From the Record:
Home prices in the region rose 6.3 percent in 2013, while national values jumped 11.3 percent — the strongest nationwide showing since 2005, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index reported Tuesday.
But U.S. prices are likely to rise by a more modest 5 to 7 percent this year, the index’s co-creator, housing economist Robert Shiller, predicted Tuesday.
“This is not a time of great enthusiasm for home purchases,” Shiller said — in part because consumers don’t expect home prices to soar in coming years. Home buying has also been held back by an uptick in mortgage rates and tight lending standards.
The national rise in single-family prices was boosted by outsized gains in California, as well as in markets like Phoenix and Las Vegas, which were battered in the housing bust. Prices in the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, have not rebounded as strongly, in part because they didn’t fall as far. In addition, the region’s economy relies on the financial services industry, which has trimmed jobs since the recession. And New Jersey faces an overhang of distressed properties headed into foreclosure.
Case-Shiller does not break out price gains by county, but according to the New Jersey Association of Realtors, Bergen County single-family prices rose 5.7 percent during 2013, to a median $460,000, while Passaic County prices rose 4.9 percent, to a median $300,000.