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Grasso Says 2014 Will Be Upbeat Year in NJ Housing Market

1-27-14

Throughout 2013, New Jersey home sales and prices increased. New Jersey Association of REALTORS CEO Jarrod Grasso told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the state saw several changes within the housing market last year and he is optimistic about 2014.

“2013 was a rebuilding year for the housing market,” said Grasso. “I think we saw some major changes, changes that we knew were coming, we just didn’t know when.”

Grasso said that 2013 was a positive end to a tough situation in the housing market. It was a rebuilding year, according to Grasso, as the market saw changes that went back to pre-2003 pricing.

Within the last year, closings in the market went up to almost 10 percent and New Jersey is in line with the national market, said Grasso.

2013 also saw an increase in the price of a median household, with about a 3.3 percent increase. According to Grasso, the price of a median sale is about $283,000 in New Jersey and that will help sellers with their listings.

While the median sale price has increased, the number of new listings has gone down. Since 2014 just started, Grasso says it’s too soon to tell how the year will be because the housing market won’t fully kick off until the spring.

“Well that means that people are saying to themselves, ‘Is now the time to put my house out there?’” Grasso explained.

Interest rates have also increased within the last year, according to Grasso. Currently interest rates are slightly more than 4.5 percent compared to 3.5 percent in December 2012. Grasso says that interest rates are still going up but currently that they still are at a great rate.

There was an increase in pricing within adult communities with sales of town houses, condos and adult community units. Grasso suggests that the increase may be due to the fact that few communities exist and that currently there is a demand for that type of housing.

“I think that the adult communities that are out there, you will see some more construction,” Grasso said. “I know that there’s quite a few developments that are going up in my area in Ocean County, so I think that you are going to see more construction.”

As for the outlook for the housing market in 2014, Grasso said that it will be an upbeat year and that it will help drive the state’s economy.