Data Blog

2016 Mountain Lakes Real Estate Annual Report

Welcome to the Cassidy Realty Team review of the 2016 year in Mountain Lakes Real Estate. We wish you a great 2017 and thank you for all your support over the years. We are here to help in anyway we can. We are pleased to provide this, our second annual report covering the details and trends in the Mountain Lakes real estate market. This is intended to be a white paper to provide you with background information on the market. It is based on the publicly available data plus other transactions of which we are aware. If we missed something, please let us know! We missed one sale last year and the data here for 2015 reflects the updated numbers. If needed, we will issue an update on our sites, BestofMountainLakes.com and CassidyRealtyTeam.com sites at the end of the first quarter.

Download The Report

Mountain Lakes Real Estate 2015 Review

Welcome to the Cassidy Realty Team review of the 2015 year in Mountain Lakes Real Estate.  This report is designed to provide a brief overview of the housing sales trends in town over the past year.

2015 continued the generally strong real estate market we saw in 2014. The market activity is well above that seen during the 2009-2012 period following the financial crisis.  The high level data from the MLS and other sources shows:

• 78 Total sales, nearly on par with 2014
• Resale units down 11% from 2014
• New home sales increased significantly to 11 units
• Average Sale Price of $927,356
• Median Sale Price of $804,000
• Total Aggregate spend of $72,333,770

Lets’s put these data into context with trends over the past four years and then we will dive into a few of the interesting developments in the past year.

Click here to download the entire 9 page PDF Mountain Lakes real estate year end review report.

July 2015

We had a really interesting first half of 2015 in Mountain Lakes.   First, lets look at the raw numbers:

  • 28 home sales, down from 33 in 2014
  • Total Real Estate Aggregate Demand (TREAD) Index stayed strong at 149% (2012 = 100%)
  • Average home sale price rose to $923,000 (from $902,000 in 2014)
  • Median Sale was $791,000 (from $860,000 in 2014)

What does this tell us?  First, the volume of homes sales.  This is down from prior years, but a healthy backlog of homes under contract may bring those numbers back in line with 2014 by the end of August.   Clearly an issue worth watching over the next few months.

Some high-priced homes (headlined by 68 Crestview – sold by the Cassidy Realty Team at $2,490,000) drove the increase in the average home price. 

Now lets look at the distribution in home prices.  Over the past couple years the Mountain Lakes market has typically been split about equally with a third each to homes sold under $700,000, homes between $700,000 and $999,999, and homes over $1,000,000.  For ease lets call these Small, Medium and Large.

If you peel back the numbers, the surprising trend is the growth in homes with sale prices under $700,000, the Small segment of the market.  So far this year this segment has 43% of the transactions, and looking at the homes under contract but not closed, this trend continues.  This has driven the pretty significant decrease in the Median Sale Price for this year.

The Large segment has retained its market share at about a third, so it is the Medium segment that has taken a hit, dropping to 25% of the market for the first half of 2015. 

These trends have created a sellers market for nice homes in the Small segment and, to some extent, a buyers market in the Middle segment.

We will watch all these trends with great interest over the next couple months.

Welcome back for a review of 2014 Home Trends in Mountain Lakes. First the Data.

As you can see, average and median home prices rose for the second straight year, now being $923,000 (average) and $860,000 (median).  Both these numbers indicate a strong market for homes in town. Total transactions increased to 79, up from a low of 50 in 2011, and the highest since 2007.  The TREAD Index, measuring the total amount of aggregate spend on real estate increased to a record 150% (using 2012 as the baseline of 100%). 

So where does that leave us as we start 2015?  We have a healthy market.  Prices are still below the halcyon days of 2004-2007, and buyers are very discriminating as to their tastes and preferences, not being as willing to invest in “projects”.  Looking forward, as the economy slowly grows and interest rates remain low, prospects for 2015 look to maintain the current momentum.  However, the headwinds affecting New Jersey’s economy remain and we watch these developments with great interest.

We look forward to 2015.  Please contact us with any questions as to how the data affects your plans to buy or sell a home.

November 2014

TREAD index (measuring total amount spent on home purchases over a trailing 12 month period) continues to increase, ending October with a resounding 142%.  Four sales in October helped bringing the year to date sales to 69, compared to 59 in the same period in 2013 and 45 in 2012.  Average sale price year-to-date, however, decreased from September to $902,000.   All this points to a healthy overall market in Mountain Lakes, where sales are up and average prices directly tied to the mix of specific homes sold.

