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The Garden State.

Home Mortgage Rates in New Jersey

Atlantic City.

Housing in New Jersey is expensive, which is probably why the state has a very high rate of foreclosures. Because New York City is nearby, one of the world's most vibrant economies is within driving distance for most Garden State residents, and many are able to commute there daily.

Current Real Estate Trends

Home prices in the state of New Jersey are consistently above the national average. The median sales price in the Garden State is roughly $275,000 according to New Jersey Realtors, the state's major property association. This figure is a growth of 1.9% from previous figures. The National Association of Realtors estimates the median home value across the country is slightly less than $235,000, making New Jersey about $40,000 more expensive, everything else being equal.

New Jersey's Treasury Department paints a somewhat different picture. The government estimates the average residential sales price in the state to be approximately $390,000. This figure is actually a decrease from previous calculations. The U.S. Census Bureau calculates the median home value in New Jersey to be roughly $316,000. Although somewhat high, this represents a 20% decline from the government's previous survey.

The number of pending sales in the Garden State has been growing at a fast pace, displaying a 12.4% increase. There were over 63,000 pending sales at last count. While pending sales in New Jersey have been increasing, the number of available homes on the market has been declining. New Jersey Realtors estimates a 21% decrease in homes on the market from its previous survey. The trade association counted 39,200 single-family homes for sale, 10,200 condos, and 2,400 adult community units.

RealtyTrac, an organization that monitors foreclosures in the United States, calculates that the Garden State has experienced in increase in home repossessions by roughly 2%. Moreover, the real estate group estimates that New Jersey has the highest foreclosure rate in the country. The state's foreclosure rate is roughly 1 out of every 623 homes, while the national average is 1 out of 1,758.

The real estate website Trulia has a useful heatmap that displays listing prices for U.S. homes as shades of green or red. Dark green represents the country's lowest prices, while dark red is the opposite end of the scale. The southern and middle sections of New Jersey are mostly green. The northeastern quadrant has orange and red mixed with green. The Jersey Shore, which is the eastern border than faces the Atlantic Ocean, is mostly red.

Historical Real Estate Trends

The Garden State had an especially tough time during the Great Recession of 2007, according to the New Jersey Monthly, a local publication. Between 1998 and 2006, homeowners in the state could realize profits from owning and then selling real estate. But that quickly changed when the mortgage crisis showed up.

The monthly magazine stated the property industry was robust before the Recession: “For the last half century, housing in New Jersey has been the most reliable of all personal investments. As in much of the nation, New Jersey experienced a housing construction boom that coincided with the baby boom.” The dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, James W. Hughes, says that the state built a thousand houses a week from 1950 to 1970.

A study conducted by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College found that between the years of 2004 and 2008 wealthy households in New Jersey were leaving for other states, mainly Florida, Pennsylvania and New York. There weren't a corresponding number of wealthy households moving into New Jersey. The main reason cited for the loss of wealth was New Jersey's Tax Policies.

The Great Recession brought major changes to the Garden State. From 2006 to 2007, the issuance of building permits in the state dropped roughly 30%, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor. Some regions saw much higher declines in construction. For instance, building permits in Gloucester County went from 410 in 2005 to just 13 in 2007.

The number of homes sold in the state declined from 92,000 in 2006 to 84,000 in 2007. While inventories increased, prices dropped. The New Jersey Monthly estimates that foreclosures rose 31% from 2006 to 2007. Oddly, foreclosures have actually become a bigger problem in the state post-Recession, with 2017 showing above-average numbers.

Despite the problems the state faced during the housing debacle, the Jersey Shore actually did fairly well. Sales in Spring Lake increased from 2006 to 2007, according to Diane Turton Realtors, a local company. The average price in the town went from $1.1 million to $1.3 million. Obviously, this is an expensive area of the state; but it's an example of how some locations had no difficulty during the economic crisis. Other towns on the Jersey Shore actually saw larger increases.

Otteau Valuation Group, a New Jersey property company, looked over numbers of home listings and sales in the state, both before and after the housing crisis. It found that it took 15.6 months for the typical home to sell during the recession, whereas before it was just 10.6 months. It also determined that luxury homes saw an even bigger time lag, going from 34.6 months to 67.8 months. New Jersey being a recourse state gave wealthy home owners reasons to ride out the recession and let property prices recover before selling.

Market analysts estimate that home values dropped 27% from 2008 to a bottom in the summer of 2012. Since then, values have steadily been improving; but they still have not reached pre-Recession levels. Real estate experts expect a small increase of 1.4% annually going forward, which won't be enough to bring values back to pre-crisis levels for some number of years.

South Jersey in general saw less job loss, less housing havoc, and more stability in property values throughout the recession. Though there were losses the dip wasn't nearly as deep, in part because the peak was never as steep. One of the biggest employers in South Jersey is the federal government. There are also many federal jobs in the city of Philadelphia. Governmental jobs tend to be more insulated than private sector jobs from the market impacts of a recession. The Philadelphia suburbs are particularly attractive, with good employment levels, good housing stock, good amenities, a fairly easy commute into Philadelphia, and an easy weekend drive to seashore attractions. Philadelphia amd New York City are an easy drive or train/bus trip away for arts, museums and theater. There's a good mix of contemporary housing stock and charming older South Jersey historic village housing stock.

