From the Record:
Home prices in the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, declined 7.4 percent from July 2007 to July 2008, the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Index said today. That’s well below the national decline of 16.3 percent.
“We’re clearly seeing a correction taking place in prices,” said Bill Gilsenan of Gilsenan & Co., a Ridgewood real estate firm. “These numbers fall in line with our multiple listing service numbers.”
According to the New Jersey MLS, median home prices in Bergen County dropped 7.5 percent in the 12 months ended July 2008, to $467,000, down from $505,000 in July 2008. The New Jersey MLS does not release data for Passaic County, which relies in large part on a different listing service.
The volume of home sales has declined in Bergen County more than the prices. According to MLS data, there were 685 homes sold in the county in July 2008, down almost 24 percent from July 2007. In August 2008, there were 691 homes sold, down 20 percent from August 2007.
Gilsenan acknowledged that the recent turmoil and job losses on Wall Street may affect demand for luxury houses in the northern Bergen County, where many financial professionals live.
“There’s clearly going to be an impact in the short term,” Gilsenan said. “We just don’t know where it will go in the long term.”
He pointed out that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, after another Wall Street shock, home prices declined for several years. But, he added, the volume of sales actually began climbing after a few years, as buyers responded to those lower prices.
“We may be okay once we get a correction in prices,” Gilsenan said. “I think our volume will come back.”