Bubble? High? Low? Where are we in Maplewood?


If you and I have ever been in a real estate transaction together, you have heard me say: “I HATE TO NEGOTIATE IN ABSTRACTS.”

To me there is no point. Unless you have tangible numbers, terms or conditions what are you coming to an agreement about? (Don’t even get me started on “escalation clauses” – I will reserve that for another time).

We have heard generic talk about the overall national market, but real estate is local. As a Maplewood area real estate agent, I have been wondering about our local market here in New Jersey. Many are starting to ask me: are we in another “high”? are we in another “bubble”? where will our market go from here? Having not seen a clear answer in any direction, I decided to delve into the numbers myself and I went right to our local source – the GSMLS (Garden State Multiple Listing Service).

For comparisons, I looked at Maplewood home sales from 3 different time periods:

1.) April 2005 – April 2006 – the “height” of our recent market

2.) April 2010 – April 2011 – the “low” point of our recent market

3.) April 2016 – April 2017 – current

What I found might surprise some of you. In all three time periods, our average Maplewood home sale price has remained essentially the same – hovering right around $480k. Lots of supposition about why this is, and I will continue to research and share my findings.

In the height of the market we had 381 home sales. This past year we had 352 home sales. Mind you this recent number does NOT take in to account the number of exclusive homes sold (aka “off the MLS”). And there has been an uptick recently in exclusively listed homes, so these two numbers may actually be closer than they would appear. In any case, they are both higher than the 226 homes sold during the low of 2010/11.

The similarities to “the height” and “current” continue. In both markets, ~63% of homes sold OVER asking price. ~30% sold between 90-100% of asking price and ~7% sold for less than 90% of asking price.

At the “low” point in 2010/11, just 22% sold for over asking price, 54% sold between 90-100% of asking price and 24% sold for less than 90% of asking price. What does this mean? For buyers during the low, even with less homes sold (226 Homes), there was room for negotiation.

Looking at the data, it suggests that we are in another “high”, but is it a bubble? It has been suggested that Maplewood is in a sustained non-cyclical upward trend, where prices at the bottom didn’t really come down too much. And, on a case by case basis we know of sellers who had multiple offers and got a great deal more than they listed for, ultimately the price paid was really “within reason” for the market. The fact that our average home sale price has remained consistent for so many years suggests to me that if you are a seller in today’s market you will not lose value when you are ready to sell. As a buyer coming into our market today you stand to gain value over time.

I will continue to dive into the data and see what I find for Maplewood and surrounding towns. Thinking of buying or selling? Reach out anytime. TracyFreemanRealtor@gmail.com | 917| 604 | 5735 |