A tale of two cities: The Big Apple outpaces north Jersey

Although they are neighbors, have a very porous border and even share many of the same workers and public spaces, New York and Jersey have had a very different post-recession experience. Recent data shows that the Big Apple has been making big bounds in terms of getting back on its feet, while New Jersey had a more difficult recovery. Unsurprisingly, this disparity has led to an accompanying real estate divergence - homes for sale in New York, NY, have been increasingly in demand, while their Jersey counterparts have not done as well.

By most measures, New York City's economy reached its pre-recession peak nearly a year ago. Importantly, though, the pace of recovery has not only not been stalling, but accelerating.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the city's economy grew by roughly 2.5 percent in the second half of 2011, 4.5 percent in the first half of 2012 and more than 5.5 percent in July and August, The Record reports. Moreover, the bank reports that the Big Apple's economy is estimated to have expanded by 12 percent since the bottom of the downturn in October 2009.

Although New Jersey's economy has not been hit as hard as other states in the region, it has not been able to equal its northern neighbor's robust pace. New Jersey's economic sector has grown at about a 2 percent rate, which has helped it shake off the worst of the recession, but not allowed it to keep pace with New York.

Meanwhile, demand for real estate in the Big Apple has continued to experience a steep spike. As of late August, there were 2,856 Manhattan homes under contract, nearly 30 percent more than at the same time last year, according to The Real Deal. These deal closings have led, unsurprisingly, to a drop in inventory. The source reports that, in late August, there were 5,292 open listings, about one-fifth fewer than the same period in 2011. If these patterns hold, real estate in the Big Apple could become even pricier.

“During the first half of the fall … I anticipate the number of transactions to soar upward and the prices in the condo market to scale even higher,” Linette Semino, a local real estate professional told the source.

With its economy improving and its housing supply dwindling, now could be an ideal time to buy real estate in New York, NY.