Category Archives: Selling and Buying Homes

Alpine’s Stone Mansion is back on the market at a $3M increase…$56 million

WOW! The Stone Mansion in Alpine, New Jersey suddenly reappeared on the njmls, just a few weeks after the listing was pulled. And now it was re-listed with a $3 million price increase.  Hey, what’s $3 million when you’re talking $50 million+!

This incredible ultra luxury 30,000sf mega home in Alpine, New Jersey, was once the most talked about and coveted listing in Bergen County…but it hasn’t sold after a lot of years on the market (though it was just completed about a year ago).  Now this magnificent home is listed with Preffered Residential & Commercial Realty in Englewood New Jersey (Sherry Zimmer, agent).

Will listing this one of a kind home, that only a few people in the world can afford, with another brokerage local firm and agent make any difference?  By the looks of it, their results will be no better than what the developer experienced using Sotheby’s.  It could even be worse.

Here’s what any broker is up against to sell this home:

  • How many people in the USA or anywhere else in the world can afford this home?
  • And how many of them are looking to buy a home?
  • And how many of those people want to live in northern New Jersey?
  • You’re competing for buyers in the Hamptons, and with the trophy properties in NYC…where there’s already a proven track record for NYC homes selling at incredibly high prices.  Compared to the sale prices for NYC trophy homes,  The Stone Mansion is considered only a modest home.

This is “finding a needle in a haystack” x 1 million

For this one, it’s all about real marketing.  Great marketing!  And that is something that has never happened. Listing this home on a web site and waiting for some billionaire to magically appear isn’t going to happen.  And a lawn sign on Closter Dock Road is another waste of time.  There’s aren’t too many billionaires, or movie stars traveling that road. So this sale isn’t going to happen locally.

And it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen nationally or internationally, if the brokers web site is any indication of the marketing effort.

First, the web site for this home is boiler plate cheap…just read the description and hit the button above the Property Details for the slide show.  The description is nothing like the quality found in Architectural Digest, and the pictures are horribly so low resolution, that they’re blurry when viewed online.  And the worst thing is, the web site is nothing more than a templated low budget Realtor type site that will accomplish turning someone off rather than creating a memorable impression.

When you’re looking to sell something so expensive and unique, your marketing has to be as equally grand to justify the price and to make people say WOW when they see it.  Unfortunately that’s not what we have here.

If this was a home that I built, I would have listed it with someone of the likes of Dolly Lenz at Douglass Elliman in NYC who has a long resume for selling trophy homes to wealthy clients…and I’d hire the best web designer around, to create something spectacular, and then market the living daylights out of it online.

You have to pick the right horse to run the race

And what’s even more troublesome is that some other brokerage firm…, has a listing of The Stone Mansion on their site…with a horrible slideshow featuring the background song Empire State of Mind (yep, an Alecia Keys rip off version?).  I’d be willing to bet that they didn’t pay the mega fee that would be required to license this song.

Check it out on Youtube 

In fairness to everyone, the luxury market in Bergen County and everywhere else surrounding Manhattan crashed big time.  It sucks everywhere, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  In great times homes of this caliber took 3-5 years to sell…juat ask Donald Trump about his monster home in Florida that took him 4+ years to finally sell.  And just his name attached to the home was priceless for PR.
Disclaimer: Steven Konefsky acted as a consultant on this project several years ago…and remains friendly with the developer of The Stone Mansion.  My problem here isn’t with the developer…it’s with the brokers who have no idea how to market this home…one of the most expensive homes for sale in the country. Their inability is his failure. I also have my real estate license with Prominent Properties who lost this listing…though I’m not actively listing homes…at this time.  But after see this, that could very well change.

More on this listing to come.  So stay tuned.


Crappy photos decrease the value of your home

Crappy listing pictures are worth a fast click to another home

Crappy pictures have no excitement value.  They’re a turn off.

Crappy pictures will not create a memorable, and they won’t make your home stand out from the crowd

And most of all, crappy pictures decrease the value of your home.

And don’t let anyone tell you differently.

