Blog :: 07-2011

Montclair NJ Update for June 2011

After 12 months of declining year-on-year home sales (due in large part to the post-tax credit hangover of last April), the middle of May saw NJ's first increase in the number of new contracts written. However, unsold inventory continues to be higher that last year's. In June, there were an average of 268 homes on the market in Montclair as compared to 233 in June of 2010 and only 28 homes sold, this month compared to 54 last June.  It took on average 19 days longer to sell a home this June as days-on-market increased from 55 to74.  The good news for Montclair is that median sales price increased almost 9% to $620,000 from $569,000 pointing to a market that has strengthened since the crash of last June.

Last June only 2 of the 54 homes (4%) sold in Montclair were over the million dollar mark.  This June, of the 28 homes that sold 7 of them (25%) closed over the million dollar mark with one on Heller Drive selling for $2,549,000 -  a bright spot perhaps for the luxury market.

Got Certification?

As a New Jersey Realtor,  I could theoretically help a client buy or sell a home anywhere in the state. Practically speaking, though, this would be, well, impractical. I don't know a whole lot about the South Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, for instance. I do know a lot about Essex County real estate, however.  And one thing that really impresses me about Essex County is how many of its towns have received certificates of sustainability.

Sustainable Jersey is an organization founded in 2006 that helps communities foster environmental awareness and responsible economic growth, which lead to a higher quality of life in the long term. Communities interested in becoming certified are required to take steps such as ensuring environmental justice in planning and zoning. Once they have earned their certification, they can apply for cash grants: Wal-Mart has since 2009 partnered with Sustainable Jersey in awarding grants to towns for sustainability projects. Last year, for instance, Montclair was awarded $25,000 to install charging stations for electric cars, while West Orange received $10,000 for water conservation education initiatives.

Other local communities that have received certification include Bloomfield, Glen Ridge and Maplewood. It's probably not a coincidence that these are also very walkable suburbs; walkability has a lot to do with sustainability.