Places to Live

Metropolitan Areas

NJ Rank US Rank Metropolitan Area 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △
1 1 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area 20,153,634 19,567,410 586,224 3.00%
2 7 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metro Area 6,070,500 5,965,343 105,157 1.76%
3 69 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metro Area 835,652 821,173 14,479 1.76%
4 143 Trenton 371,023 366,513 4,510 1.23%
5 176 Atlantic City-Hammonton 270,991 274,549 -3,558 -1.30%
6 270 Vineland-Bridgeton 153,797 156,898 -3,101 -1.98%
7 403 Ocean City 94,430 97,265 -2,835 -2.91%

Favored Cities in New Jersey

Newark

Newark Skyline.

The biggest city in the Garden State is Newark. Located in the northeast part of the state, Newark is much closer to New York City than Atlantic City, and is part of the NYC metro area. Newark itself has roughly 280,000 residents. Given its location, the city obviously benefits from New York's healthy and vibrant economy, which includes the headquarters of countless corporations. According to the Newark Regional Business Partnership (NRBP), Newark itself is home to almost 10,000 private businesses. These include Panasonic and Verizon.

The NRBP also lists the median salary in the city at $42,000. New Jersey Realtors estimates the median sales price of a single-family home in Essex County, where Newark is located, to be roughly $419,000. Thus, we reach a sales price-to-salary ratio of 10.0, which is very high.

Jersey City

The fastest growing city in the Garden State is Jersey City, located just 20 minutes east of Newark. This makes Jersey City closer to New York; in fact, it lies right across the Hudson River. It currently has roughly 264,000 people and is growing at roughly 7%, according to the Census Bureau. With a median home value of roughly $392,000 and a median salary of approximately $60,000, we see a home value-to-salary metric of 6.5, lower than Newark, but still high.

Trenton

To find the state's lowest home prices, you'll have to leave the NYC metro area, stay clear of Jersey Shore, and go inland. Here you will find Trenton, which shares a border with Pennsylvania. The city is the state capital, and the government sector is the heart of the economy.

The median home listing price on a per-square-foot basis in Trenton is $130. This is lower than the national average, which is $139. The U.S. Census Bureau calculates a median household income of roughly $35,000, and the National Association of Realtors provides a median home closing price of $170,000, another low figure. Putting these two numbers together produces a ratio of 4.9, the lowest metric in our survey.

New Jersey Census Data

According to the United States Census an estimated 8,944,469 people live in the state of New Jersey. The state has 7,354.22 mi² of land area, which gave it a population density of 1,216.24 per mi². Here is a list of cities, towns, villages & Census Designated Places with more than 10,000 residents, with their estimated population as of June 2016 & the 2010 United States Census. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016, the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.

All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.

