Tag Archives: luxury homes

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.

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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

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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

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


  • 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 🙂

Bergen County Luxury Home Market On Life Support

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

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

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.

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!

Is Alpine housing market poised for a heart attack?

Just when people thought that the market in Alpine would improve, we look at the stats and it’s another disappointing find.

Alpine has been in the ICU on life support for so long, that someone has to pull the plug.  There’s no light at the end of the tunnel here.

Sooner or later (and it’s already been since 2006) the Alpine market has to take a nose dive.

A some point34 homeowners who’s homes are priced for more than $3 million (12 above $10 million) have to throw up their hands and say…I’M DONE! Especially when some of these homes have been for sale for 3-5 years! OUCH!

This is how prices crash.

It’s a killer:  Of the 3 homes sold in Alpine in 2012, the average sales price is $1,686,667.  That’s less than the $2M+ we used to sell a raw 1 acre lot for…if we could even find one!  In 2011 the average sales price was just under $2 million.

This isn’t good!

Keep the crash cart nearby

P Diddy’s Alpine home still for sale…and so are 32 others above $3 Mil

What if anything is star power add to the price of a home?  So may say it adds big bucks to say that so-and-so slept here, while others say “so what”…I’m still going to offer $x no matter who lived there.

In 2004 P Diddy bought an existing home in Alpine for $6 million, and about a year ago re-listed the home for sale at $13,500,000.  So obviously he thinks that whatever he touches turns to….platinum!

Here’s the cold hard facts about the luxury home market in Alpine and Bergen County

Can market conditions outweigh a stars power?

Here we are in the worst recession for luxury homes that Alpine along with the remainder of Bergen County are encountering…where few of these expensive mansions (or in this case McMansion) are selling.

  • As of this writing there are 32 homes for sale in Alpine priced above $3,000,000
  • Of the 32 homes…21 homes for sale priced from $3.0-$10 million
  • and that leaves us with 11 homes for sale priced above $10 million…and the most expensive home is the Stone Mansion which is listed for $52 million (that’s a real mansion)

That sure sounds like a lot of homes.  But what makes the numbers sound worse are how few of these homes have been sold since the crash.

More facts:

  • Alpine has 32% of the homes for sale in Bergen County priced above $3 million
  • And Alpine is home to 73% of the homes for sale in Bergen County priced above $10 million

Maybe P Diddy should put on a concert (unplugged in Alpine) in his backyard, invite a hundred of his wealthiest friends, and pass out some videos of his home.  Maybe even give a few home tours.  Now there’s a marketing idea!

This isn’t New York City or Miami where the luxury home market is sizzling.  The Bergen County market is quite the opposite ans hasn’t seen sizzle since 2006. And there is no indication that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

P Diddy…you’re a great business man and an incredible performer, and my girls and me love listening to your music, and watching you act, but when it comes to selling your home on the other side of the Hudson, you’re going to feel the same pain that all the non-celebs feel when trying to sell their homes.

McMansions are still alive and well in Tenafly

Who says that McMansions are a thing of the past.

I hate to burst your bubble if you thought the lid had been shut on these ultra lux, large scale homes, because there are several being built right here in Tenafly.

And this one is the second most expensive spec home being built.

New spec home for sale. Essex Drive, Tenafly, NJ $4,295,000

Located on one of the older and more mature streets (Essex Drive) in Tenafly, which gets very minimal use because it’s not used as a cut through.  Homes on Essex are well maintained…mostly larger homes with beautifully landscaped properties and eclectic array of architecture as well…from ultra modern to something more traditional.  This street has it all.

And this home seems to have it all as well:

  • Nice level approx 1 acre property
  • Cedar shake and stone exterior
  • 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms
  • …and it’s new and is still under construction.  And if it’s anything like the other homes this builder has built in the past then the interior work will be nothing short of amazing
  • priced at $4,295,000

We’ll try to post some interior shots in the coming days

Homes sold in Tenafly priced above $4.0 million


As you can see by the chart, Homes priced above $3 million have been selling in Tenafly.  The first sale recorded above $3M was in 2006, and then it spiked to 8 homes sold in 2007.  2009 was a horrible year for all luxury homes in the region and Tenafly was no exception.  But we bounced back in 2011 with 4 sales, and in 2012 we already have one sale above $3M.

The home that was sold was on Buckingham Rd, and was on the market for almost two years.  The selling price was $3,250,000, and was originally listed at overly aggressive $3,795,000.  Though the home was nice, it really didn’t have what it takes to reach that superstar price.  But $3,50K was an incredible price nonetheless.

  • There are presently 3 homes for sale in Tenafly priced for more than $4.0 million.  The most expensive one being listed at $7,600,000
  • With builders once again building in Tenafly on spec, it shows the strength of the Tenafly market…and it’s a sign of things to come.
  • Tenafly is one of the few towns where people have the confidence to make such an incredible investment in their homes.

Let us know your thoughts

5 most expensive home sales for Bergen County 2011

The 5 most expensive home sales in Bergen County 2011

2011 was not a banner year for the ultra luxury market in Bergen County.  Town like Alpine and Saddle river which used to have all the luxury action are just a faded memory at this point.  The big ticket items are now being purchased Manhattan and  the Hamptons, and this is a market killer for the suburbs.  By Manhattan standards, the 5 largest purchases in Bergen County aren’t even worthy of a yawn in NYC.

