Even along the New Jersey coast, where homes valued at $1 million and higher are in the majority, real estate agents see their listed properties get snatched up within days, sometimes hours.

Bidding wars and short stays on the market are commonplace throughout New Jersey, and they're not letting up as you get closer to the shore.

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New Jersey 101.5 has reported plenty on the wild housing market that's persisted over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, sparked by low inventory that hasn't grown all that much as the Garden State continues its recovery from the crisis.

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"There's still not enough inventory and builders are still building homes and can't keep up with the demand," said Michael Little, broker of record for Keller Williams Shore Properties in Toms River. "We're still seeing on a daily basis multiple offers and homes selling very, very quickly. I don't think that's going to end anytime soon."

Little cited a 16% increase in home values since the same time last year, and said values could jump by another 9% over the year ahead.

Homes located just blocks from each other, he noted, can vary dramatically in price in shore areas. There are "shore homes" in the $400,000 or $500,000 range, but you won't find them on the ocean block.

The pandemic is part of the reason for strong demand all around — folks in metropolitan areas are looking to settle down elsewhere. But at the shore, demand is also driven by retirees that are done with yearly summer rentals and are ready to drop anchor by the water for good.

"The Jersey Shore is still hot, hot, hot," said Robert White, president-elect of New Jersey Realtors.

One of White's agents went live Thursday morning with a home for sale in Ocean Grove. By late morning, she had 12 appointments booked for showings, and two offers from folks who hadn't yet viewed the property in person.

Inventory, though, is starting to grow a bit in the coastal counties. This time last year, folks were more hesitant to open their homes to prospective buyers due to the threat of COVID-19.

"Hopefully that will help to create a little bit more of a normalized market where people aren't having to overbid, allowing more people to get a home," White said.

In May of this year, the median sales price of a single-family home in Monmouth County was $595,000, nearly 23% higher than the same month last year, according to New Jersey Realtors data. In Ocean County, the median sales price jumped 28.4% year over year to $427,500.


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