Real estate market remains strong despite coronavirus
Despite the changes resulting from COVID-19, people throughout the country continue to search for, and purchase, their next home. According to Angela Sicoli, president of New Jersey Realtors, "tight inventory" coupled with low interest rates prime 2020 to be "another great year," perhaps even better than 2019.
This is great news for people moving to Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living-managed community in Morris County, N.J, where, in May, inventory for single family homes dropped 39.5% while median sales price rose 4.5% over May 2019. Percent of list price received rose .8% from 97.8% to 98.6%.
Bergen County saw a 41.2% drop in inventory, a 4.9% increase in median sales price, and a .3% increase in list price received. In Passaic County, inventory was down 45.5%, median sales price rose 7.2% and the percent of list price received remained nearly unchanged at 98.2% for single-family homes.
Sicoli adds that low interest rates aid in buyers' ability to afford a mortgage. It's a prime situation for sellers.
Prospective Cedar Crest community members are even further aided by a team of experts in the moving process— professionals hand-selected by Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor. Connor recommends preferred real estate agents and senior move managers and coordinates the general logistics of moving to Cedar Crest. These professionals use both technology and approved safety measures to help their clients.
"Our trusted realty and moving partners have been incredibly resilient, creative, and flexible when it comes to helping our community members move to Cedar Crest during this strange time. We are so very grateful," says Connor.
For her part, she says, "My job is to begin the preparations for getting someone closer to their goal of moving to Cedar Crest and reassure them that, with my help, it will be much smoother and less stressful for them."
Considered essential employees, real estate agents throughout New Jersey were allowed to continue working and serving their clients throughout the pandemic with certain restrictions and precautions. New Jersey Realtors encourages the use of virtual tools, such as FaceTime or Zoom, for showings, while one-on-one showings were permissible.
As of June 15, open houses are permissible, though all parties must wear masks, practice social distancing, and follow the indoor capacity limit of 25% of the building's occupancy. While in the past, real estate agents relied on a combination of photographs and online tours when listing a new home for sale, in recent months, they've found new ways to use online connections.
Technology like Zoom, FaceTime, and WebEx enables them to meet with clients virtually, while video makes it possible to publish "virtual showings" so that buyers don't have to enter the home until very sure they want to buy. 3D interactive photo tours also enable buyers to view the home. Even the closing can be conducted remotely.
On April 14, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill allowing remote notary given two different proofs of ID, and audio and visual recording of the performance of the notarial act. All of these efforts are further supported by the current strength of the Northern New Jersey market.
"Because people assumed this would be a bad time to sell while interests are low, we are actually experiencing an all-time low of inventory," says Connor. "What's actually taking place is that buyers have fewer choices, and homes are selling faster now and for higher prices. It's a great time to list your house."
About Cedar Crest: Cedar Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 130-acre campus in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,800 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Cedar Crest can be found at CedarCrestCommunity.com.
Photo: Jackson Apartment Home. Cedar Crest's preferred real estate agents and senior moving professionals have been using technology and a variety of approved safety measures to continue helping their clients sell their homes and move to Cedar Crest.