From the Record:
Home prices in the region are rising, but at only half the rate of the national averages, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index reported Tuesday.
As the nation continues to recover from the worst housing downturn in decades, single-family values rose 2.6 percent in the New York metropolitan area in the 12 months ending in April, compared with 5 percent nationwide, Case-Shiller reported. Prices in the region are at about the same levels they reached in September 2004, while national prices are at the levels of October 2005. And values are still below their peaks of mid-2006 — about 10 percent nationwide and 16.5 percent below in the region.
Home values haven’t rebounded as smartly in the area as in the nation as a whole, in part because they didn’t crater as far during the housing crash. In addition, foreclosures continue to weigh on the New Jersey market, which was slower to deal with the crisis than the nation as a whole. According to the New Jersey Realtors, single-family home prices rose 1 percent in Bergen County in April, to a median $465,000, and 7 percent in Passaic, to a median $300,000.
April’s price gains were especially strong in the West, led by Dallas, Denver, Portland and Seattle. Northeastern and Midwestern cities, including Washington, New York and Chicago, had gains of 3 percent or less.
David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the national numbers reflect “a strong price performance” over the past six months. “The home price increases reflect the low unemployment rate, low mortgage interest rates, and consumers’ generally positive outlook,” Blitzer said. “One result is that an increasing number of cities have surpassed the high prices seen before the Great Recession. Currently, seven cities – Denver, Dallas, Portland OR, San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte, and Boston – are setting new highs.”