Tag Archives: Saddle River

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.

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.


#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.


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!

Bergen County mansions sales take hit in 2012

The ultra luxury home market in Bergen County has taken a huge hit in 2012.

Sales decreased by 47%, and these numbers should make any luxury home seller and Realtor, start losing sleep. 

Bergen County luxury home sales comparison

County-wide, for luxury homes priced above $3 million, there have been only 10 home sales thus far in 2012, compared to 19 homes sold in 2011 for the same period.

The dollar volume for these mega mansions has also taken a huge hit, with a decrease of 46%.

What’s interesting though is that the average sales price for the homes sold increased by 2%…which gives thought that the luxury home market hasn’t yet felt the wrath of  huge price decreases.  But how long will this hold true given the poor performance at this end of the market.

How long can homeowners in towns such as Alpine, Saddle River and Tenafly hold onto their hopes that their mansions will sell…and sell for prices remotely close to their asking price.

And, when or if these mansions do start selling, what effect will these sales have on the tax base for these towns…especially if they sell at steep discounts.

It’s not a pretty picture.

The 5 most expensive homes sold in Bergen County 2012…and it’s not good news

The luxury real estate market continues to take it on the chin in 2012

There are 101 homes for sale in Bergen County priced above $3 million, and only five homes have sold thus far in 2012.  And the most expensive home sold was a paltry $4.5 million.

The big problem with this market niche is that there is no end in sight for a dismal performance, And the luxury home sales numbers are coming off of a horrendous year in 201,1 where only 26 homes were sold in Bergen County for more than $3 million.  Selling only 30% of the homes listed for sale in this price range is a major cause for concern, especially if yours home is for sale.

The Bergen County numbers spell trouble for the luxury market:

Here’s what 2012 looks like so far:

The 5 most expensive home sales in Bergen County 2012:

1/ 13 Glen Carl Rd, Upper Saddle River

  • List/Sold: $3,495,000 / $3,000,000
  • Under contract in 5 months
  • Sold at a 15% discount

This sale broke my heart, because it’s an incredible home, on a nice property, in a nice neighborhood, and the builder/owner put his heart into building it. Unfortunately It was sold at a price considerably below it’s cost.

2/ 187 Buckingham Rd, Tenafly

  • List/Sold: $3,795,000 / $3,250,000
  • Under contract in 21 months
  • Sold at a 15% discount

What is interesting about the sale of this home is that it sold for the price that the homeowner purchased it for in 2006. This shows us that NOT every home lost 30% of its value since the crash…and buyers, sellers and Realtors have to be aware of this throughout the process. Tenafly has been the hottest market in the area for a long time…and it continues that with the sale of this luxury home, which most agents thought would never sell for close to this price.  New Yorkers tend to think differently. Tenafly has eight homes for sale priced above $3 million

3/ 113 Andersen Ave, Demarest

  • List/Sold: $4,495,000 / $3,850,000
  • Under contract in 20 months
  • Sold at a 15% discount

4/ 15 N. Church Rd, Saddle River

  • List/Sold: $8,845,000 / $4,100,000
  • Under contract in 60 months
  • Sold at a 54% discount

This goes to show you what happens when a builders/Realtors overestimate the value of a new home…and not knowing when to get out.  This is a spectacular home, but to take sever years to build it and a combined 5 years to sell it is a ginormous failure

5/ 8 Piermont Rd, Franklin Lakes

  • List/Sold: $13,500,000 / $4,500,000
  • This home first went on the market in 2005, and was withdrawn for sale in 2007.  It was then re-listed in 2010 for $6,500,000…20 months later
  • Sold at a 67% discount from the original asking price
  • Sold at a 31% discount from the revised asking price

Obviously the value of this home was misread…except for by the purchaser.

If you are in the process of trying to sell your luxury home, or are contemplating doing so, then you need to be aware of these numbers…because this affects you.

The builder/marketing fanatic part of me says that in order to increase your chances of grabbing a buyers attention, selling your home faster, and optimizing your price, then your focus your attention on producing some great marketing, so your home stands out from the crowd. Without something better than traditional real estate marketing, your home is just like all the other homes floating around in cyberspace on a bunch of free listing sites. Your chances of selling your home won’t increase unless you do something more.

Now it’s all about marketing.

And run from everyone who tells you that it’s all about price…because it’s not.  Of the 101 luxury homes that are for sale it looks like all 101 have already had price reductions…and it didn’t work.

Now it’s all about finding one of the few buyers who are out there in this price range and grabbing them, and not letting them go!

Dismal Sales For Saddle River Luxury Homes

Who would have though that the Bergen County luxury home market would collapse., which is basically what has happened over the past three + years.  Saddle River and Alpine, once the mecca of wealth and prosperity in the region, the luxury home market is a mere blip on today’s housing scene.

