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New Jersey’s Housing Market Recovering Very Slowly [AUDIO]

The financial services giant FISERV is out with a new report that predicts home prices will rise 3.7 percent over the next several years.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

That might sound like good news, but it would mean housing price won’t get back to 2007 levels until the year 2023.

Rutgers economist Joe Seneca says the good news is the housing market is ceasing to be a drag on the national economy and on the state’s economy. Individuals, even if they’re not looking to sell their homes, are seeing that finally the value of their home is stabilized – rising slightly and that’s going to give a boost to consumer confidence and consumer spending going forward.”

He’s quick to add, however, that “the less good news is this is a long road back until people feel whole again, with respect to their home values.”

“That’s just part of coming out of a very deep recession that was accompanied by a financial bust and including a big bursting of a housing bubble…The harshness of the recession really can’t be overestimated. It was bad and deep and wide across the entire country and housing was at the epicenter …and finally that’s turning around.”

Seneca adds a big part of the problem was people were treating their houses like ATM machines – when they were “overextending themselves – and the lenders going along with it – that’s the lesson, and the question is how long-lasting is that lesson…We’ve seen these things repeat in different manifestations over time and when markets and prices start rising …It creates that bubble mentality that tomorrow will be better than today, and so on…And it’s a psychology that gets going on and these things can repeat …Even though, we know that no market rises forever without steep corrections.”

He also says it’s important for everyone to remember right before the Great Recession “that peak price was probably an inflated price to begin with – and that’s a very hard realization for household owners to understand…What they thought was the value of their home at the peak of the market was inflated and over-stated.”

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