More fall out from a Weather Channel report naming Ocean County among the worst places to live in the U-S
In addition to Ocean County officials blasting the Weather Channel's report listing Ocean as the sixth worst place in the U-S to own a home, a longtime resident and realtor also disputes the assessment.
"If Ocean County is not a good place to buy a home, why did we sell over $3.6 billion dollars in real estate over the past 10 years," asked Michael Little, partner and Chief Operating Officer of Cross Roads Realty in Toms River, during a recent meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Little, a resident of Ocean County for 45 years, pointed out his company has experienced an increase in sales since Super Storm Sandy.
Citing information supplied by the Otteau Group and the IRS, Little noted over 4,800 homes are purchased annually in Ocean Ocean County by people moving from the counties of Monmouth, Middlesex, Bergen, Union, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Mercer counties.
"Part of it was people moving out of some of the damaged areas into other parts of Ocean County, we still have the influx of people coming from other counties into Ocean County, which is a natural progression, and I think the market is getting better was all a factor in people moving into Ocean County," he said.
Little added that from information retrieved from the Multiple Listing Service, Ocean County had more than 8,500 real estate transactions so far in 2014, outpacing its neighbor Monmouth County which has had 7,700.
“Contract sales are up six percent from October 2013 to last month,” Little said. “And yes, that is after Superstorm Sandy.”
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to Tourism and Business Development, said the numbers prove what the freeholders have been saying all along – Ocean County continues to be the best place to live, work, raise a family and retire.
“When Time Magazine and the Weather Channel arbitrarily declare Ocean County as leading a list of the worst places to live in the country because of weather disasters, of course we are going to do all we can to combat that kind of nonsense,”said Vicari.
“Michael Little has presented us with the facts that are being seen in the real estate market in Ocean County. People continue to move here because of the quality of life that is offered,” he added.
Little said that Ocean County continues to be more affordable than most areas of the state. He noted that while there is development in Ocean County, there also is an emphasis placed on preserving open space in order to protect Barnegat Bay and other environmentally sensitive areas.
“We have over 44 miles of beaches, boardwalks, amusements, historic sites, Green Acres, protected Pinelands, excellent school systems, and access to any activity here or within a short drive to Philadelphia, New York City and Atlantic City,” said Little. “When people say they are going to the ‘Shore’ they mean they are coming to Ocean County.”