Fall 2021- A Real Estate Overview at the Start

It’s Labor Day 2021, the unofficial end of summer here at the shore. We at Burke & Co., A Long & Foster Real Estate Group, and A Better Real Estate Experience, are shifting gears. Summer is the season of vacation rentals. The fall is the season of real estate sales. The most serious buyers and sellers engage the market in the fall.

We are also shifting gears with our weekly market report. We will still often (but not always) link to the week’s new listings, price changes, under contract, and sold homes in Avalon, Sea Isle, and Stone Harbor. However, we also intend to use this space more constructively as a blog. With anecdotes, data, and analysis we hope to keep you informed. We also hope with home highlights, tips, and more personalization to entertain. And finally, in addition to freeing ourselves from a more rigid format to do those things, we plan on adding a new market to the three that receive our focus.

Upper Township is an “offshore” Cape May County municipality. It is made up of an assortment of towns including Marmora, Seaville, S. Seaville, Petersburg, parts of Ocean View, and Beesleys Point. Our inclusion of this community has two purposes. First, we serve throughout Cape May County and the members of our group have helped people find and sell homes in all of the area here. Secondly (and the reason we will look at Upper Township specifically), Upper is tied to historic real estate runs on the islands. Sea Isle and Ocean City saw a migration of families to Upper Township in the early 2000s. These residents seized the opportunity offered by exorbitant home values on the islands and moved “offshore”. Upper was often the chosen new destination for those families because of proximity to former lives and work, as well as belonging to the same high school district. It will be interesting to see if this trend occurs again in the 2021 fall through the 2022 spring.

Where to begin to look at the fall market in our shore towns? We’ve explained the concept before: absorption rate. That’s the amount of time needed to clear all active inventory at the current rate. So simply, if there are 100 homes on the market and the market has been selling 20 homes per month, the absorption rate would be 5 months (100 / 20 = 5). For our purposes we looked at the last 3 months to determine how many homes were selling per month in Avalon, Sea Isle, Stone Harbor, and Upper Township. Then we took that pace and divided our inventory by it. The absorption rate was 2.3 months for Avalon, 2.9 months for Sea Isle, 1.9 months for Stone Harbor, and 3.2 months in Upper Township.

A 6 month inventory at any moment is considered a balanced market. As the absorption rate moves up from 6, the market favors buyers. As it moves down toward 0, sellers. With that in mind, it’s hard to interpret those figures in any way that’s not good news for sellers. It’s no secret that sellers have enjoyed a significant advantage in our markets in the last year.

However, there might be more good news for buyers than a simple glance at the data indicates. That’s because the trend is in the direction of buyers’ favor. We dipped below 1 month in Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Sea Isle at different points this summer. Don’t shrug off the movement towards 2 and 3 months. It’s still early. Fall inventory tends to come– not in August– but in September and October. A trend now could very well be a harbinger of things to come. Time will tell, but a good real estate agent might have a strong sense in as little as a couple of weeks where things might be headed. Now where can you find a good real estate agent to read the tea leaves for you and help you make your plan?

If you are ready to start your plans to buy or sell, call us at our team line at 609-478-0333 or email [email protected]

In the meantime, here is the active inventory in each of those 4 areas.

Sea Isle Active Listings (54)

Avalon Active Listings (49)

Stone Harbor Active Listings (24)

Upper Township (Less Strathmere) Active Listings (40)

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