Yesterday I attended the Fall Housing Trends Workshop by NJ Real Estate Jeff Otteau of Otteau Valuations. I love to attend Jeff’s programs a couple of times a year for an overview of the NJ market and to hear his predictions for the future.

In New Jersey market, the strongest markets are in the eastern part of the state (green). The moderate/stable markets are in the western part of the state (blue). The weakest markets are the very southern most counties—Atlantic, Cape May, etc. (red). Jeff correlates the strength of the housing market with access to employment markets. So the areas closest to NYC or suburban employment hubs like Morris County are the strongest.

otteau screen shot

Some of the “hottest” towns in the state are right in my market area. That is—those with the lowest supply of housing on the market. In the top 10 are Glen Ridge, Maplewood, Montclair and Summit!

What’s to come in the next year or two? Jeff is predicting a slow increase in prices for 2014 (2%) and for mortgage rates to remain low until spring. In 2015 he is predicting prices to continue to climb another 3% and for mortgage rates to reach 5% by the end of the year. Increased mortgage rates combined with increased prices can take a huge bite out of your purchasing power so consider that if you are on the fence about buying now.

By the way, if you are thinking of refinancing, the rates for 30 yr. fixed mortgages fell to below 4% last week. If you would like to be connected with one of my “go to” mortgage people to find out if refinancing is a good option for you please reach out to me.

Allison Ziefert, Keller Williams MidTown Direct Realty, Maplewood, NJ