Tag Archives: Alpine

Bergen County Luxury Home Sales Continue Death Spiral

If you currently own one of those $2+ million Bergen County luxury homes you’re not going to be happy with this news.

Plain and simple…the luxury market in the Bergen County suburbs sucks.  And it’s been sucking wind even prior to the market crash.  That’s a long time to not even see a whisper of a turnaround.

Towns like Alpine, Saddle River, Franklin Lakes, Englewood and Tenafly are going to take another huge hit on this.

For a multitude of reasons, like the hotter than hot New York City market (future post), this price range was hit hard and 6 years later it still hasn’t recovered.

Proof In The Numbers:

Luxury Home Sales: $2.0m-$2.999m

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Luxury Home Sales: $3.0m+

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Don’t get too excited that the number of homes sold for over $3 million remain even with 2013 home sales, because the next few slides highlight the problems:

Luxury Homes For Sale

Homes for sale priced:

  • $2.0m-$2.999: a staggering 113 homes are for sale and as of Sept 20th. Only 31 homes in this price range have sold thus far in 2014.  The supply far exceeds the demand.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.17.46 PM

 

The worst news is for homes priced above $3.0 million

  • 106 homes are currently for sale priced above $3,0 million.
  • ONLY 16 homes have sold in this price range as of Sept 20th

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.21.25 PM

 

Who’s going to buy all of these home so the market can stabilize?  Unfortunately the buyers aren’t there.  They’re parking their money in Manhattan real estate

Some good signs from this:

  • NYC real estate is still a great investment if you can afford it
  • Towns like Hoboken and Jersey City will flourish with a great rental market
  • And lower priced homes will be at a premium
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LG protesters: A bogus argument and a dreadful aftermath?

The title was included with the photo on flicker as reported by Business Insider
The title was included with the photo on flicker as reported by Business Insider

Someone who is protesting the height of the LG building in Englewood Cliffs that sits beyond the limits of the Palisades was accusing me on twitter of posting an unrealistic photo angle of a view of Saint Peter’s University from across the Hudson River in Manhattan…a set of buildings that sits within boundaries of the Palisades.

My concern is why the local local media outlets haven’t fact-checked the protesters claims and they haven’t reported on the ramifications to the environment if LG spreads out their building or worse…what happens if LG leaves

The protesters are against anyone anywhere along the backdrop of the Palisades from being able to build anything that peeks above the tree-line for as long as the eye can see, north of Fort Lee.  They are stating that their view would be spoiled if they can see any part of a structure from across the Hudson River. Those protesters want an unchanged view.

My question is how would any view be any less majestic of the Palisades if a building were in sight…beyond the Palisades.

This photo which was not taken by me or altered in any way by me (photo by Steve Guttman NYC/Flicker) clearly shows that several building at Saint Peter’s University in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey are clearly visible to people in New York.  These buildings have been here and visible since 1975.

Saint Peter’s University is a magnificent view from across the Hudson River

The main building which is the tallest structure is magnificent and does nothing to detract from the beauty of the Palisades…nor do any of the other buildings at this location.

Additionally there are many more structures of various types and sizes that are equally visible from across the Hudson as you go further north into New York approaching the Tappan Zee Bridge and beyond.

40 million people visit Central Park every year...and wouldn't give up this view for anything.  One partially seen building in NJ won't affect anyone's view of New jersey
40 million people visit Central Park every year…and wouldn’t give up this view for anything. One partially seen building in NJ won’t affect anyone’s view of New jersey

The land and zoning that the protesters want to control is owned by hundreds of thousands of residents, investors and companies and is located in a handful of towns. Their mission is to control what you can do with your land.

I do not profess to understand the real motives of the protesters but when they resort to twisting the facts and maliciously altering their photos to show incredibly unrealistic scenarios, their sincerity has to be questioned.

