Shore home market falls

From the Record:

Prices fall, properties languish

Hoping to profit from a red-hot housing market at the Jersey Shore, Jamie Errico bought a cottage two blocks from the ocean in Bay Head in 2004. She tore it down and replaced it with a 4,600-square-foot Victorian, planning to flip the property.

“A couple of years ago, anything on the Jersey Shore that was halfway decent was selling as fast as you could put it on the market,” Errico, of New York City, said recently.

But the house has been for sale for nearly two years, though Errico has cut the price to $1.495 million, from $1.69 million. Errico, a sales executive at a watch company, recently decided to rent it out while she waits for a buyer.

As summer draws to a close, it’s clear that the real estate frenzy has ended at the Jersey Shore, with the leveling off of the wild price rises of the early part of this decade.

“Prices have come down a bit,” said Karen Symington of Re/Max Limited in Brick. “The cost of housing just skyrocketed, and now we’re at a point of correction.”

Buyers who once sought beach property as an investment have become especially cautious.

“They’re stepping back,” said Maureen Penta, general sales manager of Point Pleasant-based Diane Turton Realtors. “They want to see what’s going to happen.”

The number of properties sold so far this year is down 22 percent in Monmouth County, 32 percent in Ocean County and 38 percent in Atlantic County compared with the same period in 2005, according to the Realtors associations in those counties.

Statewide, house sales volume this year is running about 20 percent lower than in 2005.

Prices at the Shore have fallen about 5 percent or less from their peaks in 2006, according to data from Realtors. That reflects the statewide situation, where prices are generally either flat or down slightly.

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3 Responses to Shore home market falls

  1. curiousd says:

    We went to some open houses in So. Monmouth. Prices are ‘diverging’ IMHO. There are those that really need to sell, and those prices are coming down 10-15%…and those that are trying to upsell. It’s clear the market is dead though… when you walk in these place it’s hard to get out. Prices, generally though, are still WAY high…and i have the impression, due to demographics (retirement, shore lifestyle/longer commutes) that most the coast is more ‘stable’ than i would care to admit.

    You never know, but I sense a long, flat market there (2yrs+) and then moderate growth again…but only declines for the desperate (and they’re just not that many at the beach).

  2. PeaceNow says:

    I kind of agree, but think it depends on the town. I went to a few open houses at the beginning of the summer and was surprised by the number of empty houses as owners hoped to sell before ‘the season.’ Then, when they didn’t, they couldn’t even rent because the furniture was gone.

    It’ll be interesting next spring if the economy tanks this winter. Especially in Asbury Park.

  3. curiousd says:

    agreed. we’ll see.

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