From the APP:
Shortly after it came on the market, Michelle M. Johnson and her husband rushed to put in a bid on an old, three-bedroom farmhouse in Wall, a home that already attracted the interest of another prospective buyer.
Soon, she found herself in a little bidding war. After bids went back and forth, the seller asked for the best and final offer. “I guess I won,” said Johnson, an auditor. She offered $1,000 more than the asking price.
It’s not like the glory days of 2004 and 2005, but homes are attracting multiple offers again.
In New Jersey, contract sales for the year through August were up 24 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the Otteau Valuation Group, an East Brunswick real estate consulting firm.
Nine of the state’s 21 counties, including Monmouth, saw a median sales price increase, albeit quite small, in the second quarter, the firm said. And the overall median price in New Jersey, down 0.5 percent in the second quarter, is primed to increase in the next couple of quarters.
“It seems like we are about to turn the corner here on house prices pretty soon,” said Jeffrey Otteau, president of the Otteau Valuation. “The bottom line here is there is a recovery taking place.”
Contract sales have skyrocketed in both counties for the year through August compared with 2011. They’re up 25 percent in Monmouth County and up 26 percent in Ocean County, Otteau said.
And there are fewer homes for sale, another good sign for sellers. Unsold inventory in Monmouth is down 22 percent and in Ocean, 19 percent, according to Otteau’s statistics.
“There isn’t a lot of picking,” said Diane Turton, broker and owner of Diane Turton Realtors, which has 16 sales offices in Monmouth and Ocean counties. A good listing will result in multiple offers, she said.
“Home buyers expect that prices are at the bottom now,” Otteau said. “There is less fear of buying at the top and seeing the house you buy be worth less in the future.”