Next update will be in January, where we will review the overall trends for 2014.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 2014 TREAD Index Mountain Lakes Real Estate Update

TREAD index (measuring total amount spent on home purchases over a trailing 12 month period) continues to increase, ending October with a resounding 142%.  Four sales in October helped bringing the year to date sales to 69, compared to 59 in the same period in 2013 and 45 in 2012.  Average sale price year-to-date, however, decreased from September to $902,000.   All this points to a healthy overall market in Mountain Lakes, where sales are up and average prices directly tied to the mix of specific homes sold.

Next update will be in January, where we will review the overall trends for 2014.  Happy Thanksgiving!

November 2014 mountain lakes nj real estate data blog gross expendature graph

October 2014 Realty Data Blog

Nine months into the year we can take a look at the overall health of the market.  The volume of the market looks great.  The TREAD index increased to 136%, showing that the overall amount spent on real estate over the past year continues to outpace prior periods.  65 homes have closed this year versus 69 all of last year and only 52 in 2012.  With a normal fourth quarter we will between 75-80 homes sold in Mountain Lakes, which approaches the range of the boom years.

But what about home prices????  That’s where we need to look carefully.  So far in 2014 the average home purchase price is $911,000, up from $849,000 last year.  That’s great!  Life is good and home prices are accelerating, aren’t they?  That’s where we take a step back and parse the data a bit to see what is really going on.

First, while the average sales price is up since 2013, the average is still down $121,000 since its peak in 2004.  Second, and most importantly, in a town like Mountain Lakes with so many different types, sizes, conditions and locations of homes, and where even in boom years we are only selling 80 homes, “average” is a useful but wildly imperfect term.  Small data sizes lead to swings in average prices each year, quarter and month.  Third, if you take out the three homes purchased over $2M this year (none in 2013), the average sale price is only up 2% from last year.  This is in line with the State-wide trends for the year.

September 2014 Mountain Lakes NJ Real Estate TREAD Index Update

Welcome back from what has been a great summer here in Mountain Lakes.  Kids are back in school, Football season and the World Series approaches, and it is time to reflect on what has happened in Mountain Lakes real estate so far this year.

The response to the Mountain Lakes Realty Data Blog has been outstanding.  I was in Hapgoods (isn’t that place great!!!) recently and overheard two folks talking about the TREAD Index.  The Data Blog is now the most popular page on the BestofMountainLakes.com site.  Thanks for looking, and we hope to make the dialogue useful and informative.  If you would like to discuss any topic or have questions on the data please contact me at GinnyCassidy@remax.net.

But first lets talk about what industry trends mean.  All the data we discuss here, the TREAD Index, total sales, absorption rates, average home prices, Case-Shiller Index©, and any others are Macro trends.  They show what is broadly happening within the industry, the State, etc.  We make an effort in this blog to bring those trends down to what is specifically happening in Mountain Lakes.

These data can help you understand the health of the Mountain Lakes real estate market in town when you are looking to buy or sell a home.  Each home is different, however.  Each home is its own Micro market, where the decisions of home buyers and sellers are driven as much by the design, features, staging, location, marketing and layout of the home as they are by the Macro trends.  That is where the experience and creativity of the Cassidy Team can help make a difference!

Now for the update.  TREAD Index increased to 136%, showing the continued improved health of the market.  Activity in the fall is typically lighter, but as the TREAD tracks twelve months of data it should still provide a useful status on market trends as we enter the fourth quarter.  More information on the Index is found in earlier months’ blogs.
Now that we are almost through the third quarter lets look at total home sales year-to-date.  I caution you that in dealing with the small numbers of sales in our town it is sometimes easy to confuse randomness with trends, so take all these data with a grain of salt.

Total number of homes sold – Through August 57 homes have sold.  This compares with 50 last year.

Total number of homes sold in mountain lakes nj and sum of real estate expendature form 2013 to 2014

What does this tell us?  First, few homes went under contract near the end of 2012, resulting in very few sales to start 2013.  Through the first quarter there were 13 sales in 2014 against a mere 5 in 2013.  The situation reversed in the second quarter – 2013 outperformed 2014 in each month, with 26 sales in 2103 against 20 in 2014.
So through July the numbers were almost equal  - 41 sales in 2014 vs. 39 in 2013.  Then came a “huge” August this year, with 16 sales against 11 in 2013 (congratulations to the buyers, sellers and realtors involved!).  This gives us year to date numbers of 57 sales in 2014 against 50 through August in 2013 (and 37 in 2012).  Lets watch carefully over then next few months to see how the year ends.  In any event, all indices are pointing to a continued healthy, recovering market.

Next month – Average Sales Price.  What it is and what it means!