Essex County September Housing Report - 9-18-2023

Essex County September Housing Report 9/18/2023

Inflation Heating Up Again

Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% in August and is up 3.7% for 12 months. Prices driven by rising gasoline and shelter prices.

Oil Prices (West Texas Intermediate crude) Rose 15.3% in the past 30 days from $80.12. to $92.36.

30 Year Mortgage Rates Today Were 7.31% (Mortgage News Daily)

Singles, Condos and Multi-Families:

Month over Month, Prices were mixed, Units Sold rose and Active Listings fell.

Year over Year, Prices Rose over 10%, but Units Sold and Active Listings continue to drop double digit.

Record low housing inventory keeps pricing firm in spite of high mortgage rates.



Essex County August Housing Report 8/8/2023

Essex County August Housing Report 8/8/2023

USA Credit Rating lowered by Fitch from AAA to AA+
30 Year Mortgage Rates Rose to 7.2% but retreated to 7.04 Today

Oil Prices (West Texas Intermediate) Rose 17.2% During July: from $69.79 to $81.80.  
Expect inflation to rise in July. Check CPI report on 8/10/2023

Today’s Bottom Line for Singles and Condos and Multi-Families:
Year over Year, Prices Rose. Units Sold, Active Listings and Inventories fell. 
Month over Month, Prices Rose. Units Sold and Active Listings fell.

Record low inventory keeps pricing firm in spite of higher mortgage rates.



Essex County July Housing Report 7/27/2023

Essex County July Housing Report 7/27/2023

The Federal Reserve increased the Fed Funds Rate by 0.25% to 5.5% on 7-26-2023.

The 30 Year fixed rate mortgage is now 6.95% per Mortgage News Daily

Inventory remains at record low levels because most homeowners have lower mortgage rates and don't want to trade into a much higher mortgage rate.
91.8 % of homeowners have a mortgage rate below 6%, 82.4 % have a rate below 5%, 62% have a rate below 4%, and 23.5% have a rate below 3%. 

Inflation is coming down.  Consumer Price Index fell to 3% in June but Core Inflation too high - 4.8%.
Mortgage rates are expected to start declining by the end of this year

Today’s Bottom Line for Singles and Condos and Multi-Families:

Year over year, Units Sales, Active Listings and Inventories continue to fall.

Pricing remains firm in spite of high mortgage rates due to record low inventories.

Month Over Month, unit sales and active listings improved as we moved into the selling season.



Essex County June Housing Report 6/15/2023

Essex County June Housing Report 6/15/2023

CPI Core Inflation remains stubbornly high but is gradually declining and fell from 5.4% in April to 5.3% in May. Happily core inflation for wholesale prices, the Producer Price Index, fell from 3.3% in April to 2.8% in May. The Federal Reserve did not raise rates in June. The current 30 year conforming mortgage rate is 6.94% per Mortgage News Daily. High interest rates will keep inventory low as homeowners with very low mortgage rates are reluctant to move. Commercial Real Estate (CRE) lending is expected to remain tight as Regional Banks which hold 70% of CRE loans struggle to improve profits and liquidity.

Today’s Bottom Line for Singles and Condos:

Unit Sales continued to fall year over year (down 28%+ for both singles and condos). BUT, month over month unit sales rose dramatically as we moved into the Spring Market: + 32.1% for Single Family and + 44.1% for condos - 👍 Prices were up both year over year (YOY) and month over month (MOM) 👍 : Single Family Prices +1.9% YOY and +7.1% MOM.

Condos Prices +4.6% YOY and +8.3% MOM.

Multi-Families: Units sales fell -8.7% YOY, but rose 1.3% MOM Prices fell 8.7% YOY but rose 1.3% MOM


Essex County May 2023 Housing Report

Essex County May Housing Report 5/18/2023

Core Inflation remains stubbornly high and The Federal Reserve is now expected to raise rates again in June. April Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was 4.9% but CPI Core Inflation (CPI less Food & Energy) was 5.5%. The current 30 year conforming mortgage rate is 6.825% per Mortgage News Daily. Rising / high interest rates will continue to dampen real estate sales. Commercial Real Estate (CRE) lending is expected to remain tight as Regional Banks which hold 70% of CRE loans struggle to improve profits and liquidity.

