Are you wondering what big and exciting things happened here in Monmouth County in 2022? In this episode of Monmouth Redefined, I’m going to recap what happened in the real estate market as well as in our local area.  We’ll talk about everything from new Crumbl Cookies stores to home prices to give you an idea of everything that went on last year.

Crumbl Cookies

Although our area isn’t as lively or as fast-paced as places such as New York City, we definitely still have surprising and unexpected things happening here year after year—and 2022 was no exception. It’s hard to believe 2023 is already here, and it’s crazy how quickly a year can go by.

A very exciting event for so many of us was the opening of two Crumbl Cookies stores here in Monmouth County. The first opened at the beginning of the year in Ocean Township and more recently, another store opened in my hometown in Manalapan. That store is only a five-minute drive from my house, so it can be a little bit dangerous.

I had been hearing about these cookies from others for years, and everything people have said is true. They are amazing and very addictive.

Business Closings

With the opening of Crumbl Cookie in Manalapan also came the news of a big store closing: Bed Bath & Beyond. I had shopped at Bed Bath & Beyond for years. In fact, it’s the place that I registered at when I got married. This made the news of Bed Bath & Beyond closing very sad, not only for me, but I’m certain for many others.

Another closing in our area was a Red Lobster in Ocean Township. Sadly enough, that was the last Red Lobster left here in Monmouth County. The Monmouth Mall also recently closed for redevelopment. Additionally, I believe they are going to be opening an apartment complex called Monmouth Village. This will include one to two-bedroom apartments along with biking and walking trails.

Business Openings

While there were some store closings, there were also some new stores opening here in Monmouth County. For example, we had several new breweries open. One opened in Oceanport and one opened in Tinton Falls. Additionally, a glass factory in Freehold Borough turned into the first craft brewery on South Street: Artis Brewery.

We also had a new furniture store open in the Freehold Raceway Mall, Manor House Furniture, which took the place of Nordstrom. I haven’t been there yet, but it has a lot to live up to taking Nordstroms place. I loved shopping at Nordstrom and miss how easy and convenient it was to just hop in my car and go there.

Weather Highs And Lows

If you’re wondering or just curious about the record this past year here in Monmouth County, then you will be interested to know that we had one of the hottest summers on record here. In our area, there were actually 21 days in August that hit 90 degrees or higher.

As for the winter season—although we still have a long way to go—the coldest day to date was actually December 24, Christmas Eve. Temperatures got down to 7 to 8 degrees in some parts of our area.

Amazon Fresh And Netflix

There were two very exciting announcements here in Monmouth County. Number one is the news that Amazon Fresh is taking over the old Toys “R” Us store on Route 35 in town. Amazon Fresh is not widely known here in New Jersey, but it’s rumored to be the grocery store of the future.

I am told they have walk-out technology where your items are automatically scanned. Then, you just check your app and your receipt when you get home. For me, this is great news and I’m very excited because I cannot stand waiting in long lines.

The second big announcement is that Netflix announced they purchased the Fort Monmouth Army Base, where they will be opening a state-of-the-art production facility. This is great news because it will not only generate more jobs but will also help our local economy.

Real Estate

Last but certainly not least, it was a crazy year in the real estate market here in our area—as it was in most parts of the country. We started the year with interest rates in the low 2s and saw them creep up all the way into the 7s by the end of the year. We also started the year in our area with very low inventory, and by the end of the year, that didn’t change.

For example, in Freehold Township, we ended the year with 27% fewer homes for sale than the year prior. Howell Township had 35% fewer, while Ocean Township had 45% less than in 2021. However, interestingly, Manalapan and Marlboro Townships both had more homes for sale in 2022 than the year prior.

As for sale prices, we started the year with rising prices. However, due to the interest rates, we did see home prices start to slow down. Manalapan went into 2022 with a 10% increase in home prices over 2021. Freehold Township saw a 7.5% increase, while Marlboro saw 14%. In Colts Neck, home prices were up 12% from 2021. Overall, Monmouth County had a 9% increase in 2022 in home prices versus 2021.

The Future Of The Market

The question on so many minds is, what is going to happen in real estate in 2023? I think it’s definitely going to be an interesting year. However, no one can ever predict the real estate market because there are so many unknown and uncontrollable factors. My personal opinion is that we’re going to start to see home prices stabilize.

I know some think we’re going to see a market like we did in 2008. Personally, I just don’t see that. We have too many homeowners who, while they did purchase high, put down a good amount of money toward their mortgage. They were also cautious about not exceeding the monthly mortgage payment that they felt comfortable with. This year, we also saw a lot of cash buyers.

Another factor is we still have a lack of inventory here in our area. Buyers who need or want to buy don’t have much to choose from. Therefore, the lack of homes available on our market is still going to create a demand. While it may not be as crazy of a demand as we’ve seen in the past few years, people are always going to need to buy and sell homes.

Monmouth County In 2023

Whatever happens in Monmouth County in 2023, I hope it’s positive and we continue to grow and thrive here. If you are just learning about and discovering our area, please make sure you check out my previous video on why Monmouth County has become such a desirable place to live.

I hope you found this video informational. Make sure to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Monmouth Redefined, my show about everything and anything related to living here in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Cheers to 2023 and making it our best year yet!