Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weather Impacts New Jersey New Home Sales in February

We knew the weather was pretty bad in Mercer County in February, and elsewhere in the Northeast and many other parts of the country.  If we wanted proof, the Dept. of Commerce today announced that February New-Home sales are the lowest since the department started keeping records in 1963.

As explained by Al Tompkins in Poynter Online, "Even though new homes are only part of the real estate story, the new-home sales figures are important for a variety of reasons. New-home sales can include homes that are still in construction, or maybe not even built yet, and they're counted when people sign contracts, not when sales close. (Existing home sales, on the other hand, are generally reported when sales contracts are closed.) New-home sales, then, are a good indicator of how many people shopped for new homes in a given month.

"New-home sales affect more than just bankers and real estate agents. Home builders, appliance companies, landscapers, contractors, plumbing supply companies, electrical workers, cable and phone companies and insurance agents all count on new home sales for new business."

Fortunately, no New Jersey counties are in the list of the 20 most economically stressed with populations 25,000 or more, according to the Associated Press.  These include, from worst to "least":
Imperial County, CA
Merced County, CA
Lyon County, NV
San Benito County, CA
Yuba County, CA
Stanislaus County, CA
Sutter County, CA
San Joaquin County, CA
Boone County, IL
Marion County, SC
Lapeer County, MI
Iosco County, MI
Nye County, NV
Cheboygan County, MI
Lake County, CA
Taney County, MO
Clark County, NV
Marshall County, TN
Chester County, SC
Union County, SC

Look for Mercer County's new home sales to become more active as Spring brings warmer weather.  Dogwood Meadows is a quality example of a new home development in Hamilton, NJ and I can tell you about many more.  Remember, your 1st Time Buyer tax credit can be used for new construction, but expires April 30. 

Joe Giancarli, Sales Associate

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Housing Starts in February down in New Jersey

Even with the wintry weather in much of the country last month, the pace of single-family home production remained virtually unchanged throughout the country, with a 0.6 percent decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 499,000 units, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department. Meanwhile, a large decline on the more volatile multifamily side brought the overall number of housing starts down 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 575,000 units.

"Today's single-family numbers are fairly encouraging, in that the level of building activity held firm even as large portions of the country experienced abnormal weather conditions," noted Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
On a regional basis, combined starts activity declined 9.6 percent in the Northeast and 15.5 percent in the South, where unusually poor weather conditions were a factor in February. Meanwhile, starts activity posted gains of 14.3 percent in the Midwest and 7.9 percent in the West.
Look for New Jersey builders to make up for lost time in March when the good weather arrives to stay.  Contact me for information on new home construction in Mercer County.  There are several communities with new homes available and builders who want to move their inventory.
Joe Giancarli, Sales Associate

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yes, the Tax Credit can be use for a New Home in New Jersey!

You still have the opportunity to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer or $6,500 repeat buyer tax credits, as long as you act quickly--the credits expire on April 30, 2010.  There are plenty of existing homes on the market, and even though the Mercer County move-in ready newly-constructed homes inventory has dwindled, I can recommend builders to you who may still be able finish a home in time but the closing date of June 30.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that close to 70% of all potential buyers should qualify for some form of a credit.  They are defined by the IRS as those who have not owned a principal residence in the past three years. Repeat buyers may be eligible for a new $6,500 credit, as long as they have owned and lived in their current home at least five consecutive out of the past eight years.  The current credits also increase the income limits, enabling single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples earning up to $225,000 to potentially qualify for a full credit.
So, the tax credits are good for new homes in New Jersey, new construction, new developments.  There is such a difference between a resale and a brand new home.  Consider using your tax credit on a new home in Mercer County or the surrounding areas.  Contact me for ideas on developments, builders, and visit Dogwood Meadows to see what a Hamilton new home community in process looks like.
Joe Giancarli, Sales Associate

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Jersey New Home Sales Affected by Jobs

The U.S. Commerce Department's housing report released last week announced that sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 11.2% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000 units, the slowest pace on record.

"This disappointing report highlights just how fragile the economic and housing recovery is right now, and the uncertainties that continue to weigh on consumers, particularly with regard to concerns about job security," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  "Even with today's exceptionally favorable home buying conditions, many consumers simply weren't confident enough to go forward with a new-home purchase in the beginning of this year."

"While the overall economic picture has brightened somewhat, these numbers indicate that the road to a housing and economic recovery remains very uncertain. Many Americans have yet to see much evidence of improvement first-hand, and are therefore reluctant to consider a home purchase," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Meanwhile, competition from below-market-priced foreclosed and short-sale homes poses an additional challenge to the new-homes market right now. Although we continue to expect a boost in overall sales activity prior to the expiration of the $8,000 and $6,500 home buyer tax credits at the end of April, unseasonably poor weather across much of the country may delay the full impact of those incentives until closer to the deadline."

According to the report, the Northeast posted a 35.1% decline in new home sales in January, and certainly the weather here was a big factor.  We expect a surge in interest as soon as the weather improves, because the clock is ticking on that tax credit - you need to be in contract by April 30, for 1st time or move-up buyers.

Call or email about new home construction opportunities in Mercer County, and visit Dogwood Meadows to see what a development under construction offers you.

Joe Giancarli, Sales Associate

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