The first thing that I recommend if you have crappy listing pictures, isn’t to fix the pictures, it’s to fire your agent…then put up new pictures.  If using crappy pictures to promote your home is the best that a Realtor can do, then just imagine how bad they’ll be when they’re finally in front of a potential buyer…who’s also looking at other homes.

Taking great pictures is no easy task.  It takes talent and it takes desire…and it even takes a few minutes or even hours working photoshop…all aimed at creating a WOW MOMENT every time someone sees your home online or in print.

And don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not important, because they would just be lying to you.  Look at the great brokerage firms in New Yor City…Corcoran, Elliman, Hallstead and Town…all who have gone to extreme efforts to produce some of the most spectacular full screen HD photos of their listings.  They understand the importance of a visual WOW.  It may have taken them way too long to “get it”, but they got it!

It’s been far too long here in Bergen County, for Realtors to accept disposable camera looking pictures.  It’s time for a change.

It’s all about marketing!

Realtors in Tenafly, Alpine, Cresskill, Englewood and everywhere else in Bergen County now have to compete with listings in the city…and with all the rental projects that will soon be competing with sellers in the suburbs.

Continuing down the path of mediocrity will hurt every home owner…and agent.  Because your home and listing will become less valuable.

And it’s all because of an outdated marketing approach and mindset, where good enough is fine.

But good enough isn’t fine.  And it never way…but in the high flying days you could get away with it.  But not anymore.

Now you have to ferociously compete for far fewer sales..

Mediocrity fails us all.

It’s time to step up to the plate, and perform.

It’s no longer good enough to just list your home on a few free web sites with anything less than electrifying pictures, and captivating descriptions.

It’s all about marketing…and it’s all about the quality of the marketing!

Consumers see the difference, and so do the developers who are building all those beautiful new rental complexes.

And now it’s also time for Realtors to see the difference…and to do something about it.

Hey, and if you don’t care what price your home sells for and how long it takes to sell, then keep doing what you’ve been doing, and keep reducing your price.

Bergen County home sales have increased every month in 2012

For those of you who like to understand what’s really going on with the housing market in Bergen County, here’s some data for you to sink your teeth into.

For the 6th straight month in 2012 single family home sales has increased.  Yes increased.

It’s time for every homeowner and seller to finally celebrate.  The housing market is on a roll in Bergen County.  Though the increase is not a all price points in every town the market has turned for the better.  No, we’re not going back to anywhere near the pace of the high flying days, or to those lofty prices…but the market has stabilized (which it has been for several years, if anyone cared to look at the data).

Wi8th the exception of January 2012 for multi-family home sales, every month in all categories has seen an increase in home sales.

Tell me that’s not great!

In fact, in 2012 we have not seen one month where home sales have decreased.

  • The number of home sales in 2012 has increased by 11% over the same time period in 2011
  • The dollar volume for home sales also increased by 7% over 2011
  • The average price for the homes sold decreased by 4%, but that was all due to sluggish sales at the luxury end of the market, where for some bizarre reason 2011 was an incredible year for the luxury market…but now it’s cooled

Though home sales are way below the volume set during the peak years of 2011-2005, Bergen County has experienced a steady market for sales…given this new economy.

The market for multi-family home sales is equally impressive for 2012:

  • The number of units sold increased 14%
  • And the sales volume increased by 7%
  • The average sales price fell by 6%. but is due to a lack of inventory at the upper sales range, and we had in the past.  Over time these units will invr5ease in vale because they’re newer and priced at a point that is more desirable to today’s buyers…either first time buyers or move down buyers

This is the new market. This is our new reality

No matter what happens, the number of home sales will not increase…even if Realtors continue to push sellers to cut their prices. More buyers are not coming into the market.  And with the rise of new multi family construction, the rental market will take a huge bite out of future home sales.

We have experienced 5 years of incredibly discounted prices, and historically low interest rates, and the data proves that lower prices have not increased the volume of home sales in Bergen County. And if you have been a reader of my blog, the data also points to the same facts for Tenafly, Cresskill, Closter or other towns.

Lower price do not create sales.

Check out my other posts to see what’s happening with home sales for Tenafly, Alpine, Cresskill and other towns.

Stay tuned…more to come.

Run from everyone who tells you that selling your home in Tenafly is all about price. They’re wrong!

This is for all of the Realtors who are making a push to lower home prices in Tenafly.

You’re out of your mind!  You have it all wrong!

I don’t get it…Tenafly is still the hottest town in the region, yet Realtors are still pushing lower prices.  They should be pushing higher prices!

It’s time for homeowners in Tenafly to start recouping some of their losses.

Unnecessarily pushing lower prices causes instability in the marketplace

Tenafly is a sellers market…and here’s the data to back it up!

  • To date there have been 110 home sales in Tenafly.  The next closest is 72 home sales in Englewood, and 55 home sales in Closter.  That’s a 35% to 50% sales lead over it’s two nearest town
  • Tenafly has double + the dollar sales volume over its nearest rival…Englewood Cliffs (which is also on fire in 2012)
  • Since 2001 Tenafly has more home sales than 8 of its neighboring towns (except for 2006…Englewood)

Run from anyone who tells you that it’s all about price, because it’s not!

If you go by the average sales price date, Tenafly is #4 on the list (only because there has been a drop in the sales volume over $2 million in 2012)…and yet the sales volume has remained consistently high even after the market crashed in 2006…compared to all the other towns:

  • the sales volume far exceeds all the other towns by a whopping percentage
  • and property taxes are the highest in Tenafly

And none of this has changed the desirability for living in Tenafly…yet.

Prices did not come down in Tenafly!!

Every smart business person knows, that when your market or product is hot,  you don’t lower your price…you raise it!  Except if you’re a Realtor… who regardless of data to the contrary, still believe that lower prices create more sales…and that’s totally false.

  • We’ve had the lowest prices in a decade….and sales have been stable
  • We’ve also had the lowest interest rates in our lifetime, since the market crashed…and sales have NOT increased

The data shows that the only thing you get from lower prices…are lower prices.  Not more sales!

The value of your home is dependent on the facts…not the industry pov.

If someone is pushing you to lower your prices…find another Realtor!

Selling your home is all about marketing!

Let me know what you think

It’s time for real estate marketing to add some WOW. Quit being boring!

From time to time, in order to add a little excitement to the site, I’m going to post some things that catch my eye.  

The reason for this is really simple…marketing!

Not marketing to boost my viewership, but to show, sellers, agents and real estate developers, just how horrible they are at marketing their products. I’ve never seen an industry that is soooo pathetic at marketing homes, office buildings and everything else real estate.

Check out the houses for sale in Tenafly on the njmls, and tell me if there’s any WOW to it.

I’m looking for some WOW stuff!

After being in the biz for my entire life, real estate marketing has become a real turnoff (it’s always been a turn off for me).  And everyone suffers because of it.  Things take longer to sell or lease than they should, and mostly everything sells for less than it should.

All because of horrible marketing!

So I’m going to start posting things that scream out WOW when I see it.

And then I’m going to talk about how we can use it to sell more houses in Tenafly…and sell them faster and for higher prices.

I know all the Realtors will say it won’t work.  But that’s coming from people who have been doing it the same way for decades, and they’re not creating any more sales, or faster sales, or adding value via their marketing.  Run from anyone who tells you that marketing homes doesn’t work.

Some of it will be feminine and sexy, and some will be macho and powerful…and sexy as well.

Sorry but I’m tired of looking at boring, ugly sleep inducing real estate marketing.

It’s the most uneventful crap out there!

Let me know what you think!


First up is some kick ass jewelry that I came across on a really cool site that I follow called… le zoe musings

The post is called…More arm swag please!

I find the photography interesting and sexy…and their use of filters gives the photos a great look.

Great stuff even for a guy to check out.

Guess you could say that I’m in touch with my feminine side

If they can make jewelry look sexy and WOW, then why can brokers make it happen with real estate?

Agents need to open their eyes, trash their disposable cameras, and use an iphone, Instagram, and iphoto enhancements and start creating some interesting shots.

Be different or be invisible!