Today’s Bottom Line for Singles and Condos:

Unit Sales continued to fall both year over year and month over month.
Single Family Prices fell 1.7% month over month and rose only 1.6% year over year.
Condo prices fell 4.5% both month over month and year over year.

Multi-Families: Units sales fell -41.3% Year Over Year and -14% Month O Month However, Prices did rise +2.4% Year Over Year and +8% Month over Month as Active Listings continued to drop.




Stress-Free Home Cleaning

Stress-Free Home Cleaning: 27 Practical Tactics for Busy Households


Keeping a clean and orderly home is a challenge for many of us. Between busy work schedules, social obligations, and family commitments, it’s tough to keep up with daily chores—let alone larger seasonal tasks.

The effort is worthwhile, however. A sanitary environment can keep you and your family healthier by minimizing your exposure to germs and allergens.1 Plus, researchers have found that organized, uncluttered homes have quantifiable mental health benefits, too, including reduced stress, improved emotional regulation, and increased productivity.

The reality is, we enjoy our homes more when they are in good order. It’s much easier to relax without piles of unopened mail or a messy kitchen reminding us of work to be done. And don’t we all feel more inclined to entertain family and friends when our homes are well-kept?

That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite tactics—from overall strategies to little tips and tricks—for keeping things tidy without spending all our spare time cleaning. 

Set a Schedule for Daily and Weekly Cleaning

We’ve all been there—you put off vacuuming or mopping your floor for a few days, only to realize that weeks have passed. Creating a cleaning schedule that works for you is the best way to stay on top of things and avoid overwhelm. Here are a few of our favorite strategies:

  1. Designate a day of the week for each task—then, add them to your calendar so you can’t forget. 
  2. Create a shared schedule that assigns specific responsibilities to each member of the household. Post it in a prominent place, like on the refrigerator, or create a shared digital calendar.
  3. Carve out 15 minutes a day for cleaning and decluttering. Set a timer on your phone and get as much done as you can before it goes off. 

It may take some trial and error to find the tactics that work best for you. The most important thing is to make a habit of cleaning so that clutter and grime don’t have a chance to build. And if you’d like some professional help, reach out for a referral to one of our favorite cleaning services!

Tackle Bigger Chores Seasonally

Many home care tasks are seasonal by nature and only need to be completed once or twice a year. But when we don’t have a plan to tackle them, it’s all too easy to put them off. Here are a few tips to stay on top of these chores:

  1. Mark days on your calendar in advance to attend to annual or semi-annual chores, like cleaning gutters, washing windows, turning mattresses, and shampooing carpets.
  2. Schedule just one primary task each weekend instead of blocking out a full two days. This will help ensure a good balance between chores and relaxation. 
  3. Designate a date two to four times a year, depending on your lifestyle, to put away out-of-season items like clothes, holiday decorations, and sporting goods.
  4. Take some time to sort through your seasonal items when you pack them away. Then you can toss, sell, or donate items that you no longer need or enjoy. 

Remember—breaking down these larger tasks can make them less overwhelming. If you space them out so that you can handle them one by one, even the most time-consuming chores become a lot more manageable.

And since all your time is valuable, don't hesitate to delegate these larger home care tasks to professionals. Give us a call for a list of our recommended service providers.

Reduce the Barriers to Cleaning

Set yourself up for success by ensuring you have the tools on hand to tackle small tasks with ease. Here are a few ways to make your cleaning supplies more accessible:

  1. Store a broom, dustpan, and vacuum on each floor of your home so they’re easy to reach.
  2. Stash containers of disinfecting and glass wipes under every sink for a mid-week wipe-down.
  3. Place extra bags beneath the liner of your garbage pails, so you’ll have a replacement ready when you take out the trash.
  4. Keep a paper shredder and recycling bin handy so you can dispose of unwanted mail as it’s opened.

By strategically placing your tools and supplies in the locations where you’re most likely to need them, you’ll make cleaning less of a chore and more of a habit.

Stop the Clutter Before It Starts

From coats to shoes to mail, it’s all too easy to find clutter taking over your home. Once these piles start to form, they can feel overwhelming—which only makes it harder to address them. 

