From the Record:
What’s new: Home prices in the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, dropped 3.4 percent in August, compared with August 2010, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index reported on Tuesday.
Nationally, home prices declined 3.8 percent year over year. However, prices were up slightly from July to August, both nationally and in the region.
What it means: Prices in the area have returned to the levels of spring 2004, and are down almost 22 percent from the market peak in mid-2006. Nationally, prices are back to mid-2003 levels, and about 31 percent below peak levels.
Home prices have been under pressure because of elevated unemployment, which makes it more difficult for potential buyers to afford homes, as well as tighter mortgage standards and a continuing high percentage of short sales and foreclosures on the market. These distressed properties tend to sell at a discount.
What’s happening locally: Single-family home prices slid 4.5 percent, to a median price of $480,000, in Bergen County from August 2010 to August 2011, while the number of sales rose 13 percent. Prices dropped 8 percent, to a median $259,169, in Passaic County, while the number of sales declined 10 percent.
What they’re saying: “Whether prices have established a bottom depends on future foreclosure activity, which is likely to increase as servicers address the legal/administrative issues that have cropped up over the past three years.”