In many New Jersey towns, the real estate market is on fire. High demand by buyers and a relative housing stock shortage are sending real estate prices through the roof. Using Zillow’s Home Value Index, a recent article listed 19 New Jersey towns that have experienced their highest median home value at the beginning of 2017 and unprecedented growth.
Zillow’s Home Value Index revolutionized the way median home prices are calculated. Taking into account that the most accurate report would be more like a commodity price index or a consumer price index–the same set of goods and their respective prices can be evaluated in all time periods–and realizing real estate sales never represent the same set of goods in all time periods, Zillow developed a Zestimate.
A Zestimate is a calculation of the value of every home at any time. This enables Zillow to truly analyze the value of the homes in a single market over time rather than referring simply to sales in a given quarter which only tell the story of certain homes at certain times.
The 19 towns highlighted exclude shore towns because they are often secondary home markets, but each is well above the statewide growth seen last year. Many of these towns, in fact, have recovered from the 2008 housing crisis significantly faster than the rest of the state and are even experiencing higher home values than they were prior to the downturn.
Weehawken tops the list with a Zillow Median Value of $727,400 which is up 25.15% since March 2016. Located just north of Hoboken and benefitting from Hoboken’s saturated market and a surge in development, buyers have looked to and settled in the waterfront community with an easy commute and beautiful New York City views.
Haddonfield, number nine on the list, has experienced an uptick of 6.94% since March 2016 and many wonder if it will surpass Collingswood as the Montclair of South Jersey. A Zillow Median Value of $494,000, pedestrian-friendly downtown, easy access to Philadelphia via PATCO, and good schools are all part of its appeal.
Another town outside of the cash belt of northern New Jersey experiencing great growth is Fair Haven, number 15 on the list. With a Zillow Median Value of $714,200, an increase of 4.55% since March 2016, and located along New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey Coast Line, offering an easy commute to NYC, it is fast becoming very valuable. And the beach is nearby, too.
Proximity and ease of commute to a major metropolitan area, New York City or Philadelphia, are what contribute overwhelmingly to home values across the state of New Jersey. As the more established markets–Hoboken, Montclair, Princeton–continue to experience growth, many buyers are looking elsewhere for a similar standard of living and quality of life. And the greatest common factor seems to always be transportation.