The overall score for each city was calculated from the following measures:
• Homeownership rate
• Selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of median household income
• Median home value
• Population change from 2010 to 2012
Seventy communities with 15,000 or more residents were included in the study. Places with higher-than-average crime and environmental hazards were excluded from the top 20 ranking.
Many of the highest ranking locations were within commuting distance to New York City. Home values in all top 20 cities were over $200,000, and residents of those cities spend over 30 percent of their income on monthly homeowner costs.
The study noted that Secaucus’ population growth of 5 percent was the second highest on the list.
Secaucus was the highest ranking location in Hudson County, with Hoboken ranking #43, Bayonne at #50, Jersey City #57, West New York #63, and Union City #67.
The #1 location on the list is Williamstown, in Monroe Township.
The top 20 survey results can be found at http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/best-places-homeownership-new-jersey/ --Art Schwartz