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Old 05-16-2006, 09:19 PM
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Post High prices, rising rates cool down home sales

Jersey drops 8.1% in 2006 first quarter

"Warm summer days may be just around the corner, but the housing market is sure getting chilly."

"In its quarterly survey, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday housing sales in many markets have slipped from the blistering pace sellers have come to enjoy these past few years. The numbers show that, nationally, 6.9 million existing single-family homes were sold in the first quarter of this year -- 2.1 percent less than the same period of 2005."

"In New Jersey, existing home sales, which include single-family homes and condos, showed a more dramatic 8.1 percent drop from January through March of this year compared with this same time period in 2005. Home sales in the Northeast declined 2.9 percent."

"Meanwhile, home price appreciation in New Jersey presented an equally mixed bag in the first quarter."

"For example, home prices in the Newark metropolitan region -- a six-county span that includes Essex, Union, Morris, Hunterdon and Sussex in New Jersey and Pike County, Pa. -- rose 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2006 to $405,300. However that figure has also been on a downward trajectory since hitting a high of $446,800 in the third quarter of 2005."

"The same pattern holds in a four-county span that includes Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties. In the first quarter of 2006, the median home price rose 9 percent to $374,100. Back in April 2005, that number stood at $394,100 and has been falling ever since."

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