Tag Archives: Market Trends

Home Sales In Tenafly and Surrounding Towns Down 45% From 2004

Here’s an interesting look at single family home sales for Tenafly and and it’s surrounding towns including: Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Haworth and  Norwood, dating back to 2004.

For the eight combined towns listed here, the number of single family home sales in 2010  decreased by 45% from 2004. That steep of a decline is nothing short of startling.

The loss of 400 home sales per year from the peak, is devastating to home owners.  And not just for those who are trying to sell their home, but for for all homeowners.  The call from Realtors for sellers to lower prices hurts everyone who owns a home.

Compared to other towns, Tenafly home sales are out performing everyone, yet I still hear the call for lower prices.  It makes no sense.

This is why Realtors need to become more competitive with their marketing, and not just blame it on pricing.  It’s more about a lack of buyers and finding ways to make your home stand out from the crowd so it gets noticed faster and by a larger audience.

Check out a previous post I did on the Tenafly market, and why I think prices should be raised. not lowered. When your town or a sector of your town is hot then you have to take advantage of it.  And right now Tenaly is the hot town where buyers want to be.

What’s interesting with this view is that you can follow the downward trend of home sales in the area. As the chart shows, the market actually crashed in 2006 when the number of single family homes suddenly decreased by almost 30% from 2005.  A decrease of 263 home sales in eight towns is staggering.  And it’s even more staggering that the market decreased by another 25%+- from 2008 to the present.

The belief that home sales are starting to improve is nothing more than people trying to  manipulate the market in hopes to sell more homes.

As detailed on other blog posts, a few towns(?) such as Tenafly are are doing better than other towns.  And in some towns there are specific price categories that are showing signs of improvement/  But the fact remains, that the general market in our area has been in a crash mode since 2006, and shows no signs of improving.

Check back for more market analysis.  Next town to be discussed is Ft Lee.  Can’t wait to see how the multi family sales are doing.

Just remember…the more you know the smarter your decisions will be.  And don’t just believe what you hear about the market…see the facts for yourself.

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Analyzing Tenafly Homes Sales

Homes sold in Tenafly 2004-2011

This chart presents an interesting view of the 1165 homes that have been sold in Tenafly since 2004:

  • 80% 0f the homes sold were priced under $1 million
  • the largest block of home sold (62%) were priced between $500k- $1 million

It’s amazing to see how dramatically the sales decrease when homes are priced above    $1 million

  • Only 8% of the homes sold were priced between $1-1.5 million (for an almost 7 year stretch)…a 56% drop in sales compared to homes priced between $1-1.5 million

What can’t be lost in the numbers, is that for the homes that sold pre 2004-2006 (and appreciated), those homes will have a tougher time selling at their once appreciated values.  However, what’s been great to the Tenafly market,is that Tenafly is still overwhelmingly the got to town for today’s buyers.  And even though we’re still far behind the pre-crash sales volumes, Tenafly is faring much better than the surrounding towns, withe the number of homes sold.

Check back because there’s more to come

Eating Real Estate provides buyers and sellers with valuable information, that will help you make sound decisions based on real market facts, not hype…and will help you to avoid making the same costly mistakes that buyers and sellers made in the past.                       It’s everything you need to know about the local market, but no one’s telling you.              Learn all the facts before you buy or sell a home…it’s your money at stake.

A Snapshot Of Homes Sold In Tenafly 2004-2011

This charts provide us with another interesting look at how the market in Tenafly has fared starting in 2004 and continuing through to the present.

The sudden drop off in the number of homes sold in Tenafly when you get above the $1 million price point is incredible…a 70% + decline in the number of homes sold.

Where these numbers are off, and where they paint an unrealistic picture of the entire Tenafly market, is in the luxury home niche.  On the east hill, a large number of homes were sold in the past as “homes” when in fact they were really sold for the land.  These homes were knocked down and replaced with new and much larger, and considerably more expensive homes, that don’t show up on the mls records depicting their true value.

If you take the value of the home purchased for the land and combine it with the cost of constructing the replacement home, then a larger number of very expensive homes would show on this chart.  Builder spec homes if sold through the mls do show up on the mls (and thus on this chart), whereas if someone purchased the property and hired a builder, these homes would not be depicted here.

What all this means, is that the volume on the high end of the chart shows lower in the earlier years, than is portrayed here…thus making the sales volume decreases more severe than is showing.  This is the “shadow inventory” that gets lost on the numbers, but are significant nonetheless.

Eating Real Estate provides buyers and sellers with valuable information, that will help you make sound decisions based on real market facts, not hype…and will help you avoid making the same costly mistakes that buyers and sellers have made in the past.             It’s everything you need to know about the local market, but no one’s telling you.              Learn all the facts before you buy or sell a home…it’s your money at stake.

