April and the Princeton Residential Real Estate Market

April 2020 (1)

Despite Challenges, the Beat Goes On

We hope this finds you and your loved ones healthy and well. You have all been in our thoughts and please let us know if there is anything we can do to help during these unprecedented times.

Last month we shared how we were on track for a stellar year and that many of the metrics we use did not yet reflect the effects of the current pandemic. Now that we have a full month of data, we are starting to see a clearer picture. Most of what we will share will probably not sound too surprising given the stay-at-home orders, work from home challenges, and the general concern for health and safety. As with most industries, real estate agents have pivoted and are creatively finding ways to safely service their clients who still need to buy and sell houses.

Let’s start with Unit Sales. Units Sales were down -44% (14 vs. 25) over the same period. Below is a chart detailing Unit Sales by price point.

Other April 2020

Given the sales composition in April 2020 and the lower Median Sale Price (-16%, 734,000 vs. 875,000) compared to April 2019, it’s no wonder the Average Sales Price was lower (-16%, $813,591 vs. $936,780) this April compared to last April.

The two data points that have been most greatly affected by current events are the number of Units Listed and Units Pended. Units Listed experienced a decrease of -72% (23 vs. 83) and Units Pended were also down -73% (12 vs. 45). Intuitively this makes sense since fewer new listings mean that there are not as many properties available to go under contract. The last metric, Days On Market was effectively flat (-1%, 75 vs. 76).

How does Princeton look year-to-date? Units Sold were down (-13%, 52 vs. 60) as were Units Listed (-42%, 122 vs. 209). The Average Sale Price was essentially flat (+1%, $946,914 vs. $939,657) and the Days on Market increased (+37%, 119 vs. 87) compared to January-April of 2019. Additionally, through April the minimum sale price was $345,000 compared to $250,000 last year and the maximum sale price was $3,250,000 versus $2,175,000 during the same time last year.

So what is happening now? There are currently 98 Active Units on the market between $275,000 and $4,995,000 and 20 properties that are Active Under Contract between $285,000 and $12,000,000. Additionally, there are 20 Pending Units between $70,000 and $1,850,000. Lastly, 12 new listings have been introduced thus far in May ($437,000 – $3,295,000).

What will May bring? While there is no doubt the current pandemic is significantly affecting Princeton’s residential real estate market, the lack of new inventory and historically low interest rates may minimize the downward pressure on pricing. There is also another potential phenomenon that we may benefit from and that is the desire of some New York City residents to move to the suburbs; particularly in areas with excellent school systems and access to a train station. May will be a very telling month as it appears that some restrictions will ease, the weather will improve, and buyers will find it a bit easier to actually visit properties.

And once again, rather than signing off with our usual 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 or if you need anything. Sig & Syl