(grim’s note: Yes, the rate of decline may have slowed in from January to June, but that is largely due to the market being goosed by external subsidy, which no longer exists. Look for the rate of decline to accelerate into the Winter months.)
From the Daily Record:
The averge sale price of a home in Morris County continued its three-year drop in the first six months of this year, but the decline eased to its slowest pace since early 2007, to only about one-half of a percent.
But while the slow movement of foreclosed and bank-owned homes is holding back the market overall, experts say, first-time buyers are still being attracted by the lower prices and low mortgage rates.
In the three years since January and March of 2007, when the average sale price was $557,835, the average fell by $87,229 — a 15.6 percent drop.
This year, the average price of the 2,050 homes sold between January and June was $470,606, according to sales records compiled by the Garden State Multiple Listing Service and supplied by Weichert Realtors of Morris Plains.
“This is a sloppy market,” said real estate attorney Robert Wianecki of Boonton.
The pipeline is jammed with foreclosures, bank-owned homes, and with prices dragged down by short sales, he said.
All those factors hold back the market, he said.
In the past three years, Wianecki said, the bad economy has increased the number of homes being offered through foreclosure, which has increased the number of bank-owned homes and short sales.
The Morris County Sheriff’s office has scheduled roughly 500 foreclosure sales through November, according to its website.
Foreclosures and bank-owned homes are like a clog in hose, Wianecki said. Until that inventory is reduced there will be no normal flow of real estate action. And with the county clerk’s office recording only 33 new single-family home lots in 2009, and only a couple hundred units of new multi-family housing, those existing homes with the bad loans will define the market until they are cleared out.
Wianecki said his office is seeing a steady number of buyers hoping to buy a foreclosure-listed home or one owned by a bank, but those are the toughest sales to unravel. Between second lein holders unwilling to take the reduced amount to settle their portion of the loan, or the effort to unwind the homeowners’ use of equity lines of credit, the negotations add time to the sales, slowing the process.