And if you haven’t noticed on this site, I’m into BIG photos.  It’s all about grabbing a viewers attention, and big makes a powerful statement

Great News…Tenafly home sales increase 36% in July

The housing market in Tenafly regained its sparkle in July with a 36% jump in sales over July 2011

Monthly breakdown: Tenafly home sales

And what’s even better is that this happened one month after a heartbreaking 24% decline in home sales in Jen 2012

An 8% decrease in the dollar volume of  homes sold wasn’t unexpected, because for those of us who have been following the trends in Tenafly, the luxury home niche has tailed off in 2012.

Along with the decrease in dollar volume sales, the average sales price decreased by $99,514…a 10% to $888,079

Up next is a breakdown of Tenafly home sales at various price points.  You’ll be surprised at the stats.

Before you consider buying your dream home, or selling the home you put so muck. love and money into, tt’s important to understand all of the sales stats for the local markets. And the only place to get this valuable information is on EatingRealEstate.  It’s everything you need to know, minus the sales spin.  We let the real facts speak for themselves.

Crappy pictures lower the vaue of your house and make it harder to sell

I have a real simple question…if you’re trying to sell your house in Tenafly or Alpine, or anywhere else in Bergen County for that matter does it matter how good the quality of the pictures are?  Is a dull, crappy, low resolution picture just as good as a high resolution with vivid colors?

And can pictures shown with Instagram type filters be even more effective than any other types of pictures?

Does a plain boring photo of a room, have the same effect on viewers as one that has been digitally enhanced to make it stand out?

Something is horribly wrong “” in the burbs of Bergen County…Realtors suck at marketing homes.

Pictures are a big part of marketing, but to suburban Realtors and the njmls, the concept seems to go unnoticed. But it doesn’t go unnoticed by consumers who are looking for a WOW MOMENT when they’re looking to purchase a home.

Creating a memorable impression via stunning pictures has never been easier, but you would never know that by looking at pictures of homes for sale in Bergen County

Most pictures look like they were taken using a disposable camera that anyone can get from your local cvs.  And is there a law in Realtorland where the exterior of each home house has to be shot from the same angle.  And where a shot of each room has to be taken from the back of the room looking out…and taken from the same height, which is just a bit taller than a munchkin?  The “photographers” who take pictures for all of the Realtors must have gone to the same 10 minute photography course…because all the pictures look the same!

They like to say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But I ask…if the picture sucks, then is the picture worth a thousand bad words (or worse…none)? And does a great shot add more value to the home than horrible shots?

When you look at pictures of homes on some of the New York City brokerage sites like Corcoran, Douglass Elliman, and Town, these sites blow away every site in our suburbia.  Why do you think that is?  They get it and suburban Realtors don’t.  And they understand the meaning of competition, and what it takes to sell consumers.  Though these big companies only recently started showing full screen, high resolution pictures…they’re doing it.

As a builder and real estate developer, I argued about this point with every agent and brokerage firm I ever hired to sell my homes or lease my buildings.  But they always fall back on the idea that what they do is good enough, and that they’re doing what everyone else is doing. That’s a horrible business model

Check out these pictures:

#1 and 2 show a boring picture directly from the njmls, and one that I enhanced…and it took me less than 30 seconds to enhance the photo using Apple’s iphoto software

#3 and 4…I did the same.  And btw, the snow that is visible out the window is still showing even though we’re entering August. How funny is that

#5 and 6…5 came from the njmls and 6 I added color depth and faded the edges.  It’s a cool look that grabs your attention

#7, 8 and 9…again the original boring one from the njmls, then the righ color enhancements and #9 I threw in the Instagram effect  and came up with something that millions of Instagram users just love!

Remember…marketing is the art of grabbing a buyers attention, creating a WOW factor and getting some really excited about wanting to know more about your home.

It’s the start of a love connection…and a sale.

Make it look sexy!

Click the first picture and it turns into a slide show…and you can jog back and forth to compare the differences.

I push photography to the limits when I present homes online, because ” I get it”.  I know that it makes a world of difference when viewers see a spectacular photo, rather than something ordinary.

Who else will do this for you?  No one!

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why my homes always sold faster and for more money than the agents ever expected.

Next post…size matters!

Be different, or be invisible!

