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“The average home sale is now $276,944, which is the highest reported average
since 2010. Otteau is an appraiser who tracks the New Jersey housing market."

New Jersey Housing Market Up

As of the conclusion of the fourth quarter, the appraiser Jeffery Otteau announced home sale prices are up by 2.9% in New Jersey. The average home sale is now $276,944, which is the highest reported average since 2010. Otteau is an appraiser who tracks the New Jersey housing market.

Although the average unemployment rate in New Jersey is still up from the national average at 9.6 percent (versus 7.8 nationally), Otteau theorized that a bump in the housing market is behind the increase in home prices. New Jersey saw an increase of 48,000 jobs in 2012, which is the steepest incline the state has seen since 2000. The new jobs indicate a boost in confidence among potential home buyers, assisting in the increase in sales and sale price.

Otteau’s finding is not necessarily in line with other findings in the same areas, but it is encouraging nonetheless. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, for example, reported that prices in the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, saw a decrease in prices to the tune of 1.2 percent. Prices in that general vicinity are indeed down about 24.5 percent from their mid-2006 ‘peak’. However, the area in question in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller findings is much larger and includes several complicated markets.

The news remains good though, and so too is the national news for the housing market. Many studies are finding that nationally, housing prices are on a steady rise. Figures in the strongest hit markets from the housing crisis seem to have evened out at this point, which is an encouraging sign to all markets and assists in driving up the national average.

Still, the mid-decade housing woes of New Jersey are still leaving their effect here. There continues to be a large number of properties that are considered distressed, many of which are expected to move into foreclosure over the next few years. Foreclosure of these troubled properties is likely to drive down the average of the price in the state overall, particularly in urban areas. Foreclosed properties sell at a large discount in highly populated urban areas.

Unfortunately, when January 2013 is compared to January 2012, foreclosure filings in New Jersey have nearly doubled. The new number reflects one in every 1024 homes being in some stage of foreclosure in the state, with varying numbers in specific counties. For example in Passaic County, the figure is one in every 905 homes, while in Bergen County it is one in every 1275.

With the flux in the market, analysts, real estate agents, and homeowners alike have their eyes on the market. With hope, the economy will continue to improve and prices in the state will continue to incline despite the negative effects of new foreclosures.

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About Orly Chen

  Orly Chen is a leading
Tenafly real estate agent
in Northern New Jersey
specializing in the Bergen
County area. Her
outgoing personality,
honesty and
approachability and
integrity make Orly
one of the most sought-
after agents in the
Northern New Jersey
real estate market

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