Single-family sales dropped in August … median price did not

Single-family home closed sales for August 2021 dropped more than 10% over last August, likely due to a combination of buyer fatigue, high prices and continued limited inventory, New Jersey Realtors said.

But don’t think that means a slide in the market is coming.

Sales for the year are still up 13.1% and — despite the dip in sales — prices remain high as available inventory stagnates. Consider:

  • The median sales price for the month rose to $461,000, a 12.9% increase over August 2020;
  • Single-family homes were on the market for an average of just 29 days last month, a significant 44.2% decrease over last year, likely fueled by less inventory;
  • There were just 19,297 single family homes for sale in August, a 24.4% decrease over August 2020.

View the full housing data report here.

New Jersey Realtors President Jeff Jones said pricing is not expected to drop. If anything, the opposite could happen, he predicted.

“Without increased inventory, prices will continue to rise, or at least remain high,” he said. “We are seeing the effects of a multiyear long case of low supply and increased demand.

“However, it’s important to temper that thought with the fact that interest rates are still at historical lows, so buyers’ money is stretching farther than ever.”

Across all markets — single family, townhouse/condo and adult community — the median sales price is up 19% year-to-date. In August 2021, there were 28,013 properties for sale, a 25.3% decrease over August 2020, when there were 37,486 properties for sale.

While single family closed sales dropped, other market segments saw boosts in August:

  • In the townhouse/condo market, closed sales were up 10.9% in August 2021, with the median sales price up 9.1%, to $315,000. New listings and pending sales both dropped for the month;
  • The adult community market saw a decrease of 10.3% in closed sales for last month and an increase of 23.4% for the median sales price, to $290,000;
  • The percent of list price received for all markets rose above 100% in August 2021.

Jones said the higher prices across the board could make those entering the housing market for the first time weary. New Jersey Realtors recently launched a series of informational webinars, titled “The Keys to Homeownership,” to combat misinformation and focus on presenting honest market information to potential buyers. The series is a free county-by-county webinar providing financial, mortgage, real estate and state assistance program information to anyone thinking about buying property.

The next webinar is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and will last no longer than 45 minutes. Learn more here.