As the weather heats up, the real estate market is also red hot. Home prices continue their ascent thanks to lean inventory and eager buyers. In fact, Summit and New Providence are among the 15 hottest markets in the Garden State, according to data collected by NJ.com.
Meanwhile technology in the home is in the news — for better or worse. Homebuilder Lennar announced built-in Wi-Fi and other state-of-the-art amenities will become standard features in its new homes. But is there such a thing as too much tech? There might be when home sellers use it to eavesdrop on open houses to get a leg up on potential negotiations.
Let’s take a look at these and some of the other interesting real estate stories we found this month.
Prospective home buyers can expect to go to war this spring and summer. A low housing inventory coupled with high demand will spark bidding wars for houses in the entry- to middle-level home sectors, say local realtors, continuing a years-long trend in the residential real estate market.
Home prices have been rising steadily since the recession, but the gains are suddenly accelerating as spring demand heats up in an already highly lean and competitive market. Prices surged 7 percent higher in March compared with a year ago, according to CoreLogic. That is the biggest gain since May 2014. All 50 states saw home values increase, and prices are now higher than they were at the peak of the last housing boom, although that does not account for inflation.
These 15 N.J. Real Estate Markets Are Sizzling Hot Right Now, Spring Edition
Summit and New Providence are among the 15 hottest real estate markets in New Jersey. Summit’s home values are well above the rest of Union County. The current home value is $942,536, with a growth rate of 11.31 percent. New Providence has a median income almost double the rest of New Jersey. About 80 percent of its households are married couples. The borough’s current home value is $659,631, with a yearly growth rate of 14.29 percent.
Buyers Beware: Sellers May Be Eavesdropping on Open Houses to Gain a Bit of Leverage
If you’re looking to buy a house in New Jersey be forewarned – the people selling the house may have you under secret surveillance. As the price of video security systems like nanny cams continues to drop and the units get smaller and smaller, an increasing number of home sellers are using the devices to record the conversations of prospective buyers in order to get information that may be useful to them in the event an offer for the home is made and negotiations follow.
Amazon’s Alexa Will Be Built into All New Homes from Lennar
The nation’s largest home builder is betting voice-activated digital assistants and smart devices will become as expected in a new home as garages now are. Lennar announced that standard features in its new homes will include built-in Wi-Fi, smart locks, doorbells, thermostats and lights — all controlled by Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant.
These N.J. Shore Towns Are About to See Their Populations Explode
Wondering which shore towns see the biggest surge in population during the summer months? NJ.com shared data on which areas see the largest increase. Ocean County has seen the percent of its seasonal population tick up slightly in recent years, from 30 to 33 percent. But Ocean, which fittingly has the longest stretch of land abutting the Atlantic Ocean, has many towns that see their populations at least double if not triple during the summer. Long Beach, for example, adds at least 7,000 people during beach season, which makes up more than 70 percent of its population during peak months.