Funeral Industry News

N.J. Funeral Homes Raised Prices By 12 Percent This Year, Study Finds

October 23, 2009

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N.J. Funeral Homes Raised Prices By 12 Percent This Year, Study Finds

Even dying is getting more expensive.

The average price for basic funeral home services in New Jersey and surrounding states has risen an average of 12 percent over the last year, according to an annual study released Tuesday.

The pricing increases are the result of several converging trends, including a growing consumer preference for low-margin services like cremations and immediate burials, according to the 73-page study, conducted by accounting firm Citrin Cooperman.

These “no frills” services are less expensive than traditional caskets, which have long been a steady source of profit for funeral homes. At the same time, death rates have been flat and are not expected to rise until 2020, the study said.

“Many of the challenges facing the funeral home industry remain the same as in recent past, but now the economy has been thrown into the mix,” said Ed Horton, partner-in-charge of the funeral industry services practice at Citrin Cooperman. “We believe these trends represent a long overdue shift in pricing strategy.”

The study polled more than 230 funeral home executives primarily in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.


Photo: Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledge