March and the Princeton Residential Real Estate Market

March 2020 (3)

Before we share our analysis of what happened in Princeton’s residential real estate market in March, we want to wish you and your loved ones good health, safety, and wellness. These are unprecedented times and our thoughts are with you.

As you can imagine, March’s residential real estate story has many chapters. Let’s start with Unit Sales. Units Sales were up (7%, 15 vs. 14) over the same period last year. The composition of Unit Sales were as follows:

March 2020 (2)

The above graphic helps explain why the Average Sales Price was lower (-16%, $820,393 vs. $979,349) in March 2020 compared to March 2019 with the majority of March 2020 sales occurring in the under $1M price point.

It is probably not surprising that the two aforementioned metrics, Units Sales and Average Sales Price, were not greatly impacted by the effects of the current pandemic as many of the contracts were negotiated months ago. One data point that clearly has been affected by current events is the number of Units Listed. While at first glance, the 76% reduction (15 vs. 62) over the same period last year is astounding, after taking a closer look at the data, the number of properties whose listing term started between 3/1/20-3/31/20 was actually 41 units (-34%, 41 vs. 62). And of the 41 units which had been introduced in March 2020, 6 are currently Active Under Contract, 2 are Pending, 7 are Temporarily Off the Market.

The next most impacted metric is Units Pending. Again, not unexpected to experience a significant decrease (-12%, 22 vs. 25) given the current environment and the lack of inventory. What is notable regarding pending units, is that 8 of the 22 units went pending before 3/15/2020 and the other 14 units went pending after 3/15/2020.

Lastly, the Days On Market increased (+21%, 146 vs. 121), which has been a consistent trend this year

How does Princeton look year-to-date? Units Sold were up +9% (38 vs. 35) as was the
Average Sale Price (+6%, $996,033 vs. $941,711) and Days on Market (+42%, 135 vs. 95) compared to January-March of 2019. Both Units Listed (-21%, 100 vs. 126) and the Median Sale Price (-8%, $815,000 vs. $885,000) experienced decreases over the same period last year. Additionally, through March the minimum sale price was $345,000 compared to $250,000 last year and the maximum sale price was $3,250,000 versus $2,075,000 during the same time last year.

It is worth noting that prior to the world changing, we were on track to have a stellar year. As you may recall, through February, Units Sold (+10%, 23 vs. 21), Average Sale Price (+21%, $1,110,580 vs. $916,619), and Median Sale Price (+13%, $990,900 vs. $885,000) had all experienced increases over the same period last year.

So what is happening now? There are currently 95 Active Units on the market between $70,000 and $4,995,000 and 19 properties that are Active Under Contract between $399,900 and $12,000,000. Of the 19 Active Under Contract listings 7 went under contract before 3/15/2020 and the other 12 on or after 3/15/2020. Additionally, there are 21 Pending Units between $499,900 and $1,850,000. Of the 21 Pending Units, 20 went pending before 3/15/2020 and 1 after that date. Lastly, 1 new listing was introduced thus far in April ($1,699,000).

Anecdotally, buyers are still looking, showings are still happening, and sellers still want to sell. And much like every industry, this pandemic has brought about changes on how we conduct everyday business. First and foremost, we are strictly adhering to the recommended CDC guidelines. We are also using technology to not only navigate these uncharted waters, but also to creatively market properties and to engage with our clients and potential buyers. For example, Syl hosted her first ever Facebook Live and Instagram Live virtual open house on March 29th at her listing, 18 Tarkington Court. She also created a 3D Virtual Floor plan for the same property. Both were well received and welcomed new tools that she will add to her marketing “tool box”.

What will April bring? We wish we had a crystal ball or more importantly a cure for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). And rather than signing off with our usual newsletter signature, we want to wish you and your loved ones peace and good health. And as always, please feel free to email us with any questions. Sig & Syl