1/ 101 Fox Hedge Rd, Saddle River

  • Original Asking Price: $23,888,000
  • Sold: $10,000,000
  • Discount: 58%

This was the most expensive home sold in Bergen County for 2011

The former home of Russell Simmons originally went on the market for a jaw dropping price of $23,888,000 in 2008 (wasn’t it listed at $32mil?), and it took price ut after price cut after price cut to finally sell at $10 million.  Rumor has it that the purchaser is spending a fortune to update the home.  This is a perfect example of what happens when you put an insane price tag on any product…it won’t sell.  This home was never worth more than the final sales price, but someone must have thought that when a celebrities name is attached to it, then it becomes incredibly more expensive.  Guess again

2/ 14 Buckingham Dr Alpine

  • Original Asking Price: $10,000,000
  • Sold: $6,200,000
  • Discount: 38%

This was the most expensive home sold in Alpine in 2011. 

There are 19 homes for sale in Alpine that are listed for more than $5 million

This home originally went on the market in May 2009 and was sold September 2011.

What’s really sad about Alpine is that it was once the be-all-end all of New Jersey high-end sales.  But not anymore, because this end of the housing sector has all but dried up, with the exception of much safer havens such as Manhattan and somewhat in the Hamptons.

However there are two new incredible mega homes that are being completed at this time in the Rio Vista section of Alpine. One of the homes, was bought by a famous fashion designer as a shell that had been sitting for over half a decade, and is now being finished. It’s nothing short of amazing.  The second home is on one of the last remaining vacant properties in Rio Vista…and is one of the least desirable locations.  But the home is outlandishly humongous, and I’m sure by the time they install a forest full of  trees, they’ll transform the property into their own little oasasis.

3/ 20 Timberline Dr, Alpine

  • Original Asking Price: $12,000,000
  • Sold: $5,300,000       
  •  Discount: 56%

This “must see” Alpine home was originally listed in August 2007, and was finally sold in October 2011.  Guess the owners thought the price would ever get so low, because four years is a long time to wait to sell a home. But what’s even more perplexing is why the agents also believed that the home was valued so high to take such a listing.  Or did they take it hoping that one day the owner would come to his senses and have a few massive price reductions. Which they finally did, but they didn’t keep the listing with the original Realtor.

4/ 12 Werimus Brook Rd, Saddle River

  • Starting Asking Price: $5,975,000 /  Highest Asking Price $7,495,000
  • Sold: $4,400,000
  • Discount: 42%

This newly built home went on the market in 2006 and was finally sold in May 2011.  As with most new spec homes in Saddle River (and elsewhere) the builder got clobbered.  Greed was the bif factor here as was not reading the market correctly.  Though someone bought it for a huge discount, as all the purchasers did with the homes on this post…did they get a steal or did they just end up paying the new retail, thus making it not such a great bargain after all.

5/ 6 Oxford Way, Alpine

  • Original Asking Price: $7,900,000
  • Sold: $5,100,000
  • Discount: 36%

This home was listed at the beginning of 2008 and finally sold in November 2011.

Another huge hit for a luxury home in Alpine.  Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend going forward for the suburban luxury market.  There aren’t enough buyers at the top of the market outside of New York City, for all these expensive homes.  So the only place for the prices to go is down and down and down.

So what’s your opinion on the future of our mega expensive home home market. Will this niche come back in out lifetime, or are these homes tomorrows knock downs?


Say it ain’t so for Alpine luxury home sales

There have been several media reports of how great the luxury home market is, so I went on a little fact finding mission to see if there was any truth to that in Bergen County. I started my search in the once mecca of luxury home sales Alpine, NJ. which was  once quoted by Forbes as the most expensive zip code in the country.

Alpine luxury homes sales

What I found was more of a bust than a boom.  The only sign of a luxury market here is the number of homes for sale priced above $3 million, because you have to look under rocks to find anything that actually sold in this price range.

  • There are currently 36 home for sale in Alpine priced above $3 million. (by anyone’s estimation, that’s a lot of  homes for this price range)
  • 4 homes have sold in Alpine priced above $3 million year to date
  • There are 22 homes for sale priced above $5 million and and only 1 home has been sold in this price range in 2011 ($5 million…and is the most expensive home sold in Alpine 2011).  Though one home listed just under $5.9 million is under contract for $?

The home that sold for $5million was originally listed at $7,888,000 in 2005 and didn’t sell, then was re-listed by the same owner for $5,950,000…a 37% discount from the original price.

As Realtors love to say, real estate is local.  So what may be happening somewhere else in the country, really has no affect on our local market.  So beware of what you’re reading or being told and just ask for the proof. Numbers don’t lie.

Question:  Why are luxury units selling at New York City at a fairly brisk rate, yet we’re not seeing any over spill in New Jersey. This is something we’re not used to seeing here.

Next up I’ll dive into the Bergen County luxury home market and show you what’s been happening there. Hint…not good