From the Record:
Single-family home prices in the New York metropolitan area ticked up 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, to a median $464,600, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.
Nationally, prices rose by a more robust 6.9 percent, the NAR said.
The area, which includes Bergen, Passaic and Westchester counties as well as New York City, remains one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, after places like Hawaii, Southern California, San Francisco and San Jose.
The NAR did not break out prices by county, but according to a separate report from the New Jersey Realtors, home prices rose 2 percent last year in Bergen County, to a median $459,000, and 3.5 percent in Passaic County, to a median $295,000.
Robert Oppenheimer, broker-owner of Re/Max Fortune Properties in Englewood Cliffs, said the slow price movement reflects a lack of confidence among potential buyers. Even as unemployment has dropped to 5.1 percent in New Jersey, he said, many of the new jobs carry smaller paychecks, which has left households unable to spend a lot on homes.
In addition, prices in the region aren’t rising as fast as prices nationwide because they didn’t fall as far during the housing collapse. And, while the worst of the foreclosure crisis has passed nationwide, New Jersey is still dealing with a backlog of distressed properties that piled up after state courts halted foreclosures while the mortgage industry faced allegations of abusing borrowers’ rights. Distressed properties tend to sell at lower prices, putting downward pressure on nearby home values.