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SOFT MARKET GETS SQUISHY

It’s customarily the biggest month of the year for real estate sales, but this June was one was one to forget, according to the latest edition of The Otteau Report, which analyzes sales trends.

Forsale

Contract sales of Monmouth County residential properties in June fell 10 percent from May and 25 percent from year-prior levels, Otteau estimates.

Jeff Otteau, president of the East Brunswick-based Otteau Appraisal Group, publisher of the report, notes in a commentary that June marks the end of the spring selling season…

“and typically sets the high-water mark for home sales in any given year. Thus, the residential market in New Jersey had much at stake, as any hopes for a market comeback would fall heavily on the June sales performance.”

So much for those hopes. Statewide, sales activity was down 9 percent from May and 24 percent from a year earlier.

And the outlook isn’t much better. Most years, summer sales follow a “gentle but steady” downward slope, followed by “more pronounced dips during the fall and winter seasons,” says Otteau. Combined with rising interest rates, he expects this to put added pressure on sellers to cut their asking prices.

Still, the number of new listings is soaring amid a tepid sales environment. Otteau calculates a supply-and-demand ratio, which compares the number of new listings to the number of homes that went into sales contract; a rising ratio indicates a strengthening market, and a falling ratio is the opposite. In Monmouth County, the ratio at the end of the second quarter was at 38 percent, down from 57 percent a year earlier and 60 percent two years ago.

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