With two children and a third on the way, Heather and Patrick Healy decided their 1,900-square-foot home in New Providence was just too small. Knowing the real estate market was hot early this year, the couple figured looking in the million-dollar range would give them a cushion. But the market was just too tough.

They lost out in bidding wars for homes in Chatham and Basking Ridge before snaring a Basking Ridge 4,300-square-foot colonial revival built in the 1980s. The purchase price: $1,082,000.       

“There’s no room for negotiations,” said Heather Healy, 34. “You have to be willing to pull the trigger right away.”

Welcome to the COVID pandemic real estate market in New Jersey, where homes are selling as soon as they are listed, often with multiple offers. Low inventory — coupled with the increased appeal of suburban living  — has created a fiercely competitive market for buyers. Even as COVID restrictions about…

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