There continue to be segments of our real estate market that are seeing lower prices, however, activity has picked up (as have pending contracts). We will remain in a buyer's market for a while yet. In some price ranges we have about 12 months inventory, in others we have more than a years inventory.
That said, you need to do your homework on what HAS sold to be sure that anything you purchase appraises. There ARE motivated sellers right now, sellers who have an interest in upgrading their portfolio (sell on West Avenue, buy on Asbury Avenue, etc.) so it's smart to look, you may find a reasonable seller who realizes that you're helping THEM realize their dream of a newer home/closer to the beach/new construction, etc.
Don't expect appreciation any time soon, in ANY market (not just Ocean City), but look at where you would otherwise be investing your money and compare the returns each might get you over the next five years, weighing the benefits ( family memories - what I call workmen's compensation ).
WHEN the real estate begins to appreciate you can expect that Central Avenue will appreciate at about the SAME rate as Wesley Avenue, and at the same rate as Asbury Avenue or West Avenue.
I did a study several years ago of appreciation rates by location and was surprise that location wasn't a large a factor as I expected. With appreciation rates being "equal", make your selection based on your needs, wants and preferences for location. Chances are that the things YOU are looking for will ultimately also appeal to the NEXT buyer.
James I. (Jim) Marshall, CRS, GRI, e-Pro
Prudential Fox & Roach REALTOR (R)
"Delivering Waves of Memories Since 1977"
email : Jim@JimOCNJ.com
Ocean City Blog : http://OCNJMemories.com
The rate of decline is slowing and the interest among buyers is increasing. That hasn't resulted in increasing or even flat prices yet but the oportunities for owning a 2nd home are outstanding right now. And Ocean City remains a very desirable resort community.
Keep your goals in mind...are you going to purchase this property to enjoy with your family? Rent to seasonal tenants, (in which case you'd have to put at least 30% down to have the rent cover the mortgage, with limited personal use)? You certainly aren't going to purchase today and sell next August, right? Remember even if the prices dip a percentage or two more, you don't lose any money unless you are selling. So if you intend to be an OC homeowner for the forseeable future, you are in a great position to pick up a nice property at a great price and start enjoying it immediately.
This is what I call a "Big Picture" purchase, if its meant for your personal enjoyment, (and a few lucky family members & friends), and you financially in a position to buy, then now is the right time. You can't get the year or two back you waited to buy & enjoy the property in hopes of getting a better deal.
As far as the comps and the best area to purchase, if you are not currently in a Buyer's Agency relationship with a Realtor and would like to review some of the comparable properties that are on the market and have sold recentlly, contact me and I'll get the information to your email.
Enjoy the sand between your toes!
Barbara Smith ABR, GRI
NJ/PA Licensed Realtor
Forget about appreciation in the next 5-10 years. It isn't an investment, it is just a home.
Love OC, best place to take a family. Went there as a kid, it is just really over-priced.