No matter how many times one asks, there may never be a definitive answer to the question: “When is it a good time to buy a house?” Industry professionals, however, say now may be as good a time than ever to pull the trigger on a purchase—April is, after all, New Homes Month.
Of course, you wouldn’t buy a home simply to commemorate the occasion. You’d first look at some key numbers to indicate whether the time is right, and many of them are currently favorable for buyers. For instance, interest rates on a 30-year, fixed mortgage are down across the country, according to Freddie Mac. The news gets better for first-time buyers, as several mortgage rate discounts are available to these consumers.
Regardless of rates, personal finance company NerdWallet advises prospective buyers to shop around for the best deals and use tools like a home affordability calculator to determine your monthly mortgage payment.
Buying now also depends on what’s on the market. Are the homes in neighborhoods that meet your needs? Do you prefer new construction or an older house? Here’s a look at New Jersey’s housing stock.
At the end of February, according to the most recent metrics available from NJ Realtors, there were more than 5,100 new listings for single-family homes—and more than 12,800 total. The average sales price for a single-family home during the same period was $554,550.
As of April 5, there were about 8,600 active listings for homes in New Jersey, according to Zillow. In Hunterdon County, the state’s wealthiest area based on per capita income, there are nearly 200 homes for sale, including 34 properties that top $1 million. In North Jersey’s Bergen County, home to some of the country’s wealthiest ZIP codes, the housing stock has around 730 listings—330 of which are north of $1 million.
Shopping around for a newly constructed home? According to Zillow, there are nearly 1,800 new homes for sale in New Jersey that meet this criteria. The stock ranges from a 1,440-square-foot home in Vineland to a 40,000-square-foot mansion in Cinnaminson.
“If you’re in the market to buy a house or investment property, the new construction homes in New Jersey should be on your radar,” says Troy Rosen, of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors. “Resale housing may have a lower listing price, but you’ll lose more money in the long run. Start from scratch with new construction and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches, plus your house will be worth more later if you ever wish to sell it.”
Are you thinking about buying a new home? Tell us all about your dream home @njhomemag.