By Josh Barbanel Published March 01, 2017 Economic Indicators Dow Jones Newswires

Home sales in New Jersey surged in January, continuing a trend of strengthening sales as the employment picture continues to improve.

Sales of new and existing homes in January increased 14% compared with the same month in 2016, and rose 31% from 2015, according a market report by Jeffrey Otteau, president of the Otteau Group, an appraisal and consulting firm.

“Looking ahead, expectations for deregulation and tax cuts are likely to further boost sales, particularly for luxury homes, which have lagged since the start of the last recession,” Mr. Otteau said in an email.

The report showed that the pace of sales increased for the 29th consecutive month, with activity in January the highest for the month since 2005.

At the same time, the inventory of unsold homes fell to the lowest January level since 2005. Most of the state’s 21 counties had a normal balance between supply and demand, the report said.