Go ahead and snicker. This Mountain Man guy (and City Girl) is full of bull, you're thinking.
Not so fast, my friend.
Sure, the national unemployment numbers are still tough to swallow. And yes, we are still seeing more vacant store fronts popping up. Discretionary spending is off, too, though you have to wonder when you see folks descend on a mall and drop hundreds of dollars on trivial junk for Christmas.
But here in Cape May County, New Jersey at the shore, the tide has turned in the real estate market. Pun intended. With interest rates hovering around 4% and prices nearly half of what they were in 2005, sales have been brisk. We're also seeing that folks are tired of sitting on the sidelines and after five years they ackowledge the opportunity is there to finally purchase and own a vacation home at the Jersey Shore. If they were 55 years old back in 2005, they're now 60 and not getting any younger. I call it the "now or never" syndrome. If they waited much longer to buy a second home, some would probably just say forget it.
Back in 2004, we began telling our clients that the days of buying pre-construction condos, then flipping them a year later the day after closing, were over. We saw an overabundance of new construction and sensed that the market was shifting. Unfortunately, we were right. We are getting that same feeling again, except this time it's a turn in the other direction.
We believe that the vacation home market leads the way. Our real estate market was the first to fall apart, and it is the first to recover. And why not? Folks who can afford second homes usually own their own business or they are high enough up on the corporate ladder to have a solid income. When the national media began their gloom and doom predictions, the frugal upper and upper-middle class folks pulled back and stopped spending. Now that they've endured five years of a recession and the sky hasn't fallen in, they're back.
Here at Jewell Real Estate Agency, we have sold 2.5 times more properties this year than in 2009. We're not bleeding greenbacks anymore. Not only are we relieved, we're very optimistic. No doubt, it will take the primary home market another two years to catch fire. But when it does, all will be well in Whoville.