You don't have to search far for a New Jersey homeowner who would end up losing money by selling his or her home today.

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

In fact, according to experts in the housing industry, that would be the case for most folks who bought a home in New Jersey from 2005 to 2010. If they sold their homes at the current listing prices, they'd more likely come to the table with checks than receive them.

Home prices in the Garden State are a far cry from their peak levels in 2006, and the state's recovery from last decade's recession has been slower-moving than that of many other states in the nation. Prices here are essentially equivalent to where they were in 2004, meaning many folks who bought their homes 12 years ago would break even today.

"What you're seeing now in 2016 is a leveling out and a correction of what existed in those years," said Amber Noble Garland of Keller Williams Realty West Monmouth. "There was this sort of artificial appreciation that existed."

And this "correction," she said, was long overdue.

"It's a good thing, so just sit tight and things will turn around," she said.

According to Noble Garland, market appreciation — real, not artificial — is anticipated in certain New Jersey markets over the next five or so years, particularly in towns that offer a "unique value proposition" such as quality schools or a variety of mass transit options.

A turnaround may take longer in rural areas such as Warren and Sussex counties, she said, but more central locations such as Middlesex and Monmouth counties are bouncing back quicker.

"We're not out of the woods in those areas either, but those areas tend to be appreciating at a greater rate than the more rural areas," she said.

New Jersey came out of the recession later than the U.S. as a whole, according to Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at CohnReznick in Roseland.

"Our housing recovery started later and has proceeded slower than what was true in many of the other states around the country," O'Keefe said.

Among the factors constraining the state's recovery, he said, is its top-in-the-nation share of mortgages that are distressed - 90 or more days in arrears or already in the foreclosure process. That stock is weighing heavily on prices in the Garden State.

New Jersey's slower-than-normal rebound, meanwhile, is having an effect on the inventory of homes for sale. Those who purchased towards the end of last decade are hesitant to let go of their properties before market conditions improve.

"Homeowners do not want to list their house and then get offers below what they'd be willing to entertain," O'Keefe said.

Sign up for the WPG Talk Radio 104.1 Newsletter

Get South Jersey news and information e-mailed to you every week.