Price Gap Hinders Housing Recovery Across North Jersey

Beyond the immediate impact, the disparity in home-price recovery across the region adds an element to a widening income gap among wealthy, middle-class and poor households, largely because the value of a house makes up a far greater portion of wealth for people of more modest means, said Christopher Jones, vice president for research at the Regional Plan Association, which studies economic and other issues in the New York metropolitan region.

A loss of $100,000 in the value of a home erodes a significantly larger percentage of a middle- or lower-income household’s assets, he said.

“It is another aspect of this widening gap between people making an average income and the very high end of the households,” Jones said. “It’s both a symptom of the a widening gap in wealth and income, and something which can help perpetuate it because people no longer have the household wealth that you need to invest in things like a college education for your children, another house or things like that.

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