From the Record:
Home prices in the New York metropolitan area inched up in July, but the increase was the weakest in the nation, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported today.
Nationally, prices rose by about 5 percent in the 12 months ending in July, the Case-Shiller index said. The area’s home values have been rising at a slower rate than national averages for several years, partly because the region continues to deal with flat incomes and a backlog of distressed properties after the foreclosure crisis.
Home prices in the region are equal to the levels of November 2004, and about 14.8 below their peaks during the housing boom in mid-2006. Nationally, values are equal to the levels of June 2005, and about 7.6 percent below their peaks.
Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, said that the recent rise in home values is linked to higher incomes nationwide. The Census Bureau recently reported that in 2015, median household incomes in the U.S. rose at a healthy 3.9 percent.
But in New Jersey, the Census said, household incomes barely budged, moving up only 0.3 percent – the weakest performance in the nation. That may be one reason why home values have been essentially flat in this region.
Case-Shiller does not break out home values by county. But according to the New Jersey Realtors, single-family home prices dipped 1 percent in Bergen County, to a median $490,000, over the 12 months ending in July. In Passaic, prices dropped 2.4 percent to a median $294,750. Those prices reflect the mix of properties sold during the month, while Case-Shiller tracks the value of the same properties over time.