Rank Geography County 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △ Land mi² Pop Den mi² Founded
1 Newark Essex 281,764 277,140 4,624 1.67% 24.19 11,647.95 1693
2 Jersey City Hudson 264,152 247,597 16,555 6.69% 14.79 17,860.18 1838
3 Paterson Passaic 147,000 146,199 801 0.55% 8.43 17,437.72 1831
4 Elizabeth Union 128,640 124,969 3,671 2.94% 12.32 10,441.56 1855
5 Edison township Middlesex 101,996 99,967 2,029 2.03% 29.94 3,406.68 1870
6 Woodbridge township Middlesex 101,389 99,585 1,804 1.81% 23.21 4,368.33 1798
7 Lakewood township Ocean 100,758 92,843 7,915 8.53% 24.58 4,099.19 1892
8 Toms River township Ocean 91,837 91,239 598 0.66% 40.49 2,268.14 1798
Toms River CDP Ocean 88,687 88,791 -104 -0.12% 38.95 2,276.94
9 Hamilton township Mercer 88,400 88,464 -64 -0.07% 39.49 2,238.54 1842
10 Clifton Passaic 85,845 84,136 1,709 2.03% 11.26 7,623.89 1917
11 Trenton Mercer 84,056 84,913 -857 -1.01% 7.65 10,987.71 1792
12 Brick township Ocean 75,061 75,072 -11 -0.01% 25.72 2,918.39 1850
13 Camden Camden 74,420 77,344 -2,924 -3.78% 8.92 8,343.05 1828
14 Cherry Hill township Camden 71,352 71,045 307 0.43% 24.1 2,960.66 1844
15 Passaic Passaic 70,635 69,781 854 1.22% 3.15 22,423.81 1873
16 Union City Hudson 69,296 66,455 2,841 4.28% 1.28 54,137.50 1925
17 Old Bridge township Middlesex 66,673 65,375 1,298 1.99% 38.06 1,751.79 1869
18 Franklin township Somerset 66,311 62,300 4,011 6.44% 46.15 1,436.86 1798
19 Bayonne Hudson 66,238 63,024 3,214 5.10% 5.8 11,420.34 1861
20 Middletown township Monmouth 65,482 66,522 -1,040 -1.56% 40.99 1,597.51 1798
21 East Orange Essex 64,789 64,270 519 0.81% 3.92 16,527.81 1863
22 Gloucester township Camden 63,941 64,634 -693 -1.07% 22.98 2,782.46 1798
23 North Bergen township Hudson 62,886 60,773 2,113 3.48% 5.13 12,258.48 1843
24 Vineland Cumberland 60,525 60,724 -199 -0.33% 68.42 884.61 1952
25 Union township Union 58,512 56,642 1,870 3.30% 9.07 6,451.16 1808
26 Piscataway township Middlesex 57,602 56,044 1,558 2.78% 18.83 3,059.05 1798
27 New Brunswick Middlesex 56,910 55,181 1,729 3.13% 5.23 10,881.45 1784
28 Jackson township Ocean 56,733 54,856 1,877 3.42% 99.24 571.67 1844
29 Wayne township Passaic 54,690 54,717 -27 -0.05% 23.73 2,304.68 1847
30 Irvington township Essex 54,425 53,926 499 0.93% 2.93 18,575.09 1874
31 Hoboken Hudson 54,379 50,005 4,374 8.75% 1.28 42,483.59 1849
Lakewood CDP Ocean 53,591 53,805 -214 -0.40% 7.08 7,569.35
32 West New York Hudson 53,343 49,708 3,635 7.31% 1.01 52,814.85 1898
33 Parsippany-Troy Hills township Morris 53,258 53,238 20 0.04% 23.56 2,260.53 1928
34 Perth Amboy Middlesex 52,499 50,814 1,685 3.32% 4.7 11,170.00 1718
35 Howell township Monmouth 52,245 51,075 1,170 2.29% 60.56 862.70 1801
36 Plainfield Union 50,636 49,808 828 1.66% 6.02 8,411.30 1869
37 East Brunswick township Middlesex 48,630 47,512 1,118 2.35% 21.7 2,241.01 1860
38 Bloomfield township Essex 48,539 47,315 1,224 2.59% 5.3 9,158.30 1812
39 Washington township Gloucester 48,035 48,559 -524 -1.08% 21.38 2,246.73 1836
40 West Orange township Essex 47,249 46,207 1,042 2.26% 12.05 3,921.08 1863
41 South Brunswick township Middlesex 45,725 43,417 2,308 5.32% 40.65 1,124.85 1798
42 Evesham township Burlington 45,351 45,538 -187 -0.41% 29.28 1,548.87 1798
43 Bridgewater township Somerset 44,999 44,464 535 1.20% 32.04 1,404.46 1798
44 Sayreville borough Middlesex 44,905 42,704 2,201 5.15% 15.84 2,834.91 1876
45 Hackensack Bergen 44,756 43,010 1,746 4.06% 4.18 10,707.18 1693
46 Monroe township Middlesex 44,604 39,132 5,472 13.98% 41.97 1,062.76 1838
47 Manchester township Ocean 43,546 43,070 476 1.11% 81.62 533.52 1865
48 Egg Harbor township Atlantic 43,504 43,323 181 0.42% 66.6 653.21 1798
49 Linden Union 42,457 40,499 1,958 4.83% 10.68 3,975.37 1925
50 North Brunswick township Middlesex 42,444 40,742 1,702 4.18% 12 3,537.00 1798
51 Kearny Hudson 42,126 40,684 1,442 3.54% 8.77 4,803.42 1867
52 Mount Laurel township Burlington 41,738 41,864 -126 -0.30% 21.69 1,924.30 1872
53 Berkeley township Ocean 41,689 41,255 434 1.05% 42.86 972.68 1875
54 Teaneck township Bergen 41,010 39,776 1,234 3.10% 6.01 6,823.63 1895
55 Marlboro township Monmouth 40,330 40,191 139 0.35% 30.36 1,328.39 1848
56 Manalapan township Monmouth 40,018 38,872 1,146 2.95% 30.61 1,307.35 1848
57 Hillsborough township Somerset 39,832 38,303 1,529 3.99% 54.54 730.33 1771
58 Winslow township Camden 39,328 39,499 -171 -0.43% 57.34 685.87 1867
59 Atlantic City Atlantic 38,735 39,558 -823 -2.08% 10.75 3,603.26 1854
60 Montclair township Essex 38,700 37,669 1,031 2.74% 6.31 6,133.12 1868
61 Fort Lee borough Bergen 37,577 35,345 2,232 6.31% 2.54 14,794.09 1904
62 Monroe township Gloucester 36,908 36,129 779 2.16% 46.39 795.60 1838
63 Galloway township Atlantic 36,753 37,349 -596 -1.60% 89.07 412.63 1798
64 Belleville township Essex 36,203 35,926 277 0.77% 3.34 10,839.22 1839
65 Ewing township Mercer 35,982 35,790 192 0.54% 15.25 2,359.48 1834
