As a New Jersey Realtor, I read a lot of material relating to housing markets both state- and nationwide. Recently I read an especially interesting blog post on the National Resources Defense Council website. The NRDC is an environmental advocacy group, but in this post, staff member Kaid Benfield actually blogs about economics.
According to a study cited by Benfield, the recovery in housing prices nationally has begun, and this recovery is being led by "populous urban or semi-urban communities well served by local amenities." Homes in such communities will see price increases of 3% by next year, and up to 5% per year between 2014 and 2017. Benfield advises, "If you're a real estate investor, put your money on smart growth and avoid sprawl."
Now, most of my clients view communities such as Montclair or Maplewood as great places to live rather than as a real estate investment. But isn't it nice to know that homes here will maintain and likely increase in value--that buying in a walkable suburb also makes a lot of (dollars and) sense?