To avoid this problem, stop the clutter before it starts. Assign every item a home and create storage spaces and “drop zones” in key locations.Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Install coat hooks and shoe racks in the entryway for easy access.
  2. Add a key caddy or shelf for essential items to get you out the door.
  3. Hang a letter bin to capture mail and newspapers as soon as you walk into the house.
  4. Place a donation box in each closet for items you no longer want or need.

It can take a little time to get in the habit of returning items to their assigned space. But once you do, staying on top of clutter will become far more manageable. 

Are you considering a larger organizational upgrade, like a custom closet or pantry system? Reach out for a free consultation to find out how the investment could impact the value of your home!

Tackle Small Tasks Right Away

Sometimes, the mental load of thinking about a chore you need to do is worse than the chore itself. Plus, handling small tasks right away can reduce the need for lengthy cleaning sessions.

Try working these changes into your routine:

  1. Learn to clean as you cook, rather than piling it all up for later. As you wait for water to boil or food to cook through, wash the bowls and utensils you used for prep.
  2. Hang bath towels on a bar immediately after use. By allowing them to properly air dry, you can cut down on the frequency of laundering.
  3. Bring items with you when you leave a room. For example, return plates and cups to the kitchen right away rather than letting them stack up in your home office. 
  4. Take out the trash when you leave for work, school drop-off, or errands. This will save you the time and hassle of a second trip.

If you implement these small changes, your home will stay neater—and you’ll minimize the number of dedicated cleaning sessions you need to take on each week.

Embrace an Evening “Shutdown” Routine 

Kitchens can get dirty and cluttered fast. But a few minutes spent cleaning up each evening can prevent the mess from getting out of control.4

Imagine your kitchen is a restaurant and you’re tidying it up before closing down for the night. These simple steps will prepare you for the morning rush: 

  1. Wipe down all surfaces, including countertops, stove, microwave, and sink. Then toss your soiled washcloth in the hamper and lay out a fresh one for tomorrow.
  2. Load and run the dishwasher every night so you can empty it the next morning.
  3. Prepare for breakfast by programming your coffee pot and setting out some grab-and-go options.

We all know it can be hard to find the energy for chores in the evening. But if you complete these small tasks each night, you’ll start the next day off right in a tidy, clean kitchen.

Think Outside of the Box When It Comes to Storage

Most of us have limited storage space. Unfortunately, without the right spots to stash our items, it’s easy to become disorganized. 

But we’ve found that using household items in innovative ways can help keep mess and clutter under control.5 Here are a few of our favorite swaps:

  1. Place a magazine file in your kitchen for cookbooks, takeout menus, and meal kit cards.
  2. Hang a pocket-style shoe organizer inside your pantry door to store granola bars, spice jars, and other small items.
  3. Separate dress and athletic socks by turning an old shoe box into a drawer divider.
  4. Repurpose jam jars by using them to store office supplies or bathroom essentials.
  5. Store out-of-season clothes inside rarely-used suitcases, so all that space doesn’t go to waste. 

A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to making the most of your space. Just be sure that you’re creating systems you can stick with and not putting things where you might forget about them later!


Keeping your home clean and organized can be a continuous struggle—there’s no need to feel ashamed of that. But taking the time to implement systems that work for you can make life more pleasant and less stressful in the long run.

Remember, we’re not just here to help you buy or sell a home. We want you to love living in it, too. Reach out if you need referrals for house cleaners, window washers, or other service providers that can help you make the most of your space. 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.


  1. Healthline -
  2. Forbes -  
  3. My Domaine -
  4. Housewife How-Tos -

  1. Better Homes and Gardens -

Essex County April 2023 Housing Report

Essex County March Housing Report 4/14/2023

The March Banking Crises has subsided and the lingering effect is reduced availability of commercial loans. Inflation continues to decline and the 30 year conforming mortgage rate per Mortgage News Daily, now 6.5%, will likely drift lower particularly if the Federal Reserve tempers its rate increases if we enter a mild recession later this year, likely the 3rd and 4th quarters.

Today’s Bottom Line for Singles and Condos:
Both units sales (+ 35.7%) and prices (+ 9%) surged from February to March as we entered the Spring Market and inventory remained tight. March Year Over Year prices rose +7.3% but units sales fell -9.4% from last year.

Multi-Families: Both units sales (-23.2%) and prices (-7.4%) fell Year Over Year. Prices also fell -1.5% from Feb to March but unit sales rose +10.3%.



