Randolph Real Estate Market Couldn’t Get Hotter, Says House Speaker | Reporter Randolph News

RANDOLPH TWP. – Thinking of selling a house in Randolph Township?

That’s the advice of Keller Williams Realtor Michael Brand, who was the guest speaker at the Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday afternoon. The meeting took place at La Strada on Route 10.

This time, Brand said, has never been better for sellers.

House Speaker Lisa Natoli introduced Brand, saying he was a township resident, a 25-year veteran in real estate who closed more than 100 deals a year as an agent. He also launched four of the most successful malls in Keller Williams history. He is currently Regional Manager for the New York and Manhattan Tri-State Area, which includes 44 shopping centers and more than 11,000 agents.

His message was clear: real estate is hot right now across the country, and Morris County is no exception. However, Randolph Township, along with Montville Township and Denville Township, excels exceptionally in terms of sales.

Two years ago, the median price sellers received for their homes in Randolph was $430,000. As of now – March 2022 – that number has skyrocketed to $608,000.

That’s a 41.5 percent increase.

“And first-time home buyers have to put down 25-30% cash,” he said.

“Actually, it’s not a good time for first-time buyers,” he said. “They are literally being squeezed out of the market.”

He said homes in the area average about 70 visits per “open house” and each ends with about five offers on the table.

Will it last? Brand said he expects the feds to raise interest rates to 6% by the end of the year. “It’s been 3.75 for the last 10 years. It’s kind of ridiculous,” he said.

“It’s going to slow down. I expect it to plateau this year,” he said, but for now the stars are aligned for home sellers.

Typically, he said, there are about 160 homes “on the market” in Randolph. “Right now there are 22. It was down to 16,” he said.

In part, Covid is to blame – or to thank. “People want more space. They want to work from home. Covid has changed what people want in their homes,” he said.

“Right now, we’re consistently seeing less than a month’s supply of homes. First-time home buyers are spending between $700,000 and $800,000 per home. They plan to be in that home for the next 12 years or so,” he said.

He said the rental market is also “crazy” right now.

“There is just a lack of affordable housing, in all categories. They are currently building apartments and condos on Route 10 and Sussex Turnpike in Randolph,” he said.

“The problem is that we have, right now, at most a month or a month and a half of inventory,” he said.

Estate agent Andy Walker agreed, saying a lot of young couples – with lots of money – “want to hang out in the suburbs”.

What if you just moved to Florida? Walker says home prices are also high. OK mark.

“You have to enter a lottery to buy a house in Florida. That’s how high the demand is,” he said.

“More and more people are migrating to the suburbs of New York,” he said.

“We had a house in Randolph that was $1.2 million. And it was already overpriced. The buyer offered $1.4 million,” he said.

Walker said the “work from home” option, which many companies are now offering, has helped the market boom.

“Almost anyone can now work from home. Relocation activity has taken a nosedive. There just isn’t a lot of demand for relocation now,” he said.

“People want to stay home.”

Brand said the office space market, however, is painfully dismal.

“People just aren’t using the offices. With everyone working from home, and when those leases expire, landlords won’t be able to get the same amount of rent they’re getting right now,” Brand said.

“I wouldn’t want to be a commercial realtor right now,” he added.

What’s popular now, he said, is what’s called a “work, shop, play” building. “That’s what’s taking over office buildings now,” he said, adding that in 10 years he would expect many such facilities in Manhattan.

“The bottom line is that there is a shortage of real estate supply,” he said. “And there’s also a lot of money to be made in the rental market.”

Randolph, in particular, he said, has been “pretty hectic.”

“We had 100 visitors for an open house. Randolph, Denville and Montville are the biggest contenders in Morris County because they offer so much more for their money. The schools have a good reputation. They have good sports programs. The demand is definitely there,” he said.

“They tend to be the three cities that really move together,” Brand said.

He also said Randolph provided a real sense of community.

Mayor Marie Potter agreed.

“Seventy percent of the streets in Randolph end in a cul-de-sac. I know. I’ve walked all of them. It’s very community-oriented,” she said.

Three-car garages, he said, are currently in short supply.

Want a swimming pool with your new home? Forget. At least for now.

“People are willing to pay $100,000 more than the asking price for a swimming pool,” he said.

Due to demand, he said, there is a three-year wait for installation.

“Bona Pools in Kenvil has received a request to do 80 pools. They are doing 10. There is a labor shortage and the cost of wood is rising,” he said.

He also said there was a strong demand for homes with an attached master suite.

“For people who are ready to retire and leave the state, this is the best time they could have ever asked for,” he said.

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