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Buoyed by strong job growth, the housing market in the new year will continue to climb out of its worst downturn in generations.

As the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.3 percent in New Jersey and 5 percent nationwide, people are increasingly getting the confidence to move into their own places or trade up to more expensive homes. Mortgage rates will rise, but not precipitously, experts predict. And builders will ramp up activity to help meet the demand — though new home construction will continue to fall short of long-term averages.

“Given the continuing economic recovery, this year will be a good year for housing,” said Jeffrey Otteau, an East Brunswick appraiser who tracks the housing market statewide.

On the downside, many people will struggle to afford apartments or houses, as home prices and rents continue to grow faster than incomes.

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