018.

“We are, of course, concerned that buyer demand slightly outpaced seller activity last year,” Angela Sicoli, 2020 president of New Jersey Realtors, said. “But much of what we are seeing in the market is positive — properties moving quickly at competitive rates. We consider 2019 to be a successful year for housing.”

Closed sales for 2019 were static, with 117,343 sales in total, just slightly above the 117,178 in 2018. Pending sales are up by 3.3% year-over-year. Still, new listings dipped, down 1.6% to 179,306.

The median sale price of single family home were up by 4.8%, or $330,000 for 2019. N.J. Realtors said this segment was hit the hardest by a tight inventory, resulting in a 22.8% drop in December 2019, with 25,717 homes for sale that month.