Is it time to invest in the Jersey Shore?

  • The Jersey Shore market has shown positive signs of growth through 2015.
  • As of now, Jersey Shore prices are 29 percent below the previous peak, which makes now a great time to buy.
  • Hurricane Sandy created an opportunity to update, and new construction reflects the lessons learned from that disaster.

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If you or your client love wide open spaces and water, buying a house along the coast of northern New Jersey is an option that might be worth considering. Here’s why.

Market forecasts

The real estate market on the Jersey Shore is continuing to show positive signs through 2015. Sales of houses over $1 million reached record highs during the year, rising above figures at the peak of the housing boom, according to market analyst HousingPredictor.

“Both luxury and new home markets are witnessing steady growth with some categories of buyers being more active than others,” said Richard Donnelly, the head of Donnelly Real Estate (where I work) and a Realtor with over 40 years of experience in this region.

Currently, Jersey Shore prices are 29 percent below the previous peak. This means that it’s a great time to buy homes either for the purposes of investment or residence.

In the second quarter of 2014, 43 transactions over $1 million were recorded in the region. Owning an ocean front or bay front home continues to be desirable for aspiring families.

New construction

With the memories of Hurricane Sandy safely behind, current weather forecasts remaining peaceful and economic predictions indicating upward trends, prices are set to rise in the future.

New homes are now focused on higher elevation, low sinking rates of foundation soil and stronger construction material to prepare for unforeseen events, such as flooding.

Lessons have been learned in the maintenance and design of newer houses, and these are expected to fare better in the event of future adverse weather conditions. Redevelopment of affected homes is also an important factor influencing housing prices.

Breaking trends

According to Forbes Magazine, premium vacation homes are breaking all previous charts and the typical house in this category might be brought under contract in as quickly as a month when positioned by the right agent.

Here are some places most worth considering:

  • Bay Head: According to Zillow, the median home cost in affluent Bay Head, New Jersey, stood at $1,109,300, as of Oct. 31, 2015, which is a 3.8 percent increase from 2014. Prices are predicted to increase by 1.4 percent in 2016, while the price of the average rentals the area was $4,840.
  • Mantoloking: In neighboring Mantoloking, the median home price was recorded at $2,574,800, as of Oct. 31, 2015. Mantoloking in Ocean County is linked to mainland New Jersey by the Mantoloking Bridge.
  • Point Pleasant: Point Pleasant is famous for being a ceremonial meeting place of the Lenape Indians, who called it the “land of tall timber.” It was separated from Brick Township in 1920. It has several parks and a rich history. The median home value at Point Pleasant was $491,100, as of Oct. 31, 2015 — representing an increase of 1.3 percent over the previous year.
  • Monmouth: Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, commands an average value of $573,600, as of Oct. 31, 2015, which marks a rise by 3.6 percent from 2014 levels. Prices in this area are expected to go up by 1.4 percent by 2016. Rentals here stood at $2,576. Luxury and vacation homes are also available in this location for the buyer or speculator.

Be careful when making this final decision because several legal and financial requirements need to be met, and remind your clients that only an experienced real estate agent can wade through this maze successfully.

Graham Garnett is worth Donnelly Real Estate. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Graham Garnett.