Essex County March Housing Report 3/14/2023

Between Friday, March 10 and Monday, March 13, the second and third largest US Bank failures occurred, #2 Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and #3 Signature Bank, arising from the Fed’s rapid rise in interest rates which dramatically reduced the value of all banks long term investment bonds / notes. These bank failures resulted in a flight to safety by investors to US Treasuries and drove down their interest rates. The odd beneficiary was the 30 year fixed rate mortgage which fell from 7% on Friday to 6.57% on Monday. Rates rose Tuesday, March,14, to 6.75% as the banking crises eased ( Mortgagee rates per Mortgage News Daily).

Federal Reserve conundrum: Keep fighting inflation by increasing rates and possibly generating more bank failures or backing off on their rate increases for now. The Consumer Price Index today was up 0.5% in February and 6% for the year. The Federal Reserve’s goal of 2% inflation.

Today’s Bottom Line for Singles, Condos and Multies:

Units Sales and Active Listings continue to fall both year over year and month over month as mortgage rates rise. Prices softened from Jan to Feb.


Essex County Housing Report February 10, 2022

Essex County February Housing Report 2/10/2023

As the Federal Reserve is trying to slow the economy, it was disappointed that the January Employment Report was much better than expected - 517,000 jobs added, twice the forecast, and the unemployment rate fell from 3.5% to 3.4%. The Federal Reserve increased the Federal Funds Rate by 0.25% to the 4.5% - 4.75% range and indicated it will continue to raise rates to slow inflation by slowing the economy. Wall Street thinks the Fed Funds Rate could rise to 6%. The conforming 30 year mortgage rate rose from 6% on Feb 2 to 6.5% today per Mortgage News Daily

Bottom Line for Singles and Condos:

Sales activity continues to slow as the Fed fights inflation by raising rates to slow demand.
January Year over Year Singles and Condos: Sold Prices fell -0.8%, Units Sales fell -33.7%, and the Number of Active Listings barely rose, +0.03%. Months of Inventory rose significantly as Unit Sales fell substantially even though Active Listings barely rose.




Top 6 Home Design Trends To Watch in 2023

Top 6 Home Design Trends To Watch in 2023

Over the past few years, many of us have spent extra time at home—and that means we appreciate the personal design touches that make a house cozy and comfortable more than ever. Some of us have adapted our dwellings in new ways, from creating functional home offices to upgrading the appliances we use most.

But while it’s important to make your home your own, it’s also smart to think about the long-term impact your renovations could have on its value. Choosing highly-personalized fixtures and finishes can make it harder for future homebuyers to envision themselves in the space. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, investing in popular design choices that are likely to stand the test of time will make things easier down the road.

And if you’re in the market for a new home, it’s wise to keep an eye out for features that might need to be updated soon so you can factor renovation costs into your budget.

We’ve rounded up six trends that we think will influence interior design in 2023, as well as ideas for how you might incorporate them in your own home. Remember, before taking action, it’s always wise to consult with a real estate professional to understand how specific updates and upgrades will affect your property’s value in your local market.


Separate Kitchen, Dining and Living Areas

For years, home design has been dominated by open-concept floor plans, particularly for kitchen, dining, and living areas. However, as the pandemic forced families to work and study from home, many struggled to find the privacy and separation they needed. As a result, designers report that more families are choosing to bring back kitchen and dining room walls to break up the space and create quieter areas.1

That doesn’t mean that we’re returning to an era of dark and cramped spaces, however. Even as walls make a return, it’s important to take care to retain a sense of flow and openness within the home and to prioritize natural light. 

If you’re buying or building a new home, consider how you will use the space and whether or not an open floor plan will suit your needs. If you already live in a home with an open floor plan and it isn’t working for you, try rearranging furniture and strategically placing pieces like bookshelves, room dividers, or rugs to create distinct areas within the home and reduce noise.


Nature-Inspired Design

In the past few years, we’ve seen the “biophilia” trend explode, and there are no signs that it will be any less popular in 2023.2 This trend is all about bringing the outside in by adding natural touches throughout your home. 

This year, design experts predict that natural, sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and live-edge wood will lend character without being overwhelming. Wooden kitchen cabinets and islands will become more common in 2023, with white oak and walnut among the most popular choices.3,4 Wood will also appear in bathroom vanities and shelving and furniture throughout the home. 