What’s really happening with home sales in Tenafly

2nd in a multi-part series on the State of the Bergen County housing market

Home prices coming down to earth in Bergen County, could signal a turnaround

As the article points out…

“If interest rates were any higher, there’s no way we would have been able to buy our house,” said Joshua Baris, a Coldwell Banker real-estate agent who bought a three-bedroom Dutch colonial in Tenafly last year. He and his wife, Hilary, locked in a rate just below 4 percent and a price — $660,000 — that was down dramatically from the earlier asking price above $800,000.

Contrary to what Realtors and the media believe, consumers have rejected the notion that low interest rates and decreased home prices, are what motivates them to purchase home.  The sales figures prove that point.

The reality is, if interest rates were higher, this buyer still could have bought a home…though probably a less expensive home.  But it wouldn’t have stopped them from buying a home…because their desire would have still been there to purchase. As we can see by the various charts in this series, we had a horrible market (or did it just return to normal) from 2006-200 (and some would consider that it’s lasted to the present)…yet thousands of homes and condos still sold in Bergen County.

There was a point a few years ago where you had to be pretty rich to afford a house in this area. Now, you don’t have to be so rich,” said David Blitzer, a housing economist at Standard & Poor’s.  

The door has always been open to middle class buyers…but now the door has closed quite a bit, because less of the middle class can meet the new lending criteria that is now in place…especially of you presently own a home, because chances are, their homes are worth considerably less than what they paid for it…or owe on the home.

The fact is, more homes sold when rates were considerably higher than they are today, and when prices were considerably higher as well.

Here’s some additional facts:
The following tables show (data from njmls) that year to date, Tenafly home sales are down by 9%…but that only equates to a 6 some decrease in overall sales…and that the average sales price is down by 3%.  In the article the reporter uses the median sales price as her control point.  But neither number by itself is an indication that prices are increasing or decreasing.

  • June sales were down 24% from June 2011…and that only equates to a decrease of 6 home sales
  • 50% of the first six months in 2012 showed a negative decrease in home sales in Tenafly. Only 2 months shined an increase in sales and one month was a break even

So what does this really mean?  Well it all depends what information you’re looking at.  Here’s an example:

This is where the data gets interesting…and where the  price decreases that are alluded to in the article become misleading: The following charts breakdown the various price points. And these breakdowns allow you to see exactly how each price point is performing in Tenafly, and how they pertain to one another, or work against each other when trying to ascertain what is really happening with home prices.

You’ll quickly notice that not every price point performs the same way. And that is why each price point has to be looked at by itself.

Every town is made of of numerous micro markets: some are doing incredibly well, while others are downright horrible…all in the same town at the same point in time. And not every town is performing to the same level (that discussion is for another post)

Table 2:

  • The top box in green shows the all sales for every price range combined in Tenafly
  • The next two boxes show the sales data broken down into 2 price points…below $1M and for more than $1M

Table 3:  shows  a further breakdown of the sales stats from chart 2

  • The table shows an increase in sales of 33% for homes priced under $500,000. Though it’s only a 4 home increase, it’s a still a 33% increase
  • the 2nd table shows an 11% decease of home sales from $500k-999k…but that’s still only a 4 home decrease in sales…but 31 homes have sold in this price range in 2012. That’s a big number!

Chart 4:

Where it starts getting funky for Tenafly is for sales priced above $1 million (the luxury home market)…where the percentages have “tanked” compared to 2011…which was not a surprise. 2011 was just a lucky year for this price range. And even though the differences are small in volume, it does show a down good trend.

The market gets a bit unsettling is for houses that are for sale priced above $2 million in Tenafly, because that’s where sales have been the weakest since this time in 2011.  And as you can see by the data, home sales sales from $1 million plus have decrease by roughly 40% in Tenafly.


From the date provided in the article, no one can state for certain that house prices have decreased in Tenafly.  Nothing in the article was conclusive.  In fact…the numbers shown on my charts point almost to the opposite…that prices for homes priced below $1 million have remained the same, when you take out the loss of many sales at the upper price ranges.

