NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Lantern Hill continuing care retirement community has yet to be built, but the community’s sales office has already set a company record for the quickest number of apartment-home pre-sales in one month.
Since staff began accepting appointments at its Mountain Avenue location on April 1, more than 150 deposits have been received from seniors interested in calling Lantern Hill home. The $1,000 refundable deposits provides priority-list status, which is considered the safest way for seniors to secure their future at Lantern Hill.
“The old real estate adage ‘location, location, location’ is certainly holding true for this part of state,” said Lantern Hill Executive Director Patricia Swan. “We are noticing that there is a real strong interest from our customers who are looking to either stay in the area, move back or come here because of its close proximity to New York and the many highways and byways.”
Lantern Hill Priority List Members Glenn and Marianne Herrigel have lived in New Providence for 49 years. They very interested in staying in the township where they raised their four children. “We love it here because of so many different reasons,” Herrigel said. “The school system was voted tops in the state last year which helps resale values, the close proximity to New York City is a big plus and we want to stay connected with our family and friends in a great town.”
Fellow Priority List Member Fred Walz said that he and his wife Judy feel similarly as do the Herrigels about Lantern Hill’s location. Fred Walz added that the amenities the community will offer are also a big plus, including the restaurants and open floor plans, as well as the maintenance-free lifestyle. “We don’t want the burden of problems that come with owning your own home,” Walz said. “Knowing that there will be no more snow to shovel, grass to cut and a roof to worry about is very comforting.”
Another factor that appears to be helping seniors considering Lantern Hill is the resurgence in the real estate market in the areas surrounding New Providence. According to The Otteau Valuation Group, which analyzes home sales data in New Jersey, the recovery in home prices has occurred primarily in the northern part of the state while southern New Jersey continues to see a much slower recovery.
The combined effects of increased home purchase demand and tight inventory levels is causing continuing home price increases in New Jersey says the Otteau Valuation Group. Median home prices in the state rose by 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to one year prior. This marks the fifth consecutive quarterly increase since the housing recovery began.
A snapshot of 13 towns that surround Lantern Hill further highlights the speed in which existing homes are selling. Homes in the towns of Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Madison, Watchung, Warren, Bernardsville, Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside are selling very quickly— on an average of 55 days on market (DOM), compared to 67 DOM six months ago and 61 days one year ago.
To make a comparison, the average DOM for existing home sales in all of Union County, where New Providence is located, the number is currently 91 days. Days on market six months ago in remained at 91 and one year ago, the DOM was 84 days. If you expand DOM to Essex County, the current DOM is 75 compared to 86 days six months ago and the DOM was 79 one year ago.
Houses closer to New Providence are selling quicker than homes in other parts of the region which include Union, Essex, Somerset and Morris counties.