Fact:

  • LG will not be the only building that can be seen on the Palisades from across the Hudson.  Tens of thousands of buildings sit on, in the middle of and below the Palisades from Jersey City to the Tappan Zee Bridge
  • The LG property sit outside of the Palisades boundary
  • There are only 1 or 2 other properties (both in Englewood Cliffs) that are potentially feasible for high rise development from Englewood Cliffs to the Tappan Zee
  • Most of the other land is either deeded as parks or nature reserves, and all other land is considered worthless for such development
  • Putting an outdated 35′ height limit on future development would lower the value of all commercial real estate and would make the remaining large parcels candidates for other less desirable uses, AND Englewood Cliffs would be out of the running for future development and  investment.  The residents would feel the brunt of higher taxes
  • A New Yorkers view of the Palisades is not paramount to those in New Jersey

I’ll leave with this thought:
If LG decided to pull out of this deal and go somewhere else, will Englewood Cliffs be happier potentially with a big box retail project that could include a Wallmart and Sams Club and other retailers AND including a massive residential component because this is the only viable and vacant site that Englewood Cliffs has to meet their Mount Laural affordable housing obligations…all 1,500 units would have to be part of a high rise community on this one site.

Is this the future of the LG site in Englewood Cliffs
Is this the future of the LG site in Englewood Cliffs

Are the local residents so naive to unknowingly be brought into a blunder of a situation that will place mega tax, traffic and lifestyle ramifications on their community, by those who could care less what happens in its wake if LG leaves this location?

Whatever happens in the end will not change anyone’s lifestyle in New York.  However, what will happen to Englewood Cliffs is an entirely different story.

You won’t like what you get.

Alpine luxury home market continues to tank

When will the luxury housing market begin to recover in Bergen County?

Alpine used to be at the top of the Forbes list as one of the most expensive zip codes in the nation.  I doubt it will be there again if the look at the updated market stats and home sales.

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Ever since the housing market began its recovery in our area about 3 years ago, our once precious and busy luxury market is still in the biggest hole of its lifetime.

The ironic thing is, there are a number of ultra luxury homes that were built by land owners or are presently under construction that cost considerably more than $3 million…but the realtors can’t save their lives to sell a luxury home without a steep discount.

People who are building luxury homes see the value,  yet the realtors don’t.  I kinda like what the consumers are saying because they’re making some huge investments.

The luxury market has taken a huge hit, and the effects are  showing in the prices…it’s devastating and  there’s no end to the bloodbath.

A number of wealthy homeowners have taken their homes off of the market and have opted to wait it out.  I think they’re in for a long wait

Luxury homes

Alpine:

  • There are 32 homes for sale in Alpine priced above $3,000,000
  • In 2013 only 6 homes sold for more than $3 million
  • The highest priced home sold was $13,375,000…which was a 25% discount (originally listed for $18,500,000
  • The second highest priced home that sold was $7,500,000 and was originally listed at $14,900,000 in early 2011…50% discount
  • Of the 6 homes sold…5 were local residents and only 1 was from out of the area (Manhattan)

Going back to the high flying days a 2 acre lot was worth $4 million…for the land only.  Now you can buy a home in Alpine for $4 million and it has a house on it.

Discounts on most of the homes sold in Alpine was 25%.  Most of the homes are dated and need major makeovers which will probably cost another $500k

luxury homes for sale Alpine NJ,alpine, steven konefsky, eating real estyate, prominent properties sothebys international, luxury homes
luxury homes for sale Alpine NJ,alpine, steven konefsky, eating real estyate, prominent properties sothebys international, luxury homes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alpine has several home for sale that have been on the market for 5 years.  

  • One is listed for almost double what the owners paid for the home in 2005
  • Another home was built as a speech home…guess that was a bad investment
  • And one has been ion and off of the market for 4 years and the price keeps increasing…from $9m-$14 million

Bergen County Stats:

  • One-third of the homes for sale in Bergen County are listed for sale in Alpine (32 homes for sale)
  • In 2013 only 28 homes priced above $3 million were sold in all of Bergen County
  • There are 96 homes for sale in BC priced above $3 million

For those of you who have the ability to spend $3 million to purchase a home and then some additional bucks on a renovation, this may be your time.  As a long term investment…maybe, maybe not.  As a place to live and enjoy…yes.

Tell us where you think this end of the market is heading

 

Disclaimer:  Steven Konefsky is a home builder…inc renovations, real estate developer, design consultant, real estate marketing guru, and he sells real estate through Promiment Properties Sotheby’s International in Tenafly NJ.  If you have any real estate related questions you can make comments on this blog or Steven can be reached at 201.522.5256 and at Skonefsky@me.com.  FaceTime and Skype video conversations are welcomed 🙂

Turn a boring powder room into an exciting space

If you were looking to buy a home in Tenafly, and came across this powder room, tell me you wouldn’t be excited to see the rest of the home, and that it wouldn’t jump to the top of your hot list.

This is how to turn boring into excitement!

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Did you ever imagine taking your typically small, boring suburban powder room into an exciting and energy filled space?  If you ever dreamed it, but didn’t quite know where to start…here’s a great example of what you can do, to infuse this small space with some excitement.

Forget about doing what everyone else does in Tenafly, Cresskill, or in Alpine. This is how to start thinking outside the box, and how to bring a splash of Manhattan to you home.

Don’t chintz on anything that has to do with tile…or you’ll regret it later

Though this space is 10′ high with a drop sheetrocked ceiling, with hidden up-lighting, you can get the same effect in a room with an 8′-9′ high ceiling.  This is a design that can easily be scaled down to fit your space perfectly.

Check out the flooring, wall tiles, lighting vanity and the almost full height mirror and see how they “put it all together”.  And check out the walls and tell me how you think they created this affect.  What materials did they use?  And think how you can do the same in your powder room.

Remember, when working with small spaces, it’s all about the total package, and not the individual pieces.

Tell us what you think

Steven Konefsky creates excitement from ordinary space.  Steven’s out of the box design vision lets the energy flow in every room of your home.  He transforms space into a lifestyle that you’ve always wanted, but never knew how to accomplish it. Your home will stand out from the crowd.
When selling an older or tired home, Steven’s vision along with his amazing sales and presentation talents, can take what others can’t imagine (but fear), and presents your home’s potential like no one else can.  His skills create faster sales, and higher prices.  When your best marketing effort is a lawn sin, and a free web listing…you have a problem.  Let Steven put more money where it belongs…in your pocket! 
From design passion to building…let Steven show you how it’s done.

SKonefsky@me.com 

201.522.5256

Bergen County Luxury Home Market On Life Support

So many luxury homes for sale & not many sold = PROBLEMS

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Luxury Home For Sale Cresskill, New Jersey

The luxury market may be flying high in Manhattan and elsewhere in New York City where luxury apartments are selling for insane prices, but out here in the suburbs of Bergen County, which used to be the hotbed for  the luxury market in New Jersey, on its death bed…as it has been since the market crashed

 

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Here’s some facts:

  • Only 23 homes priced above $3 million have sold to date in 2013
  • The 5 most expensive homes sold: $13,375,000…$10, 500,000…$6,375,000…$5,500,000…$5,125,000…
  • Only 5 homes were sold in 2013 priced above $5 million
  • There are 95 single family homes listed for sale priced above $3 million
  • The most expensive home for sale in Bergen County is the “Gloria Crest Estate” in Englewood that is listed for $29,900,000. Guess they wanted to keep it under $30 million.  The home was originally listed for $39 million…and it was purchased in 20000 for $4,672,500.  Unfortunately the agents pictures don’t do this home justice…2 yr old picts taken in an off season doesn’t help the sales effort
  • There are 30 homes for sale priced above $5 million
  • The 5 most expensive homes for sale are $29,900,000…14,500,000…$14,000,000

Though there is a sizable percentage increase (90%) in sales for this price range, the number of homes sold (a 9 home increase…most in the $3M range) is insignificant compared to the number of homes that are for sale…95 homes

Towns with the most luxury homes for sale priced above $3 million:

  • Alpine…25 homes for sale
  • Saddle River…19
  • Cresskill…11
  • Franklin Lakes…8
  • Tenafly…8
  • Demarest…11

As with everything on this site, we let the numbers speak for themselves.  The luxury market is deader than dead, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Tell us what you think the future is for these ultra luxury homes

Time to raise home prices in Tenafly…and elsewhere in Bergen County

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Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 1.21.06 PMFinally with a booming housing market, why aren’t realtors and homeowners adjusting their prices upward to take advantage of the huge dollar increases that we’re witnessing.  There should be no doubt that  we are in a full scale sellers market

Time and again, I come across listings of homers for sale in Tenafly and other towns, that are under-priced given our current market conditions.  And because of these miscalculations, homeowners miss out selling their homes for the highest price possible, as the market continues a full court press upward. With a vast majority of the price points skyrocketing, why wouldn’t homeowners…and agents take advantage of something that we have waited for, for many years.  Sellers and realtors should be dancing in the street!

The days of undervaluing homes to create sales is over.  A sellers market has finally arrived.

Here’s the facts to back it up:

  • More homes have been sold in Bergen County in 2013…at higher prices and with higher interest rates, than at any other time since the market crashed
  • Lower prices didn”t create more sales.  Higher prices created more home sales
  • Higher prices and an improving market and economy, enable people to buy with confidence…confidence creates demand and confidence creates higher prices

I know this is contrary to what realtors think…but selling homes isn’t all about price.  It’s time for realtors to stop using old sales data to calculate prices in a great market.  It’s no lomnger right to say…”this is what homes sold for in the past”.  It’s time to say…this is what your home should sell for now…because our market is the best it’s been in the past 5 years

Here’s why I’m excited for the Tenafly real estate market, and surrounding towns !!!

  • Home sales increased in Tenafly by an additional 9% y/y
  • More homes have been sold in Tenafly than in Alpine, Closter, Cresslill, Demarest, Englewood and Englewood Cliffs, Haworth and Norwood…and by a wide margin in most of the towns
  • The dollar sales volume for all Tenafly sales blows away the other towns by a huge margin…the closest town is Englewood, and their dollar sales volume is almost 50% less than Tenafly
  • Home sales in Tenafly represent 23% of all sales for the above mentioned towns
  • Of these towns Tenafly ranks #3 for the highest average sales price…but when you consider that the sales volume is much higher in Tenafly, this isn’t a negative
  • Sales increased 78% in Tenafly for homes priced between $1m-$1.5m
  • Home sales priced under $500k decreased by 59%…1/ because there’s only a few homes for sale in this price range, 2/ prices have increased in Tenafly at the lower end and what was $500k is now worth 20% more.  That’s great news!

I’ve been saying it for two years , and I’ll say it again:  It’s time for sellers and realtors to take advantage of the recovering market, and start raising  prices.  Sellers are still leaving way too much money on the table.  Buyers are out there, and the demand is high

Charts:

Tenafly

The Town Sales Comparison chart (green/white) shows insanely high increases in the dollar volume for home sales…which means increasing prices.  Percentage increases of 52%, 33%, 37%, 86%, 21%, 49%, and 29% were though to be impossible to attain are being reached.  The only town to lose on this is Demarest, where the dollar volume declined 25%.

Bergen County:

Bergen County sales are on a roll…skyrocketing sales and dollar volumes:

  • Single family home sales are up 19%…an increase of 712 home sales
  • Dollar volume for homes sold increased by 25%…a $524 million increase
  • Multi-family home sales increased by 24%…a 395 unit increase
  • And the multi-family dollar increased 29%…a $170 million increase

As per the blue table, the Bergen County housing market (both single and multi family home sales) may have its best year since our market crashed in 2007.  In some towns prices are back to where they were pre-crash (for homes prices below $1.5 million).

The proof is in the numbers…sellers in every town should be increasing their prices…EXCEPT…if your home is prices above $3.0 million.  This price point is a disaster all throughout Bergen County…but that’s a discussion for a future post.

Though we’re still far behind the sales pace of 2001-2006, we now have a healthy market.  This sales volume is the new norm, and that’s fine, so long as prices remain at a high level.

You no longer have to buy into the “price it right” mentality…it’s time to price it high!  It’s time to go for it!

But there’s a warning with this:

With a sever increase in new multi-family rental projects that are coming into the marketplace beginning now, AND with less new for sale homes being built, because builders are being cautious, north Jersey home sales will be greatly effected…downward.  Rental projects like those currently being built in Fort Lee (1,500+ rentals), will put a huge dent in future home sales.  This makes your time frame for selling at higher prices limited to the next 2 years.

In a recent post on Northjersey.com…NJ homebuilding up 39 percent over 2012 pace by Kathleen Lynn…Ms Lynnn points out:

Through August, builders took out 15,842 building permits, compared with 11,364 in the same period last year. Multifamily construction accounted for about 59 percent of the activity

Let’s not get confused with reality.  Multi-family construction is not the same as “homebuilding” ,when you’re talking sales and home construction figures.

  • Multi-family rentals are competition for single family home sales, because they take away from single family home sales
  • The industry considers “home building” to be single family fore sale homes
  • To combine the two types of “housing” creates misleading and inaccurate stats

“People are becoming renters by choice,” said BNE Executive Vice President Jonathan Schwartz. “People want to be closer to the city, nearer commuter areas.” And many households are wary of buying a single-family home after seeing property values plummet during the housing bust, he said

BNE should know this because their project in Fort Lee was originally slated to be a for sale building.  The only changed it over to rentals beacuse the for sale condo market still hasn’t recovered

As always. let us know what you think

Bergen County: 3 Most Expensive Home Sales May 2013

In a tale of two economies (homes priced below $1.5 million, and above $1.5 million) the luxury market in Bergen County has taken a beating since the market crashed 5 years ago, and there’s still no signs of anything that remotely resembles a recovery.

Here are the  3 most expensive home sales in Bergen County for May 2013:

  • $3,000,000…Ridgewood…s sold at a 6% discount from the asking price
  • $3,300,000….Alpine…sold at a 21% discount
  • $3,300,000…Saddle River…sold at a 6% discount

Have to bitch about something here…
I hate the crappy photos that realtors use. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it better be great photo or the thousand words will be less than positive.

Crappy photo decreases the value of a home:
Crappy meaning low resolution like you see on the njmls
Crappy like photos that aren’t staged or enhanced…and therefore make the room and home look crappy

Realtors need to stop being cheap.  If an agent doesn’t own a great camera, or pay to have professional photos staged and shot…THEN DON’T HIRE THAT PERSON!! The look and quality of your photos make all the difference.

Check out the photos on Corcoran.com

Now that the market has shown improvement, it’s time to raise your price and aim for your maximum value…and you can’t accomplish that if your home looks like crap online.

Getting your highest price is all about marketing.

Either have the quality of Neimans, or crap like Sears.

Is the most expensive home for sale in US a PR ploy, or can it sell

I guess the luxury home pricing fever that’s been blazing (and selling) in New York City , has finally found its way to the   suburbs surrounding Manhattan.

It was only a matter of time before every who owned the mega of mega mansions let their egos go wild, and try to cash in on the luxury home bonanza.

I caught wind a few days ago that the most expensive home in the United States was just listed in Greenwich Ct for $190 million dollars.

$190 Million Lauder Greenway Estate, Greenwich, CT
$190 Million Lauder Greenway Estate, Greenwich, CT

Sure it’s a big home with lots of rooms, and bathrooms and property, but who in their right mind, or with a large enough wallet will pay $190 million.  And hey, the home comes with all the kitchen and laundry appliances!

I’m not making this up…check out the listing

  • First there’s on;y a few people in the entire world who can afford the price tag
  • And $190 million price tag for a developer to purchase it is even less unlikely, because any way you look at it’s insanely over-priced for a developer

When I along with my father-in-law Gene Heller and Starwood-Heller Enterprises developed Tamcrest Estate in Alpine and Cresskill New Jersey, starting in 2001, we paid $22 million for the undeveloped 54 acre property and we were able to create 34 building sites…seven 2 acre properties and twenty seven 1 acre properties.  Tamcrest Estates became incredibly successful in part because we caught the market at the right time, and the people who had the money were more than happy to put it into their home…in-part because the stock market was out of favor and real estate was seen as a great investment .

The homes at Tamcrest Estates ranged in price from $4 million to $45 million.  But times have changed and these huge suburban homes aren’t seen a great investments, even at dramatically reduced prices (trophy and unique homes may be the exclusion).

From a real estate developers perspective, the $190 million price tag makes absolutely no sense for development potential.  If they really want to go for the gusto, then a better way to approach this would be to subdivide the property and sell off the individual properties.

Additionally, the demographics have changed, as have the mindsets of the super wealthy, who are now dumping their dollars into Manhattan…because Manhattan will always be Manhattan…the mecca for the wealthy.

So with the city on fire, and the mega luxury market in the suburbs simmering, the $190 million Lauder home my be just another publicity stunt to get people to take notice the home and brokerage firm…and that could work, for a few weeks….and on google forever.

$49 million Stone Mansion, Alpine, New Jersey
$49 million Stone Mansion, Alpine, New Jersey

However, if you’re seriously interested in a brand new grand home that is a bargain (recently reduced to $49 million) compared to the Lauder Greenway family estate, there’s an amazing home for sale in Alpine New Jersey named the Stone Mansion …which is part of the former Frick Estate (like the Frick Museum). Alpine has been anointed by Forbes as one of the most expensive zip codes in the Country and is located lust a stones throw from Manhattan.

This home is only one of a number of magnificent estates available for purchase on the grounds of the former Frick Estate…

3 Most Expensive Luxury Homes Sales 2012…Big Disappointment

Somewhere in the Country luxury homes may be selling, but it’s not happening in Bergen County New Jersey

But this isn’t all bad news.  With all the ultra luxury homes, or so called mansions, that are for sale, and have been sitting unsold for extended periods of time, it’s a buyers market.

Here are the 3 most expensive home sales in Bergen County for 2012

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#1…2 Margo Way, Alpine New Jersey

The good news is that this Alpine New Jersey ultra luxury mansion took only a year and a half to sell.  But the bad news is that it sold at at 41% discount from the asking price. How can anyone be so wrong about the value of a home…or any product for that matter.

This amazing 34,000 sf estate was originally listed for $34 million…that’s a$1,000sf. And it finally sold for $20 million…which is probably close to what it cost to originally build and decorate.

If your design taste is molding on top of molding…and even more moldings then this home had the perfect interiors

#2…5 Alford Rd, Saddle River, New Jersey

This new (when it was first listed for sale years ago) Saddle River luxury home was listed and relisted for sale so many times since 2004, that I’s need to create a flow chart just to keep track of the timing…but I’m not doing it.

The key points for this 16,000sf Robert Zampolin designed monster are:

  • Originally listed for sale in 2004 at $9,250,000
  • The home finally sold in September 2012 for $6,000,000

The home sold at a whopping 37% discount…and it took 8 years to do it.
Note: the home was leased for 1year during 2009-2007

The point here is that the builder built a home that he thought he could sell for $9 million and ended up selling it for $6 million a very long time later.

Since this site is all about marketing homes so they get noticed and sold faster…and for their highest value…I have to point out that the same minuscule photos and horrendous listing description was used throughout all the years this home was listed for sale. Listing room names and a few items and sprinkling in terms like regal and palatial is mediocrity at its best.

RARE AND BEAUTIFUL PALATIAL MANOR HOME WITH THE GREATEST ATTENTION TO DETAIL THROUGHOUT! OVER 16,000 SQ FT OF LUXURIOUS LIVING SPACE! GRAND SCALE ENTERTAINING CAN EASLIY BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE BALLROOM, BANQUET SIZE DINING ROOM AND IN THE FORMAL ENTRY GALLERY. SOARING CEILINGS IN THE FAMILY ROOM, SENSATIONAL CHEF’S KITCHEN, FORMAL SECOND FLOOR LIBRARY, INCREDIBLE MOVIE THEATER, BILLIARD ROOM, WINE TASTING ROOM AND 6 LARGE BEDROOM SUITES COMPLIMENT THIS HOME. CONCRETE STUCCO EXTERIOR, SLATE ROOF, SWIMMING POOL, POOL HOUSE AND FOUR CAR GARAGE ARE A FEW OF THE MANY AMENITIES THIS REGAL ESTATE OFFERS. BEAUTIFUL AND PRIVATE FLAT GATED 2 ACRE PROPERTY.

#3…899 Closter Dock Rd, Alpine, New Jersey

This is another home that was on and off the market for years.

Though the njmls doesn’t show it, if my memory serves me correctly the home at some point was listed for $10 million…it finally sold for $5.2 million…that’s a 48% price chop.

I loved the homes exterior…but the interior of the home was stone cold ugly.  Bad taste can just ruin the value of a home.  The same listing description forever, didn’t help the sales price either.

BEST VALUE IN ALPINE ON 4 ACRES OF LAND – THE BONUS IS A FABULOUS COUNTRY MANOR WITH 7 BED, 6+ BATHS PLUS A POOL, POOLHOUSE & TENNIS COURT. UNIQUE PRIVATE RETREAT MINUTES FROM THE GWB. ELEGANT LR, BANQUET SIZE DR, HUGE COUNTRY KITCHEN WITH VAULTED OAK CEILING AND STONE FLOOR, FAM.RM.WITH VAULTED OAK CEILING, PANELLED LIBRARY WITH STAIRCASE TO A BILLIARD ROOM. BUILT WITH UNSURPASSED QUALITY.

Will New York Billionaires Save The New Jersey Luxury Home Market

Location is everything when it comes to real estate.  And nothing shows this more than the article in this Sunday’s New York Times titled…Billionaires’ Club Is Set To Grow…The demand for high-end homes is also expected to rise.

 “The buying seems to draw traction from the fact that there will be so many more newly minted rich people hunting for properties. Over the next 10 years, some 95,000 more people around the world are expected to see their wealth grow to at least $30 million, according to a forecast by Knight Frank, a London-based real estate company, which puts the current number of such people at 189,835.”

The article ties in an expected worldwide explosion of billionaires, to an already exploding ultra-luxury residential market in  key cities, like New York City.

With what is happening in NYC and other major cities, translate into the same trend for the Bergen County, New Jersey market, which is (used to be) tightly intertwined with what goes on in New York City?  Do the mega home sales that we’ve all heard about happening in Manhattan spill over into our market, as it used to.  Or are these sales, and the overall strength of the NYC residential market taking away sales from the neighboring suburbs, and hindering our recovery.

Their assumptions may be true for specific locations like Manhattan…but it’s not the case in Bergen County, New Jersey, where the number of luxury home sales, are down 60% from the peak, and the dollar volume has seen a 67% hit.

The numbers show that luxury home sales and ultra-luxury home sales are being clobbered in Bergen County.  And I would be willing to bet that some of this is attributed to the boom that’s happening in the city on the other side of the Hudson.

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Some Facts:

There are 94 luxury homes for sale in Bergen County (priced above $3 million):

  • 21 luxury homes are for sale in in Alpine
  • 12 are in Cresskill
  • 8…Englewood
  • 9…Franklin Lakes
  • 22 are located in Saddle River
  • 7 in Tenafly
  • The remainder are scattered throughout other towns in Bergen County

The Scary Part:

  • 94 homes for sale priced above $3 million
  • In 2012 only 25 homes were sold in this price range
  • Sales in 2012 decreased by 23% from 2011
  • From the peak year of luxury home sales in 2006 compared to 2012, sales of luxury homes decreased by a whopping 60%
  • The dollar volume of sales at the peak compared to 2012 decreased by 67%

And there’s no end in sight to this downturn. The demographics are working against the high-end market, and high taxes. And the ego to purchase one of these suburban monsters isn’t there in the volume that’s needed to turn things around.

  • In 2012 the most expensive home sale in Bergen County was a $20 million home located in Alpine…a 40% discount from the asking price
  • The next most expensive home sale in Saddle Rive was $6,000,000.  This home was for sale since 2005 and was listed in 2010 at $9,250,000.  It finally sold at a 35% discount…and this was a fairly new home in an incredible subdivision.

The most interesting fact with luxury home sales in Bergen County is that out of the 25 homes that were sold above $3 million, only 1 home was sold to a foreign buyer outside of the United States, and only 5 homes were sold to people outside of New Jersey, and 4 of those were from New York. So much for all the talk about international buyers purchasing homes in our backyard.  Yes, real estate is local!

“In the end, the global luxury property market is functioning in its own universe, seemingly removed from general real estate trends. It “remains relatively impervious to these trends and more closely follows the luxury goods market,” Christie’s International Real Estate said in a study released this week.”

Christie’s International…you missed what’s really happening in northern New Jersey…but why let the facts get in the way of hyping the market.  And don’t think that what is happening in Alpine, New Jersey is irrelevant, because for the past bunch of years, Alpine has been one of the most expensive zip codes in the Country.

National stats and reports, have noting to do with what’s really happening right in your own back yard

Remember, real estate is local!