66 Pennsauken township Camden 35,908 35,885 23 0.06% 10.44 3,439.46 1892
67 Freehold township Monmouth 35,623 36,184 -561 -1.55% 38.5 925.27 1798
68 Fair Lawn borough Bergen 33,453 32,457 996 3.07% 5.14 6,508.37 1924
69 Lawrence township Mercer 32,897 33,472 -575 -1.72% 21.81 1,508.34 1798
70 Garfield Bergen 31,876 30,487 1,389 4.56% 2.1 15,179.05 1898
71 Willingboro township Burlington 31,713 31,629 84 0.27% 7.74 4,097.29 1798
72 Princeton borough Mercer 31,249 12,307 18,942 153.91% 1.84 16,983.15 1813
73 Long Branch Monmouth 30,763 30,719 44 0.14% 5.27 5,837.38 1867
74 Deptford township Gloucester 30,613 30,561 52 0.17% 17.36 1,763.42 1798
75 City of Orange township Essex 30,583 30,134 449 1.49% 2.2 13,901.36 1806
76 Westfield Union 30,206 30,316 -110 -0.36% 6.72 4,494.94 1798
77 Livingston township Essex 29,801 29,366 435 1.48% 13.77 2,164.20 1813
78 Rahway Union 29,451 27,346 2,105 7.70% 3.9 7,551.54 1858
79 Voorhees township Camden 29,396 29,131 265 0.91% 11.49 2,558.40 1899
80 Mount Olive township Morris 29,130 28,117 1,013 3.60% 29.41 990.48 1871
81 Nutley township Essex 28,670 28,370 300 1.06% 3.38 8,482.25 1874
82 Lacey township Ocean 28,569 27,644 925 3.35% 83.26 343.13 1871
83 Englewood Bergen 28,455 27,147 1,308 4.82% 4.91 5,795.32 1899
84 West Windsor township Mercer 28,207 27,165 1,042 3.84% 25.56 1,103.56 1798
85 Millville Cumberland 28,059 28,400 -341 -1.20% 42 668.07 1801
86 Neptune township Monmouth 27,789 27,935 -146 -0.52% 8.18 3,397.19 1879
87 Bergenfield borough Bergen 27,647 26,764 883 3.30% 2.88 9,599.65 1894
88 Pemberton township Burlington 27,567 27,912 -345 -1.24% 61.28 449.85 1846
89 East Windsor township Mercer 27,430 27,190 240 0.88% 15.65 1,752.72 1798
90 Stafford township Ocean 27,153 26,535 618 2.33% 45.85 592.21 1798
91 Bernards township Somerset 26,978 26,652 326 1.22% 23.93 1,127.37 1798
92 Paramus borough Bergen 26,880 26,342 538 2.04% 10.47 2,567.34 1922
93 Ocean township Monmouth 26,729 27,291 -562 -2.06% 10.88 2,456.71 1849
94 West Milford township Passaic 26,605 25,850 755 2.92% 75.09 354.31 1834
95 Mahwah township Bergen 26,541 25,890 651 2.51% 25.69 1,033.13 1849
96 Hamilton township Atlantic 26,499 26,503 -4 -0.02% 111.13 238.45 1842
97 Wall township Monmouth 25,987 26,164 -177 -0.68% 30.67 847.31 1851
98 Randolph township  Morris 25,827 25,734 93 0.36% 20.82 1,240.49 1806
99 Ridgewood village Bergen 25,533 24,958 575 2.30% 5.75 4,440.52 1894
100 Bridgeton Cumberland 24,997 25,349 -352 -1.39% 6.18 4,044.82 1865
101 Cliffside Park borough Bergen 24,856 23,594 1,262 5.35% 0.96 25,891.67 1895
102 Lodi borough Bergen 24,778 24,136 642 2.66% 2.26 10,963.72 1894
103 Maplewood township Essex 24,634 23,867 767 3.21% 3.88 6,348.97 1861
104 Rockaway township Morris 24,554 24,156 398 1.65% 41.4 593.09 1844
Somerset CDP Somerset 24,409 22,083 2,326 10.53% 6.33 3,856.08
105 South Plainfield borough Middlesex 24,221 23,385 836 3.57% 8.33 2,907.68 1926
106 Scotch Plains township Union 24,186 23,510 676 2.88% 9.02 2,681.37 1878
107 Cranford township Union 24,097 22,625 1,472 6.51% 4.83 4,989.03 1871
108 Carteret borough Middlesex 23,992 22,844 1,148 5.03% 4.42 5,428.05 1906
Old Bridge CDP Middlesex 23,550 23,753 -203 -0.85% 7.1 3,316.90
109 Medford township Burlington 23,440 23,033 407 1.77% 38.92 602.26 1847
110 Plainsboro township Middlesex 23,407 22,999 408 1.77% 11.78 1,987.01 1919
111 Roxbury township Morris 23,374 23,324 50 0.21% 20.83 1,122.13 1798
112 Montgomery township Somerset 23,352 22,254 1,098 4.93% 32.31 722.75 1798
113 Burlington township Burlington 22,747 22,594 153 0.68% 13.42 1,695.01 1798
114 Morris township Morris 22,580 22,306 274 1.23% 15.62 1,445.58 1798
115 Vernon township Sussex 22,383 23,943 -1,560 -6.52% 68.23 328.05 1798
116 Barnegat township Ocean 22,288 20,936 1,352 6.46% 34.38 648.28 1846
117 Lyndhurst township Bergen 22,239 20,554 1,685 8.20% 4.56 4,876.97 1852
118 North Plainfield borough Somerset 22,073 21,936 137 0.62% 2.79 7,911.47 1885
119 Summit Union 22,019 21,457 562 2.62% 6 3,669.83 1899
120 Lower township Cape May 22,007 22,866 -859 -3.76% 27.74 793.33 1798
121 Raritan township Hunterdon 21,959 22,185 -226 -1.02% 37.53 585.11 1838
122 Hillside township Union 21,951 21,404 547 2.56% 2.75 7,982.18 1913
123 Montville township Morris 21,700 21,528 172 0.80% 18.48 1,174.24 1867
124 Roselle borough Union 21,625 21,085 540 2.56% 2.65 8,160.38 1894
125 Jefferson township Morris 21,406 21,314 92 0.43% 39.13 547.05 1804
126 West Deptford township Gloucester 21,352 21,677 -325 -1.50% 15.41 1,385.59 1871
127 Little Egg Harbor township Ocean 20,818 20,065 753 3.75% 47.37 439.48 1798
128 Palisades Park borough Bergen 20,753 19,622 1,131 5.76% 1.25 16,602.40 1899
129 Moorestown township Burlington 20,565 20,726 -161 -0.78% 14.69 1,399.93 1922
130 Pleasantville Atlantic 20,492 20,249 243 1.20% 5.69 3,601.41 1889
131 Millburn township Essex 20,308 20,149 159 0.79% 9.32 2,178.97 1857
132 Elmwood Park borough Bergen 20,295 19,403 892 4.60% 2.65 7,658.49 1916
