The latest data from the National Association of Realtors shows single-family home prices in South Jersey continue to drop, countering the national and statewide trend of increasing house prices.

The average single-home price for homes in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties dropped by 7% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with a rise in national median home prices of almost 9% during the same period.

This report is the latest to show a continuing decline in prices for homes in our area, with the average median sale price for homes in the tri-county area dropping from $223,200 in 2011 to $195,600 for the first quarter of 2014.

The high local unemployment rate, the lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy, and a large amount of distressed properties are all thought to be contributing factors in these dismal housing sales numbers.