The Passaic County housing market surged in the third quarter of 2017, with both sales and prices showing signs of a strong seller’s market.
Sales. Passaic sales were up again in the third quarter, rising over 8% and now up over 13% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained increases in buyer demand for over five years, with quarterly sales up in 23 out of the last 25 quarters. As a result, Passaic closed over 3,600 homes for the calendar year, the highest total we’ve seen since the height of the last seller’s market ten years ago.
Prices. More importantly, we’re starting to see these sustained levels of buyer demand have an impact on pricing. Prices were up across the board in the third quarter, rising over 3% on average and over 6% at the median. More importantly, the yearlong trend was also positive, with prices up just a tick on average but rising almost 2% at the median. With buyer demand strong, and inventory falling, we would expect prices to continue to rise.
Negotiability. The Passaic negotiability metrics indicated that sellers are continuing to gain leverage over buyers. Inventory was down again, falling over 28% from last year, and is now down to about the six‑month level that starts to signal a rising seller’s market. Meanwhile, homes were selling more quickly and for closer to the asking price, with the days‑on‑market falling almost 15% and the listing retention rate up a full percentage point.
Going forward, we believe that Passaic’s fundamentals are sound, with homes priced at relatively attractive levels, rates near historic lows, and a stable economy. Accordingly, we expect these levels of buyer demand, coupled with declining inventory, to continue to drive price appreciation in a robust fall market and into 2018.