From the Star Ledger:
Spring is here.
The birds are chirping, the daffodils are blooming and each weekend lawn signs are posted around New Jersey’s neighborhoods, guiding prospective homeowners to open houses.
After what has been a particularly rough housing market in the last few months, real estate agents said things may finally be looking up.
“When people want to buy, they want to buy, and stuff is moving,” said Perri Feldman, an agent with Keller Williams Realty who works in towns along the Midtown Direct train line.
Springtime is a popular home-buying season — warmer weather can encourage people to tour the neighborhood, plus buying now gives new owners enough time to finish renovations and move in by the time school starts in the fall. Add to that historically low interest rates, a glut of unsold homes, a job market that is slowly improving and homes priced under $600,000 that may finally align again with prospective homeowners’ salaries, and buyers who were on the fence are starting to make decisions now.
It can take weeks for sales data to be assembled, but statewide figures from February show pending home sales were up 19 percent compared with January, according to East Brunswick-based real estate valuator Jeffrey Otteau. There were more than 63,000 unsold homes on the market as of February, up more than 4,000 from December.
“I think that things get better from here, but it’s going to be a slow progression,” Otteau said. “It’s going to take a number of years before we get back to a housing market that feels anything like normal.”