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Madison, Morristown and Mendham, New Jersey offer easy access to New York City, says Realtor Janice Morton, which is another reason, besides low interest rates, that the towns are important to first-time buyers.

Madison

"For the month of January 2004, the supply/demand ratio for Madison ended at 93 percent versus 108 percent in January 2003. A high ratio may indicate that demand is higher than supply. In the month of January, sellers received on average 96.91 percent of their asking price versus 150.78 percent (average from the previous six months, according to 2004 MLS data)."

Morristown

"Morristown is a fantastic place to live," says Morton. "In addition to the rich history the town provides, Morristown has wonderful restaurants, entertainment, community events and even has a NYC direct train."

About the market, she says, "For the month of January 2004, the supply/demand ratio for Morristown ended at 53 percent versus 43 percent in January 2003. A rising increase may be an indicator of increased demand. In the month of January, sellers received on average 98.31 percent of their asking price versus 98.09 percent (average from the previous six months)."

Mendham

"Mendham has been called the new 'IT' town by NJ Monthly," says Morton. "Great location, great community, and it's known for houses that have plenty of land."

Morton explains, "Mendham had a super hot year in 2003. For the month of January 2004, the supply/demand ratio for Mendham Borough ended at 67 percent versus 117 percent in January 2003. In the month of January, sellers received on average 99.20 percent of their asking price versus 95.81 percent (average from the previous six months). For Mendham Township, the supply/demand ratio has dipped slightly to 14 percent for January 2004 versus 17 percent in January 2003. In the month of January, sellers received on average 97.33 percent of their asking price versus 94.83 percent (average from the previous six months, according to 2004 MLS data)."

Advises Morton, "Currently the market is hot. Homes may generate multiple offers in just a few days. In the last couple of weeks, we have seen many a bidding war and house prices appear to be on the increase. The first-time homebuyers' market is hot; many are out looking for homes because of the low interest rates. If you own a condo or town home and have been thinking about moving, now may be a good time to make your move."

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