From the Record:
Despite a recent drop in home prices, the New York metropolitan area remains one of the least affordable housing markets in the nation, according to a study released today.
The study by the Washington-based Center for Housing Policy said that in 2008, the New York area is the second most expensive housing market in the nation, after San Francisco. According to the study, the median home price in the New York area was $455,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008, down about 13 percent from $525,000 in the third quarter of 2007, the previous time the group looked at home prices.
The New York area moved up from the seventh most expensive area in 2007, as other high-priced markets, especially in California, experienced price declines of more than 30 percent.
The region’s home prices have not declined nearly as much as in the nation’s as a whole since the housing market began imploding several years ago. Prices in the area remain about 78 percent higher than they were in 2000, compared with an average of about 43 percent higher for the nation, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home index.
Tom Johnson of Liberty 100 Realty in Waldwick said that the area’s high-paying jobs have traditionally been able to support higher property values — though it’s not clear how that will be affected by recent job losses in the financial sector, he said.
“The whole Wall Street thing is still shaking out,” he said.
Mark DeLuca of Mark DeLuca Real Estate in Teaneck and Secaucus said the recent drop in prices has brought a lot of shoppers in to the market. But he said, “We’re not getting as many people to actually make a commitment.”
DeLuca predicted that prices may fall another 3 percent to 5 percent in the next six months — but in the meantime, he said, careful shoppers can find homes priced under the market averages.
At least one analyst, Jeffrey Otteau of Otteau Valuation in East Brunswick, says New Jersey home prices will continue falling in 2009, partly as a result of job losses.