Bergen County Home Sales See Momentary Uptick

There is no indication that the Bergen County housing market is by no means out of the woods.  Though the latest sales figures for comparing July 2011 home sales to July 2011 sales, increased by 11% the overall sales are still hovering near the post crash sales figures.

For the first time in 5 months the home sales in Bergen County were in the plus column.  Sales rose 11% compared to July 2011, but the numbers are still considerably off  to the number of homes sold in 2009:

  • The number of homes sold has decreased for 9 of the past 13 months
  • The number of homes sold in July 2010 decreased 25% from July 2009…549 vs 414
  • Sales from July 2010 to 2011 increased by 11% 414 vs 459
  • The number of home sales comparing July 2009 with 2011 decreased by 100 homes…a 16% decrease
  • The number of homes sold from June-July decreased by a concerning 79 homes …16%

Breaking a losing streak is always a good thing, but like in sports it’s never an indication of  the future.

In a future post I’ll post the sales figures for the always neglected multi-family housing market for Bergen County, which has declined for seven of the past eight years.  For 2011 the multi-family market has decreased 16% in the number of sales and decreased by 17% in the dollar volume

Tenafly Home Sales Are Out Performing Neighboring Towns…But Still At Post Crash Lows

Bravo for the Tenafly housing market! 

The number of homes sold in Tenafly are out performing the neighboring towns, and in some instances by a wide margin.

town sales comparisons 2011

As this graph shows, in almost every market segment the Tenafly is reigning king at this point in time in 2011 (* Tenafly sales are the numbered long red lines).

That’s the good news.

Now for the bad news.

The number of homes sold per year in Tenafly has decreased between 33%-42% from the peak years of 2004-2005.

sales comparisons 2004-2011
  • The Tenafly market actually crashed in 2006
  • Sales decreased 2006 compared to 2004 and decreased by another 23% in 2005
  • There was a brief bounce in 2007, then it crashed again in 2008.

As this chart shows the number of homes sold per year has been at  post crash levels going on 6 years (since 2006), and this shatters, all the hype that the brokerage industry has been pushing about Tenafly.

Contrary to the spin, the housing market in Tenafly is still dismal, and there’s no signs of it improving in the near future.

Just today, one of the areas better agents told me that the market was improving.  We got into a discussion about the sales numbers, and how we are at the same sales pace for the past five years.  He didn’t quite know what to say.

Guess I ruined his day.  But don’t worry, because he will keep telling his customers that the market is improving.

 Steve’s pov

Buyers:

  • It is critical to know the market conditions for all the towns that are in the area of interest to you.  And don’t just look at the town stats as a whole, but analyze the different price points as I do. Because some price points (I refer to them as “niche markets”) may be doing great, while others are performing horribly…as we see with the luxury markets.
  • Know the facts before you start looking at homes, and review the updated numbers before you finalize your decision.

Sellers:

  • It’s equally important to understand he facts and to see where the competition puts your chances of selling your home.  The last thing you need to do is to be unrealistic about the market.  There are fewer buyers looking to purchase homes, and they take longer to make a decision.  And  the higher your price range the less buyers there are.

It’s important for buyers and sellers to talk openly about the market, and I’m giving you the chance that no one else will.  So lets hear your thoughts, concerns and fears.  SK:)

Bergen County Home Sales Remain At Record Low Pace

This is the first installment of a multi part series on the health of the Bergen County housing market

Price Point: $0-$1.999 million

Contrary to popular Realtor-talk the Bergen County housing market is still hovering at the post 2008 crash sales figures.  Even with historically low interest rates and huge price declines, sales have remained anemic at best.  And there doesn’t seem to be any indication that any of this will change in the future.  Unless the pace picks up in the second half of 2011, the number of sales may fall below the sales volume for 2010.

This chart is a great snapshot showing the sales figures from 2007- June 30, 2011 for homes priced up to $1.999 million.

As a builder, I never looked (how stupid) at the market in such depth. But now that I have…what amazes me most is the sever drop off in sales for homes priced over $1 million compared to those less than $1 million, and that the volume of sales has remained stagnant

The difference between the price ranges is astounding

  • In 2010…From 0-$499k – $500-999k there was a 43% decrease in the number of homes sold in Bergen County
  • From $999-$1.499m there was an an 87% decline in sales
  • and from $1.499-$1.999M there was an 59% decrease

When you compare today’s sales figures with the pre-crash year of 2007 the numbers show that we’re still a recession sales pace

  • Homes priced up to $499k have remained steady
  • $500-999K declined by 35% in 2010, and 2011 may even be worse
  • $1m-1.499m the sales volume decreased by 43%
  • $1.5m-1.99m sales were down by 44%

Facts Don’t Lie

The bread and butter sales volume for Bergen County is for homes priced below $2 million…and that market has not recovered since the 2008 meltdown…and in most price categories the market has worsened.

Where this information will most likely to come into play, is how buyers and sellers will use this in their decision making process.

  • Do I buy a home or hold off until the market improves
  • How do I price my home if it’s for sale
  • How much will I pay for a home if the market still hasn’t improved

On the sellers side; homes in the lower the price categories (not specifically the price itself) will be to sell

On the buyers side however; there will be competition for these homes $1 million and below) and prices should start to increase…because it’s the hottest market segment in real estate.

If I were selling my home in this price range, and had a standout home…I’d raise my price.  A premium home will sell for a premium price

If there’s any euphoria being promoted by the Realtors or the media, then it’s purely fabricated to hide the real facts.

This information is incredibly important to buyers and sellers, because buying and selling a home is no longer the fun and games it used to be.  Know the facts or you’ll get screwed

Steve’s POV

A lower volume of sales is the new norm for the housing market for years to come. Until the demographics change and more move up buyers are created, the sales figures will not change…even if money is easier to come by.  Other than wishful thinking and luck, there is no indication that the market will change for the better.

Lets face it, there are a lot of young new buyers in the market-place, and the suburbs isn’t the best investment when compared to a faster recovering Manhattan, and for inner city projects in New Jersey (our competition), where there are more young people buying homes, because condos and town homes are less expensive, they’re new and they’re close to public transportation (and zip cars)…so you don’t even have to own a car, and can put that money towards a more expensive home.

Let us know what you think.

Stay tuned because there’s more to come.

Mansions, Mansions Everywhere, But No One Wants To Buy Them

This is a multi-part series on the State Of The Alpine Housing Market

Alpine Housing Market Is On Life Support

Once thought to be the mecca of wealth, prosperity and the most amazing housing market in the Northeast, this tiny community known to few outside of the area has now been battered by the collapse of the housing market. Not even this wealthy enclave situated just outside of Manhattan could escape the devastation that the rest of the market has has felt…and this could even be worse.

Touted by Forbes magazine over the past few years as one of the wealthiest zip code for housing in the United States ( is Alpine even on the list now), Alpine now finds itself in what may be the worst housing market anywhere in the country, for loss of value [real or perceived] for single family homes.  And for a host of other reasons, including changing buyer demographics, these monster homes could now be out of vogue for the wealthiest of wealthy people. This town is not selling.

Unlike when a tree falls in a forest, and there’s no one to hear it, when the price of these homes come crashing down, everyone will hear it.

With so many homes for sale at such high prices, there must be a percentage of owners who can’t hold out for an eternity for a positive change in the market, and that’s when the prices will start their slide down.  It will make any black diamond sky slope in Vail, look mild compared to what we’re going to see one day.

Homes For Sale vs Homes Sold

Current Facts:  Note, the number of homes sold in blue are for a 21/2 year time period, while the numbers in yellow are for homes currently for sale

  • 53 homes for sale
  • Average price is $7,795.075…[skewed by the number below]
  • Highest priced home is $68,000,000
  • Lowest price is $1,058,000
  • There are 40 homes currently for sale in Alpine priced above $3,000,000

2007-2011 Homes Sold In Alpine Priced Above $3,000,000

  • 2007: 11
  • 2008: 9
  • 2009: 4
  • 2010: 4
  • 2011: 2
  • *sales figures for this graph…are for 2009 through 6/30/11

The market in Alpine took a nose-dive in 2009, where the number of homes decreased by 56% from the previous year [2008]…and it has never recovered

Interesting Facts:

  • 82 % of the homes listed for sale in Bergen County priced above $10 million are in Alpine
  • 42 % of the homes listed for sale @ $5M+ are in Alpine
  • 28 % of the homes listed for sale priced between $4-4,99M are in Alpine
  • 13 % of the homes listed for sale priced between $3-$3.99M are in Alpine

Staggering Facts:

  • There are 40 homes for sale in Alpine priced above $3 million, and only 1 home has been sold in 2011
  • 25 homes are for sale in Alpine that are priced higher than $5 million
  • The highest priced home sold in Alpine in 2011 is $5 million
How will the market fare in the future is anyone’s guess.  But when analyzing the numbers, there aren’t any positive signs that come to light:
  • There’s a shrinking buyer pool for this price range
  • Prices will surely decrease when some of the inventory is sold off
  • Less people desire homes of this magnitude, and even less want to tie up the huge down payments banks will require

The biggest problem facing Alpine homeowners who are hoping to sell their homes, is the past, present and future outlook on sales.

Quite simply, the sales volume can’t get any worse.

What will get worse however, is when people can no longer wait it out and have to start unloading their homes.  These homes will take a huge price hit.

No one is immune from the devastation that this meltdown has caused…and sellers need to start rethinking their unrealistic views of this luxury market.  Your homes value isn’t always worth gold while everything else around you has tanked.

What is a home worth when other homes around it aren’t selling, and there are less buyers who want these homes?

Are these spectacular homes now out of vogue, or have they become obsolete?

Maybe it’s time to consider keeping these homes in the family for a few generations.

Let us know what you think.