Hurricane Sandy may have caused a small dip in October home sales in the Northeast, but more storm-related sales delays will be visible in the coming months, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
Nationally, existing home sales rose about 2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million, the NAR said.
Northeast home sales fell about 2 percent.
“It’s affected the sales, and it’s probably going to affect November even more than we’ve seen,” said Joel Naroff, president of Holland, Pa.-based Naroff Economic Advisors and owner of a Margate home that saw several feet of floodwater in the first floor.
NAR spokesman Walter Molony said Sandy disrupted real estate markets and meant properties had to be re-examined by insurers and mortgagers before being sold. Those delays should be short term, he said.
“We would expect those (sales) to catch up in early 2013,” he said.
Southern New Jersey Multiple Service Listing data, which are not seasonally adjusted, show home sales were mixed last month.
In Atlantic County, 160 existing homes were sold, which is 15 fewer than October 2011.
In Cape May County, 226 homes sold, which is 24 more than last October.
In Cumberland County, 45 homes sold, six fewer than last October.
Nationally and locally, more existing homes have been sold this year than last year.
Drew Fishman, a broker with Re/Max Atlantic in Northfield and a former president of the New Jersey Association of Realtors, said he is seeing interest pick up where it left off before Sandy.
“I spent yesterday all day showing properties in Atlantic City in high-rises for somebody down here for a while renting and ready to buy,” Fishman said. “We were originally scheduled to go the day of the storm.”
Mary Lou Ferry, owner of Farley & Ferry Realty in Ventnor, has also been encouraged by home sales this year and said there may be only a minor impact on home sales from Sandy.
“I had a closing delayed a week when Sandy hit. Right after we went over, the company took photos and we closed a week later. There was no damage to the house,” she said. “In other properties the basements are going to need total new insulation so they will take (time).”
“I’m optimistic. Everybody’s busy and hustling and trying to accommodate the clients out there,” she said. “I’m even getting some summer rental calls.”
John Burke, a Realtor associate at Sea Isle Realty in Sea Isle City, said he does not expect Sandy to have a lasting effect on real estate sales, particularly as the region enters a traditionally slow time of year before the holidays.
Overall, home sales have been steady, something he expects to continue, he said.
“It’s been a strong, nice good positive movement,” Burke said. “It’s not frantic, or out of control, but a nice solid pace of things.”