133 Hazlet township Monmouth 19,994 20,334 -340 -1.67% 5.56 3,596.04 1848
134 Glassboro borough Gloucester 19,835 18,579 1,256 6.76% 9.18 2,160.68 1878
Woodbridge CDP Middlesex 19,822 19,265 557 2.89% 3.85 5,148.57
135 Secaucus Hudson 19,822 16,264 3,558 21.88% 5.82 3,405.84 1900
Iselin CDP Middlesex 19,146 18,695 451 2.41% 3.19 6,001.88
136 Morristown Morris 19,016 18,411 605 3.29% 2.93 6,490.10 1865
137 Hawthorne borough Passaic 18,941 18,791 150 0.80% 3.33 5,687.99 1898
138 Sparta township Sussex 18,920 19,722 -802 -4.07% 36.94 512.18 1845
139 Maple Shade township Burlington 18,849 19,131 -282 -1.47% 3.82 4,934.29 1798
Avenel CDP Middlesex 18,793 17,011 1,782 10.48% 3.52 5,338.92
140 Washington township Morris 18,695 18,533 162 0.87% 44.39 421.15 1836
141 Rutherford borough Bergen 18,635 18,061 574 3.18% 2.81 6,631.67 1881
142 Middle township Cape May 18,597 18,911 -314 -1.66% 70.33 264.42 1798
143 Point Pleasant borough Ocean 18,545 18,392 153 0.83% 3.49 5,313.75 1920
144 Hopewell township Mercer 18,523 17,304 1,219 7.04% 58.03 319.20 1798
145 Aberdeen township Monmouth 18,374 18,210 164 0.90% 5.45 3,371.38 1857
146 Dover Morris 18,252 18,157 95 0.52% 2.68 6,810.45 1896
147 Dumont borough Bergen 17,871 17,479 392 2.24% 1.98 9,025.76 1894
148 Tinton Falls borough Monmouth 17,800 17,892 -92 -0.51% 15.49 1,149.13 1950
Colonia CDP Middlesex 17,517 17,795 -278 -1.56% 3.91 4,480.05
149 Lindenwold borough Camden 17,470 17,613 -143 -0.81% 3.89 4,491.00 1929
150 Springfield township Union 17,447 15,817 1,630 10.31% 5.17 3,374.66 1798
151 Wyckoff township Bergen 17,221 16,696 525 3.14% 6.55 2,629.16 1926
152 New Milford borough Bergen 16,759 16,341 418 2.56% 2.27 7,382.82 1922
153 Denville township Morris 16,735 16,635 100 0.60% 11.87 1,409.86 1913
154 Delran township Burlington 16,656 16,896 -240 -1.42% 6.59 2,527.47 1880
155 Holmdel township Monmouth 16,604 16,773 -169 -1.01% 17.9 927.60 1857
156 Franklin township Gloucester 16,568 16,820 -252 -1.50% 55.91 296.33 1798
157 Cinnaminson township Burlington 16,532 15,569 963 6.19% 7.5 2,204.27 1860
158 South Orange Village township Essex 16,319 16,198 121 0.75% 2.86 5,705.94 1869
159 South River borough Middlesex 16,295 16,008 287 1.79% 2.77 5,882.67 1898
160 Harrison Hudson 16,231 13,620 2,611 19.17% 1.2 13,525.83 1840
161 Madison borough Morris 16,072 15,845 227 1.43% 4.21 3,817.58 1889
162 Warren township Somerset 16,032 15,311 721 4.71% 19.57 819.21 1806
Ocean Acres CDP Ocean 16,000 16,142 -142 -0.88% 5.85 2,735.04
163 Readington township Hunterdon 15,875 16,126 -251 -1.56% 47.74 332.53 1798
164 North Arlington borough Bergen 15,868 15,392 476 3.09% 2.56 6,198.44 1896
165 Clark township Union 15,835 14,756 1,079 7.31% 4.3 3,682.56 1864
166 Asbury Park Monmouth 15,722 16,116 -394 -2.44% 1.42 11,071.83 1874
Williamstown CDP Gloucester 15,539 15,567 -28 -0.18% 7.42 2,094.20
167 Pequannock township Morris 15,425 15,540 -115 -0.74% 6.75 2,285.19 1798
Franklin Park CDP Somerset 15,238 13,295 1,943 14.61% 2.6 5,860.77
168 Weehawken township Hudson 15,138 12,554 2,584 20.58% 0.8 18,922.50 1859
169 Ramsey borough Bergen 15,116 14,473 643 4.44% 5.52 2,738.41 1908
170 Mantua township Gloucester 15,099 15,217 -118 -0.78% 15.85 952.62 1853
Fords CDP Middlesex 15,085 15,187 -102 -0.67% 2.63 5,735.74
171 Tenafly borough Bergen 14,846 14,488 358 2.47% 4.6 3,227.39 1894
172 Branchburg township Somerset 14,688 14,459 229 1.58% 20.04 732.93 1845
173 Hanover township Morris 14,686 13,712 974 7.10% 10.52 1,396.01 1740
174 Haddon township Camden 14,676 14,707 -31 -0.21% 2.69 5,455.76 1865
175 Phillipsburg Warren 14,455 14,950 -495 -3.31% 3.19 4,531.35 1861
176 Hammonton Atlantic 14,428 14,791 -363 -2.45% 40.89 352.85 1866
177 Little Falls township Passaic 14,423 14,432 -9 -0.06% 2.74 5,263.87 1868
178 Fairview borough Bergen 14,421 13,835 586 4.24% 0.84 17,167.86 1894
179 Hopatcong borough Sussex 14,384 15,147 -763 -5.04% 10.85 1,325.71 1898
180 Robbinsville township Mercer 14,282 13,642 640 4.69% 20.32 702.85 1859
Moorestown-Lenola CDP Burlington 14,217 14,217 0 0.00% 7.01 2,028.10
181 Highland Park borough Middlesex 14,195 13,982 213 1.52% 1.81 7,842.54 1905
Springdale CDP Camden 14,145 14,518 -373 -2.57% 5.35 2,643.93
182 Saddle Brook township Bergen 14,069 13,659 410 3.00% 2.69 5,230.11 1716
183 Collingswood borough Camden 14,010 13,926 84 0.60% 1.82 7,697.80 1888
West Freehold CDP Monmouth 14,000 13,613 387 2.84% 5.91 2,368.87
Bradley Gardens CDP Somerset 13,994 14,206 -212 -1.49% 4.49 3,116.70
184 Metuchen borough Middlesex 13,871 13,574 297 2.19% 2.76 5,025.72 1900
Princeton Meadows CDP Middlesex 13,839 13,834 5 0.04% 2.08 6,653.37
Cherry Hill Mall CDP Camden 13,829 14,171 -342 -2.41% 3.64 3,799.18
185 Middlesex borough Middlesex 13,812 13,635 177 1.30% 3.52 3,923.86 1913
186 Roselle Park borough Union 13,638 13,297 341 2.56% 1.23 11,087.80 1901
187 Berkeley Heights township Union 13,541 13,183 358 2.72% 6.21 2,180.52 1809
