Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aberdeen Real Estate

People fear a recession for two reasons – oil and housing prices. Oil is over $135 a barrel – at a national consumption rate of 21 million barrels per day, that’s over a trillion dollars a year. S&P/Case-Shiller reported this week that home prices in 20 metropolitan areas dropped 15.3% from just one year ago. The good news is that Aberdeen Township has weathered the situation fairly well. If we had political leadership, we could do even better.

Based upon anecdotal data, I would guess that, over the past two years, home prices have dropped about 15-20% with the newer homes suffering the larger declines. Of the fifteen homes sold in May 2008, only one house sold for more than $400,000 – a house on Dogwood Ct., barely four years old, sold for $470,000.

At the same time, foreclosure proceedings were initiated against 9 properties (out of about 7500). That’s around half the state average of 1 in 467 during the same month.

Ten properties are on the sheriff’s block.

Unfortunately, both the township and the school district have chosen this moment to go on a spending spree. The municipality has increased spending 15% while day-to-day operations at the school district has risen 6.4%; our elected leaders believe the more money we give them, the better off we are.

Still, assuming the township and school district don’t want to drive us into bankruptcy, what could they do?

First, cut spending. Matawan’s Police Chief McGowan’s retirement gave the two municipalities a perfect opportunity to merge their police departments, saving on salaries and capital spending while increasing security. Heck, we should merge Matawan and Aberdeen. The best time to cut spending is now!

Next, the library should sponsor programs on how to help residents from losing their homes. The Aberdeen Township Council could also state their intent to not force anyone into foreclosure as a result of tax delinquency.

Long term, we need to focus on reducing the tax burden and raising the town’s desirability. According to Zillow, the town’s real estate has been rising and falling in lockstep with the county. We can do better. From improving our schools to developing Main St. and the train station, we can do much better.

Another point to remember is the inverse relationship between taxes and property values. Each $360 rise in property taxes costs us an additional $5000 in home equity. In the past five years, property taxes have risen an average $1600, signifying a $22,000 (5.5%) loss in value from the average home. For people struggling to keep their homes, that equity could have made all the difference.

In addition to cutting spending, the municipalities and school district should be investigating alternative revenue sources, from public/private grants to corporate sponsorships.

Ultimately, our public servants need to recognize that, more often than not, the people would be better served by being allowed to keep their money.
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matawan advocate said...

Matawan's Borough Council has decided to increase the 2008 Road Program, awarding the Borough Engineering firm, a no bid contract for over $200,000., plus other unncessary work, passing Resolutions to give retiring Borough employees additional benefits outside the IBEW collective bargaining contract, then denying it the following Council meeting. Council members are performing work for the Borough and then voting to pay themselves.

When Mayor Buccellato suggested the Council send out for quotes on the engineering work, he was ignored. When he suggested the Council stick to the original 2008 Road Program and just use the leftover monies from the 2007 Road Program, he was ignored.

Now if Matawan receives State Aid the Budget cannot be changed.
Should Matawan be denied State Aid, the Council can tax us further to make up for their incompetency.

Forget the Transit Village, forget Main Street, forget tax relief, forget home sales, this Council will continue with their political agenda to the detriment of Matawan. There is no accountability. Until Matawan-Aberdeen wakes up and 'JUST SAYS NO" to their respective Councils it will continue.

Aberdeener said...


Even though we'll need to wait, Aberdeen is very likely to get new leadership next year.

For us, it's simple. Less than 4% of households read this blog. To this day, half of my traffic still comes from search engines.

All we need to do is recruit some volunteers and start delivering flyers to every home a couple months prior to the election. (The current Aberdeen council only won by a plurality last year.)

Once we get out the truth, change will be swift.

brianinthebeach said...

I don't know if it will be that easy. I myself didn't vote for this group in the last election, I would vote for Perry, I think he is intelligent and doesn't always vote in favor of everything. Raymond has not been at the last 3 town council meetings, is there some kind of rule that you must attend X number of meetings?

I think Stuart Brown would be a great choice, but does that deal he signed prohibt him from running? I know you have mentioned his name before Aberdeener. I hope there will be change, something must be done. I am tired of watching all of our money go to CME.

What is the scope of the Sea Wall project, all I see is new dirt being thrown down. I don't see how this sea wall will improve Aberdeen. It works in Keyport because of the location to town. I also don't think the scope of the project is going to be as great, not to mention the police are never down there, they go as far as the DPW to the firing range and turn around.
What are your thoughts on the sea wall project, to me it is a waste of money.

I think Stuart Brown and Joey Warren sounds good on the next ticket!

matawan advocate said...

We delivered flyers and made phone calls for the Special Election for Mayor. It worked. Your idea is a good one. Guess we will have to start rounding up volunteers for the next election.

We agree once the truth is known by all, change should follow. The problem with waiting is, how much more damage can the Council do till election time? The alternative is a recall, which would take too long.

Sounds like we have our work cut out for us.