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Housing market sees a shortage of some styles of homes, making a good time to sell

Although we keep hearing about the glut of homes on the market, there’s a shortage of homes available. That means if you’re thinking of selling, this is a good time to list your home.

Although we keep hearing about the glut of homes on the market, there is actually a shortage of homes available. That means that if you’ve been thinking of selling, this is a good time to list your home.

There were about 100 homes listed but unsold in the Chesters as of the end of September. At the end of June, that number was 211. In Mount Olive, there 28 homes listed but unsold in March. That number slipped to 20 in August and down to 18 in September.  Across Morris County, there were 439 homes available at the end of May. That number is now down to about 317.

A recent report says the pace of home sales in New Jersey was stabilizing in September, with the rate of sales dropping back to last year’s pace after a brief increase. This same report says that the number of unsold homes fell for the fourth consecutive month in September.

The question, of course, is why is this happening and how does is it impact you if you’re thinking about listing your home. The first answer is typically murky: Most experts cite the low point of the selling season and that people have taken their homes off the market or chosen not to list them until they can get more for them. 

But for those thinking of listing their homes, it means less competition in a market where it’s tough to sell homes.

OK, enough confusing statistics: What do you need to know for your decision whether to list or not list?

First: If you need to sell your home because your family, financial or job situation has changed, there is no bad time. Prices are not going to rise soon, but interest rates and the number of houses on the market will.

Second: While supply and demand usually impact price, it isn’t working this time because consumer confidence, employment numbers and other factors. But basic math tells you that the chance of your home being chosen from among three homes is better than your chances of being chosen from among six homes.

Third: Your circumstances are as unique as you are. You’re Realtor or financial advisor is in the best position to counsel you about listing your home, the price at which to list it and what expectations you should reasonably have about sales success.

One more thing to think about: Some Realtors specialize in helping people buy homes, others specialize in helping people sell homes. You should make sure you’re working with a seller’s broker.

Finally, this note: If you’re thinking about selling your home because your mortgage is swamping you and you really don’t want to have the bank foreclose on you, there are lots of options. One of those is a short sale, where the bank agrees to take less for the home than you owe them. Mark you calendar for 7 p.m. Nov. 14, when a panel of experts will discuss short sales as an alternative to foreclosure.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Thomas Lotito November 05, 2011 at 11:43 AM
Kelly,I'm sure you know that home sales are typically higher in summer. However, in winter home sales decline. Your spin of the statistics that homes are selling, "go ahead and list your house" is disingenuous. From the looks of your statistics, looks like homes are not selling. 317 homes not selling represents millions of dollars of economic activity that is not occurring. Reporting that "there is actually a shortage of homes available" is right up there with those that report the Obama administration has created millions of jobs...unemployment is 9%.
Kelly Holmquist November 06, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Thanks for your comment. Actually, what I was saying is that the winter is the time of year when there are fewest homes on the market, therefore, less competition. Winter is also when the highest quality buyers are looking for homes - relocation, etc. So, if you are serious about selling, and you're realistic in your expectations of the market, it's an excellent time of year to sell. There are segments of the market which are light in inventory and an actual back-up of buyers waiting for new listings. I know this for a fact because I have 3 buyers who have been unable to find acceptable housing, based on the lack of homes available in their price range. This statistic varies town by town, and within each town, by price range.
Thomas Lotito November 06, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Thank you Kelly for responding. My business brings me into direct contact with homeowners in North Jersey, mostly in Somerset and Morris Counties. I've been an avid watcher of the housing market since 1980. I've had the privilege of seeing every kind of housing on the market, from co-op apts to multi-million dollar estates. I am also painfully aware of the amount of property taxes paid on theses homes, which is out of control. That said, I would like to challenge your assertion that, you have, "3 buyers who have been unable to find acceptable housing, based on the lack of homes available in their price range." If there is a shortage of inventory in the housing market, it's because homeowners have given up trying to sell their homes. Homeowners today are either upside down on their property and do not want to take a loss and homeowners do not want to sell their homes at a discount. It all comes down to the economy and the fact that the Obama admin is artificially trying prop up the market, which was not mentioned in your article. We will all be better off if the government got out of the housing market, and the market bottoms out, the housing market will correct itself. Lastly, If your short on certain types of housing inventory, it's time to get creative, make a few phone calls to human resources depts.in corporations and private homeowners. You just might get a lead or two on the type of houses your clients re looking for.
Kelly Holmquist November 06, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I really do agree with what you are saying. I've been saying for years that if the real estate market was allowed to reglulate itself (which it should), we would hit bottom much faster and be that much closer to starting recovery.
Thomas Lotito November 06, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Kelly, Yes, I can't wait for the recovery. I believe when the recovery occurs NJ will be on the cutting edge. Because of NJ's dense population there are probably towns that have seen little to no down turn in the local economy. If there's a slump in economic activity it's all about a lack of consumer confidence. Please keep writing your articles, you are a much needed voice in the community.
Jon November 08, 2011 at 05:57 AM
Hi Kelly, Your headline says "[There is] a shortage of some styles of homes, making a good time to sell", which can only logically mean "[There is] a shortage of some styles of homes, making a good time to sell if your home happens to be one of the styles that is in short supply." Since your article didn't mention which particular styles are in short supply, can you please tell us? I feel somewhat deceived after taking the time to read your post in order to learn whether my house is one of the styles that are in short supply, only to instead find that the article does not elaborate whatsoever on the subject introduced by the headline.
Alice Jameson November 08, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Jon: I read the article for same reason you did and I was also disappointed. Ms. Holmquist's omission has left me wondering which home styles might be in short supply. Is it strictly about style, or is it size as well? I mean, are people combing the County for a "starter size" center hall colonial? Are Cape Cods the rage, or perhaps the more elusive split-level? I'd really like to know if I'm the unwitting occupant of a potential gold mine in this economy.
Kelly Holmquist November 08, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Please don't feel deceived, this is a blogging platform, not a classified ad and I try not to be self-serving when writing it. The types of homes that my team has a need for are: 2 bedroom rentals in Hastings Square, colonials in Long Valley between $469,000 and $519,000 with public utilities, colonials on the South side of Chester from $750,000-850,000, colonials in Chester from $1M-1.25M wtih pools on cul de sacs off the top of my head. I would be happy to speak directly with you about your type of home, the inventory that's available in your price range and how much competition you may have for your particular style, size, location, amenities, etc.

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