It’s been almost 2 years since Super Storm Sandy, and we’ve seen lots of signs, bumper stickers and T shirts with slogans like, “Restore The Shore” and “Sea Bright Rising”. But what’s really happening? Are NJ shore communities really recovering from the storm? To help answer this question, let’s take a look at the year-to-date numbers for neighboring Sea Bright.
Sea Bright is a small town, with not very many home sales. In 2012, only 10 homes has sold in the period between January 1st and August 31st. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I don’t like to calculate percentage changes if there have been fewer than 20 home sales, so I’m just going to give you some of the raw numbers for the past 3 years:
|Sea Bright Home Sales, January 1 – August 31|
|Months’ Supply* (Absorption Rate)||15.7||30.0||9.6|
|*based on the past 12 months|
|Median Sale $||$ 422,000||$1,490,000||$846,069|
As you can see, 2013 was a disaster: only 2 homes sold in 8 months. This year there were 9 sales, close to the 10 that sold in 2012. Many fewer homes are listed for sale than there were 2 years ago, largely because so many homes were destroyed or badly damaged by Sandy. Fewer listings generally result in higher future prices because less inventory is available on the market. However, there’s still an open question about whether people will want to buy homes in Sea Bright, or whether they’ll be scared off by the potential for another big storm.
The real estate absorption rate is a calculation of how long it would take to sell ALL of the houses on the market, if houses continue to sell at the same rate that they have in the past 12 months. The absorption rate is shorter than it was 2 years ago, but it’s still more than 7 months, so technically Sea Bright is in a “buyer’s market”. Here again, we’re basing the absorption rate on a relatively small number of sales and a relatively small number of listings, so caution is warranted.
Finally, the median sales price jumped from $422,000 in 2012 to $846,069 this year. Although much of this increase reflects the cost of new construction or major remediation, it’s still a very positive sign. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the real estate market in Sea Bright truly IS rising. We’ve had great summer weather at the shore this year- let’s hope it continues in September and October!
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