From the Daily Journal:
VINELAND — Residential real estate still struggles in communities in Cumberland County and western Atlantic County, especially in the high-value end of the market.
Federal tax credit incentives for new and existing homebuyers were some help over the past 12 months, local real estate professional say.
But those credits, which expired April 30, weren’t nearly enough to counteract what ails the market:
* A continuing lack of credit.
* High unemployment.
* General consumer jitters over the future.
Vineland broker William Jannarone said the size of the unemployment rolls is equal or greater than any other problem in the market.
“We’re just not going to recover if the jobs don’t come back — and they’ve got to come strongly,” Jannarone said. “That should be the issue we’re focused on. What do we do about creating jobs?”
The real estate market’s condition recently led Millville-based agent George Pangburn to retire.
“We went from 43 agents at G.R. Pangburn to 12, and those agents weren’t doing anything,” Pangburn said. “At 74, I didn’t need to do that.”
There were 846 homes sold in the area between April 2009 and March 2010. That’s a respectable 11 percent increase compared to the preceding 12-month period.
In addition, the total dollar value of all those sales rose from about $124.3 million to about $132.7 million, a positive difference of about $8.4 million.
Behind those facts though, the average sales price went down for the area as a whole.
# In Vineland, there was a roughly $6 million increase in sales value over the past 12 months compared to the preceding year. That’s about a 12 percent increase. But the average price dropped almost 6 percent.
# In Millville, sales volume went up about $2.4 million for the same periods. That’s about a 9 percent increase. The average price for a sale was down almost 6 percent, though.