You have to look at the individual sales to determine price increases or decreases. because the average and median price points are false indicators of value

And when you compare these numbers to sales in the towns surrounding Tenafly, it still shows that Tenafly is the hottest market in the region…by a wide margin…even though sales at various price points have decreased…as they have for all the other towns in the area.

I keep saying it…Tenafly is a sellers market no matter what price range…just follow my previous posts on Tenafly for the backup data.

From my POV (which differs from the local realtors) most homes that are for sale in Tenafly, priced below $1 million are under priced, and should be raised to compensate for this.

Raising prices accomplishes several things:

  • Creates stability
  • Increases the value of everyone’s homes
  • Forces realtors to push for higher prices
  • Growth attracts and entices buyers
  • Creates competition, and competition creates value

Tenafly has long bottomed out, and now is the time to climb our way out from the bottom.  The “price it right” sales mantra is irrelevant in a town where demand is higher than in other towns…there’s no need to push prices lower.

Know the real facts before you look to sell or buy a home.

Next…a detailed breakdown of home sales in Tenafly from 2001-2012

Local media predicts low interest rates and home prices will create turnaround for Bergen County. Are they right?

This is the first of a multi-part series looking at the housing market in Bergen County based on an article I recently came across on titled…Home prices coming down to earth in Bergen County, could signal turnaround. 

This article represents the typical broad based view, that historically low interest rates and decreased home prices, should automatically create affordability, and thus should translate into a housing turnaround.  This is the same assumption that the pundits have been touting since the housing bubble crashed in 2008 (really in 2006 in our area)…and yet have been left scratching their heads, wondering why their view of the market hasn’t come close to fruition.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t purchase a home with these numbers?

If only a recovery, or a turnaround was as easy as a simple math equation

Bergen County home sales 2001 – 6/30/12

As you can see by the table (data from njmls) few people have bought into this line of thinking, because as the data shows, home sales haven’t improved in Bergen County with 3+ years of record low rates and huge price declines.

Home sales have remained remarkably stable since the crash.

Stability is a great thing!

First some stats for single family home sale in Bergen County:

  • the number of homes sold yearly in Bergen County, have declined by 20% since 2008 (national market crash)
  • the number of home sold from the high point of 2004 (7631 single family homes sold) decreased in Bergen County by 41%
  • The dollar volume of homes sold in Bergen County compared to 2004 decreased by the same 41%

Multi-family sales stats:

  • Again, contrary to the national crash, the multi-family market  in our area crashed in 2006…sales declined by 21%% from 2006 to 2007.  And then sales declined even further  by another 33% from 2007 to 2008.  But the market has been stable since then
  • As with the single family market in Bergen County, multi-family sales bottomed in 2008 and have remained at the same level of sales since then

Why didn’t the people who have all the up to date sales stats, see that the market crashed, and sound the alarm back in 2006?  Why did it take another 2 years for consumers to find it out the hard way. How many of us would have sold our homes or not have bought one if we had know the big crash was coming

Stability is a great thing!

Even at a low sales volume, we should be celebrating stable sales activity, and not dwell on the fact that home sales haven’t gone back to the hyper boom day volumes…that simply isn’t going to happen again.

What the industry machine and the media are all caught up on, is that history will repeat itself, and when and if things do improve, then the market will jump back to where it once was.  It’s a myopic view of reality

What everyone should start getting used to,  is that this is the “new norm” for home sales looking into the future?

Buying homes is not all about a mathematical equation of price and low rates…in fact I contend that price has very little to do with the volume of home sales…and the data proves that point.

Let’s look at a few topics:

First: the demographics of today’s home buyer is dramatically different than past buyers

  • a majority of buyers are first time buyers and investors (what happens when all of these investors can’t sell their units?).  Buyers typically take a rather large mortgage, and investors pay cash
  • people are getting married later in life…so the need to buy a home isn’t as immediate as it was in the past
  • married couples are waiting longer to have kids…so the move to the suburbs will take longer…if people do in fact move to the burbs
  • it takes longer to save for a down payment…creates less sales
  • it takes longer to sell a home in the burbs, because there are less buyers in the market for suburban homes
  • people are waiting to buy a home in the suburbs until their kids are ready to enter the school system…because of insanely high property taxes

All of this leads to a longer sales cycle, and fewer sales.

