NEW JERSEY 101.5

While real estate sales across the country are predicted to remain only steady next year, New Jersey sales are way up.

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The National Association of Realtors reported home sales will hold steady next year, but prices will continue to rise.

Economic Analyst Patrick O'Keefe, of Cohn-Reznick in Roseland, said home sales in Jersey are up 18 percent this year, but there's a drag on the market.

"Right now, what we've got is slow growth, we've got prices below where would-be sellers would accept them," O'Keefe said. "And we have insufficient inventory there to meet the pent-up demand for housing."

Home prices have risen almost 11 percent nationally, but just 1.1 percent in New Jersey since mid-2011.

An economist with the National Association of Realtors says while rising home prices will lure many people to sell their homes, a lot of those people will also buy homes. One thing that most of the experts agree upon, both in the Garden State and across the country, is the need for more new home construction.

One factor in New Jersey's housing market is the slow pace of executing foreclosures that's keeping properties off the market. Those foreclosed properties will also add to the inventory of homes available for sale here.