188 Verona township Essex 13,519 13,332 187 1.40% 2.76 4,898.19 1907
Hamilton Square CDP Mercer 13,456 12,784 672 5.26% 4.34 3,100.46
Mercerville CDP Mercer 13,371 13,230 141 1.07% 3.69 3,623.58
189 Oakland borough Bergen 13,130 12,754 376 2.95% 8.45 1,553.85 1902
190 Ridgefield Park village Bergen 13,059 12,729 330 2.59% 1.72 7,592.44 1892
191 Harrison township Gloucester 12,982 12,417 565 4.55% 19.14 678.27 1844
192 Clinton township Hunterdon 12,854 13,478 -624 -4.63% 29.88 430.19 1841
Short Hills CDP Essex 12,831 13,165 -334 -2.54% 5.2 2,467.50
193 New Providence borough Union 12,758 12,171 587 4.82% 3.64 3,504.95 1899
194 Pennsville township Salem 12,677 13,409 -732 -5.46% 21.28 595.72 1798
195 Florence township Burlington 12,664 12,109 555 4.58% 9.78 1,294.89 1872
196 Woodland Park borough Passaic 12,645 11,819 826 6.99% 2.96 4,271.96 1914
197 Cedar Grove township Essex 12,592 12,411 181 1.46% 4.25 2,962.82 1892
198 Ringwood borough  Passaic 12,399 12,228 171 1.40% 25.21 491.83 1918
199 Woolwich township Gloucester 12,365 10,200 2,165 21.23% 20.91 591.34 1798
200 Lumberton township Burlington 12,325 12,559 -234 -1.86% 12.92 953.95 1860
201 Eatontown borough Monmouth 12,287 12,709 -422 -3.32% 5.83 2,107.55 1873
202 Hasbrouck Heights borough Bergen 12,182 11,842 340 2.87% 1.51 8,067.55 1894
203 Somerville borough Somerset 12,165 12,098 67 0.55% 2.33 5,221.03 1863
204 Red Bank borough Monmouth 12,160 12,206 -46 -0.38% 1.74 6,988.51 1870
Holiday City-Berkeley CDP Ocean 12,132 12,831 -699 -5.45% 5.75 2,109.91
205 Bordentown township Burlington 12,095 11,367 728 6.40% 8.51 1,421.27 1852
206 Edgewater borough Bergen 12,044 11,513 531 4.61% 0.94 12,812.77 1894
207 Upper township Cape May 11,976 12,373 -397 -3.21% 62.15 192.70 1798
Martinsville CDP Somerset 11,950 11,980 -30 -0.25% 12.32 969.97
208 Glen Rock borough Bergen 11,946 11,601 345 2.97% 2.71 4,408.12 1894
209 Freehold borough Monmouth 11,891 12,052 -161 -1.34% 1.95 6,097.95 1869
210 Florham Park borough Morris 11,766 11,696 70 0.60% 7.29 1,613.99 1899
211 Wanaque borough Passaic 11,759 11,116 643 5.78% 7.99 1,471.71 1918
Upper Montclair CDP Essex 11,753 11,565 188 1.63% 2.54 4,627.17
212 Wallington borough Bergen 11,689 11,335 354 3.12% 0.98 11,927.55 1894
213 River Edge borough Bergen 11,647 11,340 307 2.71% 1.85 6,295.68 1894
Pennsville CDP Salem 11,623 11,888 -265 -2.23% 10.07 1,154.22
214 Guttenberg Hudson 11,618 11,176 442 3.95% 0.2 58,090.00 1859
215 Bellmawr borough Camden 11,478 11,583 -105 -0.91% 2.98 3,851.68 1926
216 Haddonfield borough Camden 11,424 11,593 -169 -1.46% 2.82 4,051.06 1875
217 Ridgefield borough Bergen 11,357 11,032 325 2.95% 2.55 4,453.73 1892
218 Ocean City Cape May 11,340 11,701 -361 -3.09% 6.33 1,791.47 1884
219 Gloucester City Camden 11,339 11,456 -117 -1.02% 2.32 4,887.50 1868
Robertsville CDP Monmouth 11,334 11,297 37 0.33% 5.92 1,914.53
Greentree CDP Camden 11,283 11,367 -84 -0.74% 4.66 2,421.24
Echelon CDP Camden 11,276 10,743 533 4.96% 2.81 4,012.81
220 Westwood borough Bergen 11,235 10,908 327 3.00% 2.27 4,949.34 1894
221 East Hanover township Morris 11,228 11,157 71 0.64% 7.89 1,423.07 1928
222 Beachwood borough Ocean 11,196 11,045 151 1.37% 2.85 3,928.42 1917
223 Pompton Lakes borough Passaic 11,127 11,097 30 0.27% 2.91 3,823.71 1895
224 Wantage township Sussex 10,998 11,358 -360 -3.17% 66.75 164.76 1798
225 West Caldwell township Essex 10,928 10,759 169 1.57% 5.05 2,163.96 1904
226 Little Ferry borough Bergen 10,925 10,626 299 2.81% 1.48 7,381.76 1894
227 Totowa borough Passaic 10,904 10,804 100 0.93% 3.99 2,732.83 1898
228 Franklin Lakes borough Bergen 10,852 10,590 262 2.47% 9.38 1,156.93 1922
Browns Mills CDP Burlington 10,831 11,223 -392 -3.49% 5.37 2,016.95
229 Waterford township Camden 10,754 10,649 105 0.99% 36.04 298.39 1798
230 Somers Point Atlantic 10,545 10,795 -250 -2.32% 4.03 2,616.63 1886
231 Pine Hill borough Camden 10,524 10,233 291 2.84% 3.87 2,719.38 1929
232 Hillsdale borough Bergen 10,510 10,219 291 2.85% 2.95 3,562.71 1898
233 Chatham township Morris 10,466 10,452 14 0.13% 8.98 1,165.48 1806
234 Bound Brook borough Somerset 10,455 10,402 53 0.51% 1.66 6,298.19 1891
235 Millstone township Monmouth 10,450 10,566 -116 -1.10% 36.59 285.60 1844
236 Lincoln Park borough Morris 10,442 10,521 -79 -0.75% 6.38 1,636.68 1922
237 Manville borough Somerset 10,430 10,344 86 0.83% 2.36 4,419.49 1929
Kendall Park CDP Middlesex 10,323 9,339 984 10.54% 3.702 2,788.49
238 Ventnor City Atlantic 10,317 10,650 -333 -3.13% 1.95 5,290.77 1903
Marlton CDP Burlington 10,271 10,133 138 1.36% 3.23 3,179.88
239 Southampton township Burlington 10,235 10,464 -229 -2.19% 43.67 234.37 1845
240 Kinnelon borough Morris 10,219 10,248 -29 -0.28% 17.99 568.04 1922
241 Waldwick Bergen 10,026 9,625 401 4.17% 2.067 4,850.51 1919
242 Colts Neck township Monmouth 9,965 10,142 -177 -1.75% 30.73 324.28 1847
243 Woodbury Gloucester 9,962 10,174 -212 -2.08% 2.01 4,956.22 1854

Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.

Qualifying for a Home Loan

Conforming Mortgages

There are many mortgage types available to New Jersey residents. The traditional home loan is the fixed-rate loan that provide an APR that does not change during the course of the mortgage's life. Because these loans are amortized, payments are always the same each month. Fixed-rate loans come in a variety of terms, with the 30-year product being the most common. This mortgage produces the lowest possible monthly payment, although the interest rate is higher than shorter-term loans. Those who can afford the higher monthly payments from 15-year mortgages will build equity much faster.

The home loan companies that offer conforming mortgages typically want 20% down. Private mortgage insurance is required for down payments smaller than this. Additional fees may also be required. Furthermore, you could end up facing a higher interest rate with a small down payment. The best terms are available to borrowers with credit scores above 740 and debt-to-income ratios of less than 40%.

For those who do not have a 20% down payment & do not qualify for government subsidized loans, another way to augment a low down payment is to use a piggyback mortgage where the second mortgage is used as a down payment on the first mortgage to negate PMI requirements.

There are still a few well established community banks in New Jersey that continue to offer mortgage loans and to keep a high percentage of those loans in portfolio.

Adjustable-rate loans can provide lower interest rates than the 30-year mortgage. These loans have a fixed APR for a certain number of years, such as 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, and then the interest can increase once per year.

Interest-only mortgages are also available in the Garden State. These products are similar to the ARM loans, except that for the initial period, only interest is charged. This produces a small monthly payment. The disadvantage of course is that the principal on the loan hasn't been paid during these years, which will produce a larger monthly payment once the initial term is over, principal payment is required & interest rates reset higher. These loans can be structured as balloon loans & are popular among people in finance with high incomes who are looking to write off their mortgage interest payments.

