There is so much discussion about the continually rising home sale prices in South Orange and Maplewood, NJ. And it’s not all positive. Historically, the two towns offered good value for home buyers; relative to most of the surrounding areas. Because the “value” was strong it attracted residents from a variety of socio-economic groups, which in turn creates a diverse community — something both towns pride themselves on.
What many people in our communities wonder, is what do the rising home sale prices in South Orange and Maplewood mean for the towns? Will they become less diverse?
So, I took a deep dive into the numbers and they show the average price for a home in Maplewood in 2012 was $467,995. In 2016, it was $543,572. That’s a 16% increase in 4 years. The average price for a home in South Orange in 2012 was $494,834. In 2016 it was $648,231. That’s an increase of 28% in only 4 years.
So yes, the home sale prices in South Orange and Maplewood are much higher, but the important question is, how do they compare to neighboring towns? Are South Orange and Maplewood still offering relative value?
To answer this question I took a deeper dive into the numbers and here is what I found:
All of these Essex County towns experienced big gains in average sale prices, but some towns increased measurably more than others. Here is some food for thought:
- Of the 6 towns, Montclair is the only one to move up enough to change its rankings from the third spot of most expensive average sale price to the second
- Millburn’s average sale price was the highest by far in 2012 and still rose an astounding 16%
- Besides Montclair, South Orange experienced the largest increases, but still remains in the number 4 spot for average sale price
If everything is relative, and the differences remain consistent, can I conclude the composition of the communities should as well? Definitely not. My research isn’t exactly scientific, it just shows the trends and the trend is purely a reflection of demographics. There are simply more buyers in the market than there are houses for sale.