Second: the suburbs offer little in value or lifestyle needs for today’s young buyers…especially without kids. The 1950’s vision of suburban family life, doesn’t work with today’s pool of buyer…both young and old.

So who are the suburbs for?  Everyone!

  • Urban areas like Hoboken, Edgewater, Fort Lee, Jersey City and Weehawken will become boom towns for new rentals…and that will draw today’s younger buyers, because these projects offer a more attractive and exciting lifestyle…and a less costly and less risky place to spend their money for the next “x#” of years. These areas are rapidly replacing our existing suburbs
  • See article outlining the pending rental boom in northern New JerseyRobust New Jersey Development Buoying Optimism
  • And even with increasing rentals rates, developers can easily lower their prices to compete against the “it’s cheaper to own” formula that this article and most others point out.

Rents can come down at a moments drop to compete with lower home prices, whereas home prices can’t. But again. we’re seeing that it’s not all about price.

All of these items will lead to less home sales in Bergen County during the next decade.  And let’s not forget that New York City has proven to be a better investment for buyers, and is still the go to place to live in our region

The argument for affordability based solely on an equation (price and interest rates…and compared to increasing rental rates) is an argument that the real estate industry machine has been hammering consumers with since the market crashed.  Their sales pitch has fallen flat.

There needs to be a new message and a new zoning that will allow the suburbs to compete for buyers…and tax dollars.

It is foolish to believe that things will go back to where it once was. To do that you would have to totally ignore a dramatic shift in the demographics of who today’s buyers are, and believe that their views haven’t changed AT ALL regarding life, and possession, and risk on investments

With the exception of 3+ years of unprecedented sales activity, the Bergen County housing market is fine (with the exception of a decrease in the value of our homes).  Sales are steady, as are prices.

As all indicators point to, an increase in home sales is highly unlikely anytime soon.

To be continued…

How new rental projects along the waterfront will affect area home sales

Just came across this article on titled….Feeding the rental appetite…by Antoinette Martin, where the author details numerous upcoming  rental projects that are slated to be built in Hudson County, as well as some interesting facts that back up her perception for the areas future as it pertains to housing.  Though the article was published in February 2012, the facts remain relevant:

HUDSON COUNTY indisputably rules the rental housing market in New Jersey: It has the largest supply of Class A units — around 13,000, according to industry experts — and commands the highest average rental rates of any part of the state. This year and next, that rental kingdom is projected to grow rapidly      

As these projects get off the ground and start renting out, I believe that it will have a negative effect on the for sale market in the outling markets in Bergen County and elsewhere in New Jersey. Home sales in the suburbs will suffer as young buyers flock to these projects, rather than buying homes in the suburbs. And it will happen sooner rather than later:

  • people will put off making a purchase or rental decision while these projects are being built
  • there’s no real rush to buy a home because interest rates and prices aren’t inflating anytime soon

Developers are already at work on, or have recently announced, projects that will add several thousand more units in waterfront communities like Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken, and hundreds of other units elsewhere. Hudson County is one part of the state where builders “can still get the economics to work” in their favor, said David Barry, the president of the Ironstate Development Company in Hoboken. “You have to add in the fact that multifamily rentals seem to be the only thing for which builders can get a construction loan from lenders these days,” Mr. Barry added, noting that this factor was keeping the rental development market “very warm, if not hot.”  

Even if the economy picks up these rental projects will thrive for decades compared to home sales and new home construction.

If you’re trying to sell your home in towns like Tenafly, Cresskill, Closter and Demarest, then you need to find a way to compete for the first time buyers who make up a majority of home buyers in our area.  You need to find a way to entice them with their future ties in the community, because the rental market is an easy “buy”for them.

And these new mega projects that contain every modern amenity imaginable that everyone now looks for, so they too will affect the older once more established rental markets like Fort Lee and Hackensack, because they can’t compete with new more vibrant projects and locations.

As I point out time and again on this site.  It’s all about competing for sales.

It’s all about marketing.