For many folks, autumn in Cape May County is the best of both worlds.
The crush of summer tourism is gone, but most tourist venues are still open. It’s much easier to travel by car, get in and out of the grocery store, and get choice reservations at your favorite restaurant.
The weather is the best of the year. It’s normally fairly dry, with the threat of dinnertime thundershowers diminished. The days start cool, with temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, warming up to the 70s by afternoon.
What a great time to enjoy a stroll on the beach or Boardwalk, go to the Cape May County Zoo, play a game of golf or tennis, or take a boat cruise pursuing dolphins or whales.
For locals, autumn can’t be beat. Come treat yourself to a little of what the Jersey shore has to offer in the “perfect” season. You’ll enjoy the “laid back” version of the county.
Traditionally, and perhaps surprisingly to many, summer is not the best time of the year for real estate sales in Cape May County.
Why, you ask? The number one reason is that properties for sale are harder to show in the summer. Many are rented weekly, meaning showings are only permitted basically from 10am-3pm on Saturdays. Renters, who are paying thousands of dollars for a week of relaxing vacation time, don’t want to be bothered by prospective buyers coming through the property. Add in the difficulty in finding parking near the unit and you have many savvy buyers opting to wait for fall.
That said, here are the Cape May County MLS sales for the last three quarters. The first quarter of 2017 saw 721 sales, the second quarter 953 sales, and the third quarter (with 10 days still to go) had 718 sales.
Compared to the last eight years or so, these are great numbers. The nearly 2400 sales beats many full years in that time frame.
Dependent on a tourist economy, Cape May County is forever looking to lengthen its season. About 40% of the jobs in the county are in tourism, and when indirect sources are considered, that number jumps to 60%. Tourists currently bring over $6 billion annually to the local economy.
The push for employment that lasts more than the traditional 5-7 months is improving. The largest employers are Morey’s Piers, Woodbine Developmental Center, Cape Regional Medical Center and the county government. Of the 36 largest employers, 17 are publicly funded, such as schools, towns, the Coast Guard and post offices.
A new trend that has boosted year-round tourism and jobs is the agri-tourism businesses – wineries and breweries. They’re not dependent on good weather and the jobs are mostly not seasonal. Their employees are part of the 30,000 who work for small, private firms.
Some wonder why more industry can’t relocate to Cape May County? The answer is geography. We are located on a peninsula. Any goods produced would need to travel an extra 100 miles just to get back to the Interstate 95 corridor, the main trucking route along the East Coast. Our fragile ecosystem also precludes certain industries from manufacturing here. So you can see why any expansion of business must be tourist related.
Now that I’ve hopefully piqued your interest in scheduling an autumn trip to the Jersey shore, here are a few suggestions of what you can do in our splendid weather conditions.
In Cape May, there’s regularly scheduled productions by the East Lynne Theater Company and the Cape May Stage. The Convention Center also offers musical entertainment. The Mid-Atlantic Center at the Emlen Physick Estate is a must see. Throw in the dozens of highly acclaimed restaurants, plus shopping on the Washington Street Mall, and you’ve filled your weekend.
The Wildwoods feature a variety of fall festivals. The 10th annual Seafood and Music Festival is October 7. Check the chamber of Commerce’s website at www.gwcoc.com for a full slate of fall events. The Wildwood Farmers Market will continue to run through October on Saturdays at 3501 Pacific Avenue.
In Middle Township, besides the free zoo, there is the Wetlands Institute on Stone Harbor Boulevard. Their staff will fill your head with local marine and bird knowledge.
Farther up the coast, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City and Ocean City also have a variety of special events to offer. All four communities have a wide array of shops still open, and fall is the time for drastically reduced prices as merchants clear out their inventory. The Ocean City Music Pier host music and arts, so check them out!
It is a good time to get into the Cape May County real estate market. For sellers; price it right and you’ll be going to the bank before you know it. For buyers; that family legacy you’ve always dreamed about is out there waiting for you to pull the trigger.
I love to talk about real estate and our island. I am always glad to share my insights, observations, and visions.
I am still involved in real estate 365 days a year. It’s my passion. I will gladly handle listing your property, give you a free market analysis, or show you a wide variety of properties that may suit your needs.
Stop by our office at 5602 New Jersey Avenue and chat. Or give me a call at 609-780-7131. I answer my phone 8am to 9pm EVERYDAY and you always get a real, live person. That’s service!