What awaits the real estate market after the pandemic?



COVID-19 has become devastating for many businesses. Restaurants, health clubs, movie theaters and other businesses have suffered significant losses due to pandemic shutdowns. However, one industry thrived during the worst of COVID-19: real estate.

Crossings at Raritan Station is a residential complex that attracts the attention of people with hybrid working hours due to its proximity to NJ Transit. Photo courtesy of CMOs

Fueled by outflows from urban areas and supported by record low interest rates, the New Jersey suburban real estate market remained hot in both winter and summer. Brokers reported unprecedented traffic and bidding wars following the resumption of open presentations, and areas that were previously out of reach of shoppers working from New York became target communities for employees now working remotely.

According to Robert Norman, President of the company Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerIn the New York metropolitan area, a strong market almost smoothly transitioned from a halt to a resumption of the economy.

“The market started to bounce back towards late spring and early summer,” Norman said. “While inventories remained low, buyers became more comfortable visiting homes for sale, and sellers were more willing to let people travel around their homes. Low stocks have created a seller’s market. Our research showed that at the beginning of 2021, one in five people wanted to sell their home. Unfortunately, many did not list their homes because they were afraid they would not be able to find a home to buy. “

Norman noted that Coldwell Banker agents quickly adapted to COVID restrictions. He believes their better use of video platforms, social media and teleconferencing are just some of the positive byproducts of the stop that should remain.

Robert White, President-elect New Jersey Realtors®, also named low stocks and a desire to leave the urban environment as driving forces in the market. In June, New Jersey had 1.9 months of single-family home offerings. The normal supply is about four months.

“Small communities are thriving,” White said. “New Jersey realtors work with people in some urban areas of Garden State, as well as buyers in New York and Pennsylvania. Families love the feel of small communities with pedestrian areas and transport hubs. While many shoppers have moved further from cities because they can work remotely, they still value the convenience of commuter trains and buses.… “

Jersey Shore cities such as Avalon have been particularly popular destinations for shoppers coming to the state, and experts expect this to continue into 2022. Photo courtesy of NJ Advance Media

White noted that the Jersey Shore was a particularly popular destination for visiting shoppers. Communities from Highlands to Cape May are in high demand. Coastal communities tend to be more intimate, and they offer the open space that former townspeople crave. In addition to the shopping areas and restaurants in the city center, many coastal settlements are characterized by walking beaches and colorful promenades.

“Another factor contributing to the development of a strong real estate market is the growing number of young people who are choosing to buy rather than rent,” White added. “Thirty year fixed rate mortgages have hovered around 3% in recent years. Smart young shoppers prefer to stick with these low rates while they can. ”

White expects the market to remain strong in 2022. He believes markets will begin to normalize and absorb pent-up demand once building material prices stabilize and new home builders add more housing units to inventory.

The Kinkade Model from Toll Brothers is an open-plan carriage-style townhouse suitable for remote work. Photo courtesy of Toll Brothers

One developer who is optimistic about New Jersey real estate is in Pennsylvania. Toll brothers

We continue to operate at a very high level with strong demand in the Garden State, ”he said. Craig Cherry, President of Toll Brothers in New Jersey. “We are encouraged by the strength of the housing market and the limited resale supply continues to attract buyers to our new development communities. ”

Like homebuyers across the state, Toll Brothers visitors choose where they want to live, not where their jobs previously required them to live. Toll Brothers has a variety of options, including single-family homes, active adult communities, and enclaves of wagon-style city homes.

“We are finding that our home buyers are looking for more square footage, personalization options and more open space in their neighborhoods,” he added. “Because many people work remotely, home offices and niches for work or study are popular elements in most of our floor plans. Our build-to-order business model is also well suited to this trend. ”

Real estate experts have noticed an increase in rental and sales activity in urban areas such as 99 Hudson in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of CMOs

While many people have left cities like Manhattan for the suburbs, Jacqueline Urgo, president of marketing, sees former townspeople returning to city markets. Marketing directors is a development consultant and a leading specialist in real estate marketing and sales who works exclusively on behalf of property owners and new home builders.

“We actually started noticing positive market shifts as early as January with increased rental and sales activity in urban areas such as Jersey City, Hoboken and Harrison,” Urgo said. “These historically popular urban areas have been significantly affected by the closures due to widespread restaurant, shopping and nightlife closures, as well as residents who no longer needed public transportation to get to work in New York City. But with more and more people getting vaccines and restrictions being lifted, and companies sending out notifications to return to personal work schedules, we are seeing a huge influx of residents returning to these areas. ”

Urgo thinks we’re likely to see some kind of hybrid version of teleworking and returning to the office within a year.

“To be honest, I think a lot of workers are just tired of Zoom calls, kids and pets juggling and other distractions trying to get their jobs done,” she said. “People also lack the interaction you get face-to-face, not just faces on the screen.”

As the entire country recovers from unprecedented turmoil in everyday life, it is clear that people are redefining where and how they live. So far, no one knows which changes caused by the pandemic will persist and which will go unnoticed. However, one thing is certain. Our perception of the future has changed forever due to COVID-19.

Stan Lemond is an award-winning marketing consultant and writer with over 40 years of experience. His work has appeared in The Star-Ledger, Staten Island Advance, Trenton Times and South Jersey Times, as well as Jersey’s Best.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2021 Jersey’s Best Magazine. Subscribe here for detailed access to everything that makes Garden State great.


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