From the Star Ledger:
The median price of a home showed the strongest year-over year growth since 2005, according a fourth quarter report from the National Association of Realtors.
And although New Jersey has lagged behind in the housing recovery in recent surveys, several sections in the Garden State showed strong increases, outperforming the rest of the Northeast region.
Home prices nationwide rose 10 percent in December from a year earlier. In the Northeast, the increase was 0.7 percent.
But in New Jersey, the Trenton-Ewing region outpaced the national median with a 12.6 percent increase, where the median price of a home went from $240,000 to $250,000. The Newark-Union market saw a 6.8 percent rise, while five of the six other regions in the state saw prices climb. Only Edison dropped by 2.5 percent.
New Jersey Association of Realtors Chief Executive Officer Jarrod C. Grasso said, “Considering our state’s climb from the residual effects of Hurricane Sandy, the cold winter months and New Jersey’s continued distended foreclosure inventory, we still have some time before we catch up to the national rate of home price growth. However, we are on the right path.”
Walter Molony, a spokesman for the NAR, said the 10 percent increase is above that seen in a traditionally healthy housing market, according to data going back to 1968. Normally, home prices increase 1 to 2 percent above inflation.
“We’re seeing an over-correction in prices, but it’s not alarming,” he said. “If it continued at this pace, though, ultimately, it would affect upward mobility.”
Distressed housing — foreclosures and short sales — accounted for less that a quarter of all transactions in fourth quarter sales, according to the NAR, down from 30 percent the year before.
Prices for single-family homes climbed in almost 88 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter as the housing recovery broadened.
The median sales price rose from a year earlier in 133 of 152 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. In the third quarter, 120 areas had gains.
An improving job market and low interest rates are driving up prices by fueling demand for a tightening supply of listings. The national median price for an existing single-family home was $178,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from the same period last year. That was the biggest gain since 2005, according to the Realtors group.
In the New York, Northern New Jersey and Long Island metropolitan area, prices increased 3.6 percent.