Another year is behind us, and what a year it was! While 2017 and beyond promise to be eventful in myriad ways, it probably makes sense to focus solely on what’s ahead in the world of condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations for the moment. In effort to ascertain to what we can look forward, we reached out to various real estate professionals throughout New Jersey and asked them what they felt to be the definitive moments of the last year or so, how those moments will reverberate in the year ahead, and what else associations should be looking out for as they manage the day-to-day operations of their communities.
A Trip to the Market
The recession of the late aughts has never wandered far from our collective mind, and its effects are still being felt in a recovering real estate market, if less so now than it has in previous years.
“Basically, the market right now is stable,” says Tg Glazer, immediate past president of New Jersey Realtors®. “There’s nothing crazy going on in either direction, which is a very positive marker. The one area in which we are struggling overall is a decline in inventory, however. Real estate is very local, and some areas encounter this problem a little worse than others, but overall in the state there’s been about a 19% decline in the properties for sale year over year, gauging by our most recent numbers, taken in October. This makes it a little more difficult for buyers who are out there looking, as there’s not as much product as they’d hoped; but we are confident that the market is back on track after a tumultuous few years, and that continued low unemployment and low mortgage rates will continue this trend.”
In order for availability to revitalize the market, Glazer observes that people who are looking to upgrade their living situations need to get off the fence and do so. “We’ll see how changing interest rates will affect things,” he says. “Right now, people are complacent as rates have remained at historic lows, but those rates are starting to creep up. A new administration in the White House may affect those rates as well. If they start to go up further, people may be spurred to act while they’re still relatively low, before they get even higher.”
Situated as it is between New York City and Philadelphia, New Jersey has always been a great location for people looking to buy property close to major metropolitan centers without having to live in a big city proper. “There’s a great education system, which is always on the forefront of people’s minds,” adds Glazer. “We get that suburban sprawl; younger people from the city moving into Jersey City or Hoboken, starting families, then moving further out to find single family homes, more property or better schools.”