As of 2017 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $424,100, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in areas where median home values are higher. Jumbo loans typically have a slightly higher rate of interest than conforming mortgages, though spreads vary based on credit market conditions. The New York City metropolitan area is a HERA high-cost area across the following counties.

County Metropolitan Designation 1 Unit Limit 2 Unit Limit 3 Unit Limit 4 Unit Limit
Bergen New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Essex New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Hudson New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Hunterdon New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Middlesex New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Monmouth New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Morris New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Ocean New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Passaic New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Somerset New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Sussex New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475
Union New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ny-Nj-Pa $636,150 $814,500 $984,525 $1,223,475

Governmental Financial Assistance Programs

The U.S. government also provides mortgages through two of its agencies: the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The FHA provides mortgages to applicants who can pay at least 3.5% down and who have a 580 credit score or higher. The agency also provides loans to borrowers with lower scores, although it requires a larger down payment. In either case, insurance premiums are required for mortgages with less than 20% down.

The VA has the best terms in our survey with no down payment requirement and no insurance premiums, either. However, it does charge a funding fee. It varies from 1.25% to 3.3%. Making a down payment will lower this surcharge. To qualify for a  VA loan, you must be an eligible veteran of course.

USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan.

The state of New Jersey, in conjunction with federal and local governments, offers a variety of housing assistance programs. These services include the Section 8 Voucher program plus assistance for veterans and disabled persons. A convenient housing assistance phone line, NJ211, is available 24 hours a day. Many housing agencies have offices throughout the state.

Natural Disasters

New Jersey has a very low risk of tornadoes. Most of the state has a low or very low risk of hail with Bergen & Union counties having a moderate hail risk.

Flood Insurance

Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding. Here are counties across the state which have a risk profile above very low for either flooding or hurricane storm surges.

  • Low risk of flooding: Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset
  • Moderate risk of flooding: Bergen, Monmouth, Passaic, Union
  • Very high risk of flooding: Hudson, Ocean
  • Low risk of hurricane storm surges: Richmond
  • Moderate risk of hurricane storm surges: Monmouth, Ocean

Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.

The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners don€™t incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the government€™s costs in the next disaster.

Typically, homes built after 2002, when building code regulations tightened, are subject to lower insurance rates than older homes. On the other hand, homes without hurricane straps, with roofs that do not meet current standards for wind, with older plumbing or with outdated electrical systems may be difficult €“ or very expensive €“ to insure.

Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.

Earthquakes

Most of the state has a very low eathquake risk, but the northeastern portion of New Jersey near to the New York City metro area has a low earthquake risk in the following counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset & Union.

Standard rental and homeowner insurance policies typically do not cover earthquake damage, though they usually cover losses caused by fires which resulted from an earthquake. You can supplement your homeowner's insurance with an earthquake policy.

Wildfires

The risk of wildfires is considered moderate to very high across much of the state. Fire damages from wildfires & other types of fires are typically covered in most homeowner's insurance policies. If you own expensive items you may want to keep an up-to-date household inventory list which lists specific valuables, such as fine art & jewelry. Here is a list of counties across the state with a wildfire risk above very low.

  • Low risk: Hudson, Hunterdon
  • Moderate risk: Camden, Cape May, Gloucester, Middlesex, Richmond, Salem, Somerset, Union, Warren
  • High risk: Burlington, Cumberland, Monmouth, Ocean
  • Very high risk: Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex

Laws Particular to the Garden State

Taxes

The New Jersey Department of the Treasury reports effective tax rates on residential properties to be between 0.84% and 4.79%. This results in a statewide average of approximately 2.31%, far above the national average of 1.24%. Average homes in the Garden State are valued at $367,036, which is well above the national average. When that is combined with the state having the highest property tax rate, residents pay a lot of property tax – an average of $8,477 per year compared against a national average of $3,313.

During the last property tax survey, residents of Newark paid a general tax rate of 3.44% on assessed value, which resulted in an effective tax rate of 3.06% of fair market value. Hoboken implements a rate of 1.55% against assessed value, which results in 1.29% for an effective tax rate.

Property Disclosures

Under New Jersey law, sellers aren't required to make any disclosures about a property to potential buyers, although courts have made exceptions from time to time in order to help protect buyers. Thus, the common law does have basic protections in place for buyers. There is a statute that requires a home for sale be fit to live in.

Foreclosures

The Garden State uses a judicial foreclosure process, which means mortgage defaults are handled within the court system. The legal proceeding typically begins after missing just three payments, although by law it can start after missing just one payment.

New Jersey is a recourse state. This means that lenders can sue borrowers using a deficiency judgment. Under this legal system, if a home's value doesn't cover the mortgage balance at the time of default, the lender can pursue all assets the homeowner has, including bank accounts and anything else of value. Under a non-recourse system, the lender can only pursue the collateral stated in the loan, which is usually the house only.

Learn More

Atlantic City Boardwalk.

The Garden State is still trying to get back on track more than a decade after the Great Recession. It is making slow but consistent progress. New Jersey's very high property tax doesn't help much, contributing to a very high foreclosure rate. Nevertheless, there are many housing programs for people who need assistance, and one of the world's biggest economies is right around the corner.

For more information on the New Jersey property market, check out: