Long Valley NJ Real Estate 2011 Annual Market Report

Find out the latest real estate market information for Long Valley NJ through 2011 in addition to a look back at the years in between to 2005. See what the trends are indicating and what is next for the Long Valley NJ real estate market. If you are considering buying and or selling a home in 2012 in Long Valley NJ, this valuable annual market report is an absolute must read.

Attention… all residential real estate is local! Not everything you read about online, in the papers and hear through major media outlets about the housing market is correct or relevant, especially when information is presented on a “national” or “regional” basis. There are many factors that make up the differences in local real estate markets, even from town to town and especially in a state like New Jersey with its inordinate amount of municipalities making it a challenge for some to drill down and obtain the correct market value of any given home. This is why it is important for both buyers and sellers to start with the latest “local” market data before they make any real estate decisions.

Long Valley NJ Real Estate 2011 Annual Market Report

Closed Sales and Listings in Long Valley NJ from 2005 through 2011

As you can see from the chart above the volume of Listings in Long Valley has been trending slightly downward in 4 out of the past 5 years with Closed Sales remaining relatively flat averaging 159 closings a year for the past 4 years, resulting in an otherwise weak local market. Inventory, has dropped significantly by 29% from this same time last year down from 12.6 to 8.9 months, which is a big step in the right direction. Simply stated, “inventory” represents the number of homes currently available or For Sale in a given market, or in this case a specific town. This means that with all things remaining equal, at the current rate of sales, it will take approximately 9 months to sell all of Long Valley‘s current inventory. This figure indicates that Long Valley, like many of the surrounding towns is experiencing what we call a “Buyer’s Market” and will remain so for at least the short term, however this particular statistic is trending in the right direction. A Buyer’s Market is considered to be a market with an inventory of 7 or more months worth of homes to sell at any given time. With more homes to choose from, not to mention record low interest rates and low prices, things remain very advantageous to buyers right now. A “Balanced” or normal market is considered to have 5 to 6 months worth of inventory with no distinct advantage to either Buyers or Sellers.

Long Valley NJ Real Estate 2011 Annual Market Report

Average and Median Sale Price in Long Valley NJ from 2005 through 2011

The chart above indicates a steadily declining trend in the Sale Price of homes in Long Valley NJ over the past 6 years. This is primarily due to two factors: an overall weak economy, which has a direct affect on the housing market along with Sellers refusing to price their homes close to their market value from the very beginning and then compounding the situation by not reducing their price in a timely manner. This scenario causes inventory to go up, and the listings to become “stale” because they are on the market much longer than the norm, resulting in a stagnant local market condition like the one we are currently experiencing. Based on the excess amount of inventory, I would expect to see prices in Long Valley continue to decline at least for the short term until some of the older inventory is finally sold off or withdrawn from the market.

Long Valley NJ Real Estate 2011 Annual Market Report

Average and Median List to Sale Price Ratio in Long Valley NJ from 2005 through 2011

Sale to List Price Ratio is the difference between a home being sold at full asking price and what a buyer actually paid for the home. The higher the ratio indicates that sellers are pricing their homes closer to what the correct or true market value will bear. Recent trending indicates sellers in Long Valley are pricing their homes above market value, which is causing them to spend more time on the market resulting in less money at closing. According to the chart above, 2011 saw the 2nd widest gaps between the List Price and Sell Price in the past 7 years with sellers having to discount as much as 4.2% to 5% in order to sell their homes in this market. This gap will remain this way until sellers in Long Valley get more serious about pricing their homes correctly.

Long Valley NJ Real Estate 2011 Annual Market Report

Average and Median Days on Market in Long Valley NJ from 2005 through 2011

While this metric (the number of days a home is on the market) can be a bit misleading based on the way the data is reported on the Multiple Listing System, it does provide a broad indicator of current market conditions. The longer it takes to sell a home, the lower the price it will bring and vice versa. The data from this chart is directly proportional to the information contained in the previous chart (List to Sale Price Ratio). Pricing homes too high has resulted in an abnormally high amount of Days on Market which prohibits the market from moving forward. The good news here is that the amount of Days on Market for 2011 was the lowest it has been in the past 5 years. Perhaps this was caused in part by those sellers who ended up offering those 4% to 5% discounts in order to get their homes sold resulting in some of the older inventory getting cleared out.

Long Valley NJ Real Estate 2011 Annual Market Report

Rolling 13 Month Listing and Sold Activity in Long Valley NJ

Unlike the previous charts, the chart directly above focuses entirely on 2011 on a month to month basis of Listings and Sales activity. As you can see, the amount of Listings has been in a gradually declining mode over this past year, which is good. In fact, the amount of Listings in December 2011 as compared to the amount in December 2010 was down by 30%, which is a significant drop off. This was slightly offset by the fact that Sales for the same period dropped during that same period by approximately 50%. Hopefully, this is the beginning of new trend that will signal the start of a recovery in the local Long Valley real estate market.


What does the Long Valley real estate market hold for 2012?

While it is impossible to make any long term predictions regarding the residential real estate market, especially at the national level, more experts and real estate prognosticators appear to agree (more so than in any of the previous 5 to 7 years) that 2012 may be the year the market finally hits the bottom in terms of pricing. In addition, there is a pent up amount of demand in terms of both buyers and sellers who have been sitting on the sidelines for a long time now with their plans on hold (in some cases up to  several years) who now feel they need to make a decision and get on with their lives.

Many of us would like to have the ability to time the market perfectly in order to avoid selling at the bottom or in the case of buyers to do exactly the opposite. Unfortunately, the rate at which information is gathered, (especially for real estate) does not lend itself to such timely decision making scenarios. It may take anywhere up to 6 to 12 months before we will know for sure when the market finally begins to reverse itself and by that time the opportunity to time the market will be lost.

Long Valley has not weathered the real estate downturn very well over the past several years and has experienced significant price depreciation during this period. An abnormally high inventory of homes currently for sale, coupled with incorrect pricing has caused this local market to delay its recovery to return to a more “balanced” or normal level where both Buyers and Sellers benefit. It will not be long before we have enough data to determine if in fact this market is beginning to turn itself around, although some of the initial data looks positive.


For more information on Long Valley including its award winning schools, follow this link:


How to find Listings on your own:

For listings in Long Valley and other select towns in Morris, Somerset and parts of  Hunterdon County, simply use the search tools located on the right side of this page. All listings are updated throughout the day so be sure to come back often for the most current information. If you are unable to find what you are looking for using the search functions on this website, or you are looking for a home that is unique with specific features, feel free to contact me direct and let me know exactly what they are. My colleagues and I preview all kinds of properties each week and will be sure to identify just what you are looking for. In addition, my office often features “exclusive” listings that are not released to the public that might be of interest to you as well.  I will be glad to answer all of your questions and arrange to show you the homes of your choice at a time convenient to your schedule.

I also serve the surrounding towns in Morris County including Morristown, Morris Township, Madison, the Chathams, the Mendhams, the Chesters and Long Valley (Washington Township) and northern Somerset County including Bedminster, Peapack Gladstone, Far Hills, Bernardsville and Basking Ridge along with the Hunterdon County towns of Lebanon and Tewksbury Townships.

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