2012: Market Trends in South Jersey – Short Sales, FSBO, Mortgages

South Jersey Market Trends:

According to many recent sources, it appears that the market is turning around in 2012.  In South Jersey alone, you will notice that homes are selling a little faster and the amount of inventory is reducing.  Of course, it won’t be an overnight or 180 change, but slowly it appears that the market is stabilizing.  In South Jersey as well as other markets, there is a list of the fastest improving towns listed here.

Distressed Properties:

Over the years distressed properties were taboo.  Now, you will notice many homeowners will be opting for a Short Sale instead of going through the foreclosure.  In addition to this, many banks seem to have gotten the process more streamlined with programs such as Equator from Bank of America, allowing realtors a more organized way of getting updates and approvals faster.  Since there is more information out there in general, it helps first time home buyers buy these types of properties where they might not have been confident to before.

For Sale By Owner Listings:

In addition to the improvement in distressed sales, there has been a decrease in For Sale By Owner listings.  In today’s market, many owners are realizing it is hard to do it on thier own, and with more educated buyers and more paperwork, they are turning to the help of realtors.  In an 2010 study done by NAR, it was estimated that realtors are able to sell homes for 32% more than an owner alone.  This certainly justifies the 6% commission.  There are many reasons why realtors are able to get a higher price for homes including, more access to buyers, internet advertising, relocation and referral networks as well as giving buyers the confidence throughout the process.

Mortgages and Financing

In South Jersey, and all markets, rates are lower than they have ever been.  Towards the end of 2010 they were dipping into the low 4’s, and now with the start of 2012, it appears that there are rates in the high 3’s.  Many homeowners are also being able to refinance or convert 30 year terms into 15 year terms with the help of many lenders.  For first time home buyers, you see many being able to purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down and with many other programs including military and USAA, some families are able to qualify for a home with 0 down.

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