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First Quarter Home Sales Rise Nearly 20 Percent In Bergen County

First quarter home sales rose 19.2 percent in the first quarter in Bergen County.
First quarter home sales rose 19.2 percent in the first quarter in Bergen County. Photo Credit: Contributed

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. -- First-quarter home sales increased nearly 20 percent in Bergen County compared to the same time frame last year, according to a report from Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty.

In the first three months of 2016, 1,213 homes exchanged hands in Bergen County, a 19.2 percent increase over 2015. The median sale price remained unchanged compared to the first quarter in 2015, at $426,000.

“Indeed, we are starting to see transactions at ‘seller market’ levels, with over 6,000 sales over the rolling year, which is comparable to the sales totals during the last seller’s market,’’ Joe Rand wrote in the report. Rand is the Managing General Partner and General Counsel for Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty.

Prices are also starting to come around, Rand wrote. “Although prices were basically flat for the quarter, we are continuing to see consistent, if modest, long-term price appreciation. Over the past rolling year, prices have been up almost 2 percent on average and over 4 percent at the median, which is the type of long term appreciation that is generally sustainable. We’re still seeing pricing at non-inflation adjusted 2004 levels, about 15 percent below the height of the market in 2006, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

The condo market surged in Bergen County. Sales increased 26 percent for the quarter, while the median sale price rose 7.5 percent compared to the first quarter in 2015. The median sale price for a Bergen County condo in the first quarter was $329,087.

“Those types of price increases are probably not sustainable, but we do believe that Bergen condos will experience meaningful price appreciation through the end of the year.”

Rand said the momentum points to a favorable real estate forecast for 2016.

“Going forward, we remain confident that Bergen County is slowly moving into a strong seller’s market,’’ Rand said. “Buyer demand is strong, which is driving up sales and starting to have a long-term impact on pricing. With pricing close to 2004 levels, rates near historic lows, and the economy relatively stable, we expect demand to stay strong through a robust spring market and throughout 2016.”

Click here for the first quarter report from Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty.

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