Have Atlantic County property prices bottomed? The answer is yes, according to house price data company Zillow, which is forecasting average home values in Atlantic County will rise 1.3 percent through July 2018. According to the site, home values bottomed out at an average valuation (the median ‘Zestimate’) of $175,000 in August 2016 and are forecast to reach $182,000 next summer. What is really interesting is the forecast for specific locations: Zillow expects average valuations in Northfield, Pleasantville, Estell Manor and Egg Harbor City will rise more than 5 percent, while Margate, Ventnor and Mullica Township are set to see declines.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Zillow has faced a lot of criticism for the accuracy of its forecasts, which seem to fail at the local level in particular. Still. Salem and Cumberland Counties bottomed out in 2015 and have been rising since, according to Zillow, while Cape May County has also been climbing (although Zillow is forecasting valuations there will flatten out over the next 12 months). Is this just a sign the national housing bubble is finally touching South Jersey, or is there a real pickup in home values? We’re interested in hearing your thoughts. And thanks to Jim Kennedy (@aceconpolicy on Twitter) for bringing this to our attention. Got an idea for something we should look at? Get in touch!
American Dreamin’ in AC
Atlantic City is a great – and affordable! – place to own a second home, says Elizabeth Terenik, Atlantic City’s former planning director, in an op-ed for NJ Spotlight. Here’s a taster of her argument that shore towns are designed for families, which is hard to fault: “Shore towns provide a freedom that kids can’t experience in the suburbs — freedom to earn and manage money at a young age; to stay out of the house all day; and to find the shortcuts to make curfew.
This kind of freedom leads to vital character traits such as self-sufficiency, independent thinking, good decision making, and a strong work ethic…For a kid, life in the suburbs is the opposite of freedom.” Plus, when you’re a parent, the beach is the perfect place to entertain kids and – literally – unplug from modern life. There are other reasons to be bullish. Atlantic City is the country’s most affordable beach town in this study by Redfin last year and it’s walkable and bikeable, with a walkability score second only to Miami’s. Also? “Second-home buyers that feel homogenized by other shore towns will love Atlantic City’s diversity,” writes Terenik. Go and read the piece. Separately, the Press of Atlantic City reports that the city’s tourism market is still expanding, according to Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism.
In the rest of the day’s news, Atlantic City police rescued a man threatening to jump from the 10th floor of Caesar’s parking garage yesterday, Dr Kauffman’s arraignment date has been postponed by a week, Dem. gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy has set a goal of offering free community college tuition, an arcane tax-policy decision could help hold utility bills lower, read this feel-good story about the return of Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club to the Chelsea neighborhood, a Hammonton landmark is for sale, and Rep. Frank LoBiondo talked about his plans to boost apprenticeship opportunities in an interview with SNJ Today yesterday. All that and more below:
The Central, a Hammonton Landmark, is For Sale–Filomena Boccella has owned The Central, a local landmark building in this town, for more than 31 years - more than half of her life. Boccella believes the time has come for her to do other things. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Mail Carrier’s Facebook Posts Help State Deliver Fraud Charges–A mail carrier’s Facebook photos delivered just enough evidence for fraud charges, Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced Monday. Robert McGeehan, 59, of Lower Township, was shown zip-lining and rappelling from rocks while out of work with a wrist injury. breakingac.com
Police Rescue Man Threatening To Jump From Garage–A man threatening to jump from a casino garage was rescued Monday morning. The unnamed man was sitting on the 10th-floor rail of Caesars’ parking garage for about an hour. breakingac.com
Christie Outlines Federal Partnership With Pharma To Combat US Opioid Epidemic–Federal officials will work with 17 pharmaceutical companies — including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Celgene, and others based in New Jersey — to expedite the development of new nonaddictive pain treatments and medicines to help drug addicts better manage their disease as part of a national effort to curb the opioid crisis. Gov. Chris Christie, chair of the White House’s opioid panel, announced the public-private partnership yesterday after a two-hour meeting in Trenton with drug company leaders, the head of the National Institutes of Health, officials from the Federal Drug Administration, presidential advisor (and Garden State native) Kellyanne Conway, and other federal representatives. www.njspotlight.com