The luxury sector was once looked at as the standard barer and driving force of the market, is now a big drag.  Horrible sales volume, price declines, and no light at the end of the tunnel (other than wishful thinking) will keep this niche market depressed for then next decade

The first graph is a breakdown for the number of homes sold in Saddle River since 2004 for homes priced above $3 million.

Homes sold between $3-$3.999 million have decreased 80% comparing 2005 with 2010 (though there is a slight jump in volume in 2011…2 sales in 2010 to 4 sales in 2011).  All the price ranges above $4 million have been hit equally as hard.

The following is a list of homes that have been sold in 2010  ($3m-$3.99M).  The main concern here, is how long it took these homes to sale, and the discount at which they sold:

4 High Meadow Rd

  • Originally went on the market in 2008 for $3,895,000
  • Sold 2011 for $3,030,000
  • Discount: 23%
  • 2010 New Jersey designer showcase home

26 Werimus Brook Rd

  • Originally went on the market in 2007 for $4,650,000
  • Sold May, 2011 for $3,200,000
  • Discount: 31%
  • New construction

23 Burning Hollow Rd

Originally went on the market October 2009 for $6,888,000

  • Sold June 2011 for $3,350,000
  • Discount:  67%
  • New construction

Though some headwind has been made in 2011 with four homes already sold, it’s still not a good indication of things to come, when there are still 12 for sale in that price range…just in Saddle River. There are presently 74 homes for sale in Saddle River.

An even scarier picture is for homes priced between $1.0- $1.99 million, where there are 25 homes for sale and only 6 homes in that price range have been sold thus far in 2011.  That adds up to at least a 4 year supply of homes.

There’s also a 4+ year supply of homes for sale priced between $2.0-$2.99 million.

Another big killer is for homes priced between $5.0-$9.99 million, where there are presently 9 homes for sale and none have sold in 2011…only 4 homes have sold in this price range since 2008.

Needless to say, the picture doesn’t look pretty.

So tell us what you think will happen to the sales volume and for prices.

I’m not a fan of price reductions, because I blame a lot of the decreases on the brokerage companies who are outdated in their approach, and that alone helps to decrease prices and create longer sales cycles.  However, the evidence is so overwhelming that the luxury market has only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to price cuts and the length of time it will take to sell these outdated homes.

Saddle River Luxury Home Sales Are Down, Inventory Is Way Up

I came across this interview in northjersey.com the other day, and wanted to fact check some of the generalized opinions offered here by Vicki Gaily of Special Properties.

The “interview” states the usual obvious, that rates are at historic lows, de-clutter the home so it looks attractive, and the grand daddy of them all…competitively price your home, which really means lower it to a point where people make offers (I hate when they harp on this…because most of the homes have already had price reductions, and they’re still not selling).  Maybe we have to lower the commissions on these over priced homes as well?

The major issue that really should have been asked and answered, and is something that’s on the mind of all sellers, buyers and homeowners in Saddle River and elsewhere is…what is the stare of the Saddle River luxury market?  Here it is:

Saddle River luxury home sales 2004-2011


The above graph shows the breakdown for the number of homes sold in Saddle River since 2004…for homes priced above $3 million, and the picture is more negative than it is positive.

  • Homes sold between $3-$3.999 million have decreased 80% comparing 2005 with 2010
  • Homes priced between $4.0-$4.999 million have decreased 60% for the same time period
  • And homes priced between $5.0-$9.999 million have decreased by 66%

Even if you look at 2005 as an fluke, then the market has still remained flat…but with huge increases in inventory, which translates into much longer sales cycles and lower prices.

Though some headwind has been made in 2011 with four homes already sold, it’s still not a good indication of things to come, when there are still 12 homes for sale in that price range…just in Saddle River. There are a total of 74 homes for sale in Saddle River.

Saddle River: homes for sale vs homes sold 2011

An even scarier picture is for homes priced between $1.0- $1.99 million, where there are 25 homes for sale and only 6 homes in that price range have sold in 2011 ytd…which is basically a 4 year supply of homes.  And the numbers get worse when more homes are listed for sale.

There’s also a 4 year supply of for sale priced between $2.0-$2.99 million.

And the big killer is that there are 9 homes for sale priced between $5.0-$9.99 million, and not one has sold in 2011…only 4 homes have sold in that price range since 2008.

Now you see the charts, lets here what you have to say.

One really brilliant observation from Ms. Gaily, and one that everyone should think about;

“In my opinion there should be only two types of sellers in the market. 1. Those who have to sell because of financial reasons, or retirement, or company transfer, etc. or 2. Those who want to make a change and are in the financial position to list their house at present market value.”

A very smart observation.

Stay tuned for the next Saddle River market post