Colors inspired by nature (think mossy greens and desert tones) will also play into this trend and will blend seamlessly with wood tones. We’re also seeing a return to natural stone countertop materials like quartzite, marble, dark leathered granite, and soapstone.4,5

If you’re planning to add new shelving or redo your kitchen, consider turning to these materials to embrace the biophilic look. Or, incorporate elements of the trend by choosing nature-inspired paint colors and adding to your houseplant collection.

Lighting as a Design Feature

Spending more time at home has shown us the importance of having the right lighting for specific tasks and times of the day. As a result, many homeowners are reconsidering the ways they light their homes and using light fixtures to change the usability and mood of their spaces.5

In particular, homeowners are rejecting bright, flat overhead lighting and replacing it with lamps and task-specific options. A layered approach to lighting—such as using a combination of under-cabinet, task, and ambient lighting in a kitchen—enables homeowners to tweak the level of light they’re using based on the time of day and what they are doing. 

In 2023, we expect to see more statement chandeliers, pendants, and wall sconces in a variety of shapes and materials.Thinking about switching up the lighting in your home? Start by adding floor or table lamps and swapping out fixtures before you invest in rewiring your space. Take note of what works and what doesn’t and watch how the light in your home changes throughout the day. You can then use that information to make lighting decisions that require a bigger investment. 



More Vibrant Color Palettes

After the long dominance of whites and grays, more vibrant colors are coming back as a way to add character and dimension to homes. 

This year, warm and earthy neutrals, jewel tones, and shades of red and pink are particularly popular.7,8 If your style tends toward the subtle, consider options like light, calming greens, blues, and pastels.

Major paint brands have responded to these homeowner preferences with their newest releases. Benjamin Moore’s 2023 color of the year, Raspberry Blush, is a lively shade of pinkish coral, while Sherwin William is embracing warm neutrals with Redend Point, a blushing beige.9,10 Behr’s choice of the year, Blank Canvas, is a creamy off-white that's a warmer version of the stark whites that have been trending over the past few years.11

If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, it’s better to play on the safer side and avoid extremely bold or bright color choices when it comes to paint or fixed finishes like tile and countertops. Instead, try incorporating pops of color through throw pillows, art, and accessories.



Curved Furniture and Architectural Accents

Goodbye, sharp corners. In 2023, arches and curves lend a sleek feel that draws on classical design and retro trends while remaining modern.5,8 Rounded corners feel more relaxed and natural than sharp edges, lending more of a sense of flow and comfort to a home. 

If you want to incorporate the trend into your new build or remodeling plans, curved kitchen islands and bars and arched alcoves are all good options—or you can take it a step further with arched windows and doorways. You can also carry this trend through to your light fixtures by incorporating a bubble chandelier or globe pendants.

It’s easy to embrace this look without renovations, too. Look for a softer feel in furniture, with sofas, chairs, and tables that showcase curved edges. Or, break up your space with an arched folding screen and a circular rug.



Art Deco Revival

Art Deco, the architecture and design style that took hold in the 1920s and ’30s, is enjoying a resurgence.12

As a style, Art Deco is marked by bold geometry, textures, and colors, as well as an emphasis on art. But the 2023 interpretation of this style is likely to be a bit less splashy than its historical roots. Designers predict that instead of incorporating all of the elements of the style, which could feel overwhelming, homeowners will pick bursts of color or bold accessories to bring some whimsy to their space. 

Keep an eye out for vintage mirrors, lamps, or vases that bring a touch of Art Deco glam to your home, or embrace bold colors and fabrics like velvet. Choose pillows and throw blankets in bright colors and geometric patterns to nod to the look without diving in all the way. 




Are you thinking about remodeling or making significant design changes to your home? Wondering how those changes might impact your future resale value? 

Buyer preferences vary significantly based on your home’s neighborhood and price range. We’re happy to share our insights on the upgrades that will make it easier (or more difficult!) to sell your home. Give us a call for a free consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs. 


  1. US News and World Report -
  2. Architectural Digest -

  1. Insider -

  1. Houzz -

  1. The Spruce -

  1. The Spruce -

  1. The Spruce -

  1. Good Housekeeping -
  2. Benjamin Moore -
  3. Sherwin Williams -
  4. Behr -
  5. The Spruce -