Greetings From the 7 Mile Island!
wanted to take a few minutes to reach out and share an update. First and foremost, I hope that this message finds you healthy and well. The Ferguson Dechert Team is working remotely and we are ready to assist with all rental and sale transactions while our doors are closed to walk-ins!
My family and I have quarantined ourselves and anyone I’ve communicated with is doing the same. Through challenging times come valuable Life Lessons regarding adaptability, responsibility, good decision-making, sacrifice and appreciation for some things that are simple and often overlooked! Hopefully this experience will ultimately make us all (especially our kids) better individuals and collectively, a better generation.
I’m sure that by now, many of you have seen the statistical evidence of the benefits of social distancing. Earlier this week, the Mayor of Avalon issued a Directive that no rentals take residence between now and April 30th. He also asked that out-of-town property owners ‘not’ come to Avalon in order to minimize the possibility of spreading the virus. Other Mayors have taken a similar position. If the virus spreads, it could overwhelm our local hospitals.
NOTE: as per The State of NJ Dept of Public Safety, Office of Emergency Management/State Police; Administrative Order # 2020-6 (dated March 30, 2020), states that individual appointments to view real estate with a realtor shall be considered “Essential Business”; however Open Houses are not permitted.
I can tell you first-hand that the two local hospitals are super busy without the added influx. My wife is a nurse in the Emergency Room at Cape Regional Hospital in Cape May Court House; it’s the only hospital in the County, and therefore they’re usually incredibly busy! This time of year they are only staffed and supplied for the year-round population, not for the summertime volume.
Obviously, there are mixed emotions from second homeowners, rental property owners, and business owners about the State and local Government’s request to stay away from the Shore for the time being. I can certainly understand both sides.
We locals have mixed emotions as well. I grew-up on the Island and the recurring change in seasons means much more to me than simply changing temperatures. I love the energy and camaraderie that abounds when the Island is booming with friends, family and customers! But ultimately, we, too, must make responsible decisions, and with those decisions comes sacrifice.
THE RENTAL MARKET
Naturally, prospective tenant's are concerned about their enjoyment of the property in the event that restrictive Covid-related Governmental Directives are in effect during their lease dates. In an effort to address this concern and lend comfort to tenants, we are working with rental property owners to develop an understanding that IF said conditions are in effect, then the lease may be cancelled and the tenant’s rental payment would be refunded.
THE SALE MARKET
So far this month, 21 properties have been placed Under Contract For Sale in Avalon/Stone Harbor. Six homes were placed under contract in the past 14 days, so on average, nearly one sale being put together every other day!
Over the past weeks, I have been receiving numerous emails and calls about my thoughts concerning the real estate market. A major difference between today and the ’07 housing crisis is that the people who have purchased homes here on the Island over the past 10 years have been more thoroughly vetted by the Lender, and the majority of purchases are made for personal enjoyment, and not with intent to “flip” immediately for a profit. The longer-term vision is healthy and important, particularly given the stock market volatility.
Looking forward, my communication with people from all walks of Life leads me to believe that the both rental & buying demand will be solid, with a possibility of even growing stronger once this Covid pandemic is contained. Over the years, I worked in a market that has endured events that make people pause to varying degrees, it’s only human to be averse to uncertainty - high interest rates, September 11th, the ’07 financial crisis and recession, government shutdowns, and Hurricane Sandy; it's reassuring to know with certainty that Avalon & Stone Harbor are First Class towns that have always impressively risen from challenging times! Like now, those times were terrible, yet we made it through. People are resilient and there is a natural tendency to gravitate toward one’s “Happy Place”…and for many, that’s the Shore!
Some of my recurring observations over the years:
- People’s desire to spend time at the Shore doesn’t go away. In fact, just the opposite happens. Families & friends want to take the time to reconnect, to unwind and distance themselves from taxing situations resulting from whatever the condition might be, in this case, all that’s associated with Covid-19.
- The Shore is ‘easy’ to get to; no plane or cruise ship required! These factors bolster rental & sale demand!
- Stock market volatility creates frustration and loss, often with nothing to show for it. As a result, some of my customers & clients shift their investment toward tangible assets, like a Shore home. This, combined with the pent-up demand, creates a strong and relatively rapid recovery of the market.
- For Seller’s who ‘must sell’, there are always buyers who are eager to purchase if/when a property becomes more affordable. This is a natural part of the market dynamics.
Ferguson Dechert Real Estate was started in 1981, and I began my real estate career 8 years later. While I have seen a lot, I do not pretend to have a crystal ball. However, you can rest assured that the Ferguson Dechert Team and I will be here for the recovery that follows the Covid-19 containment and we will continue to advertise, rent and sell our listings!
Thank you for your business and please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.
New MLS Listings Below