Tag Archives: ultra luxury homes

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!

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Northern New Jersey luxury market getting clobbered by NYC luxury sales

Why is New York City having a banner year(s) selling incredibly expensive ultra luxury homes (and everything else for that matter), and Bergen County, New Jersey is having another only soso year…and a another horrible year for the ultra expensive end of the market.

Usually when NYC condo sales and prices skyrocket, and rents increase, buyers start flocking out of the city to the New York suburbs. Bergen County has always reeled in a huge portion of the exodus….but that’s not happening now.

The Iconic New York by Gehry building

Sales of ultra luxury homes in Bergen County are down 47% in 2012, and 2010-2011 wasn’t any better. But sales  of ultra luxury units (trophy properties) in Manhattan have been booming the past several years.

The New York Times reported that Kiefer Sutherland recently sold NYC his townhome for $17+ million, which is just a drop in the bucket compared to all of the trophy sales that have been happening north of $50 million.  Yet in the affluent New Jersey suburbs, the high end of the market is gasping for air.

Even luxury home sales in the Hampton have hit the breaks.

The end effect, is that the NYC housing market is further killing the suburban market…and the effects are painful for the suburbs.  A lack of buyers leaving NYC coupled with an incredible number of rentals in the planning stages, and already under construction will make things  even more painful for areas on the other side of the Hudson River.

All these new rental projects in Jersey City, Hoboken, Edgewater and Fort Lee, and in NYC will have a devastating effect on suburban home sales.

Looking ahead, if the suburbs don’t learn real fast how to compete for buyers, then they’ll start failing.  And it will happen fast:

  • Downtown’s are already failing
  • taxes are rising and home prices aren’t
  • the market above $1 million is hurting
  • Very few single family homes are being built
  • The suburban office market isn’t recovering

These aren’t good signs. And there’s nothing pointing to things getting any better in the future.

More on this later.

Check out the Kiefer Sutherland article…Big Ticket: Sold for $17.5 million

Also check out…New York By Gehry

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.

Are large homes still the trend in Tenafly?

I came across an interesting article on twitter via @builderbuzz..Americans living larger as new home sizes defy economy, that describes how the size of new homes being built…and sold…have unexplainably become larger, rather than smaller. Even in this economy!

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This  exact thing is  happening right here in Tenafly, and elsewhere in Bergen County…though very few homes are being built.  Let’s not go wild with the idea that everything in housing is getting better and larger throughout the entire marketplace, when in fact this is just a microcosm of the housing market

The article talks about how Toll Brothers, one of the largest home builders in the country is building a new project in Randolph New Jersey, and the homes are large and they’re sitting on large properties.

 Slightly more than 1 in 4 new homes built last year were larger than 3,000 square feet, the highest percentage since 2007

To a large extent, people are still putting off new homes. The number of new single-family dwellings built last year fell to 447,000, off 72.9 percent from the 2006 high of 1.65 million. About 236,000 of the new ones, or more than half, were built in the South

I think that all of the new homes that were built in Tenafly as spec homes, were more than 3,000sf….probably 20% larger. And this means that they have to sell for higher prices (hopefully). And there have even been a few ultra luxury spec home the have been built in Tenafly that are well over 6,000 sf and are listed between $3.4-$4 million. One has sold in in this price range in 2012 in Tenafly.

Frankly, I’m one of those who believed that people were over the idea of buying huge homes, because of their price, cost to maintain and mostly because of the insanely high property taxes that we so much enjoy paying in Tenafly. and elsewhere in New Jersey.  We do have the distinction of having the highest property taxes in the country, and the highest auto insurance rates in the country as well.

However, if the getting larger thing continues, then Tenafly, Cresskill, Alpine and Demarest will get it fair share of the pie.

Big is a big deal in these towns

Mirror mirror on the wall, will Alpine’s luxury home market fall? Or is there still hope?

How much longer can Alpine New Jersey ultra luxury home sales remain in hibernation, before the bottom falls out of the market in this sought after (former) town?

To date in 2012 only seven homes have sold in Alpine, and the most expensive sale in this once sought after oasis for the wealthy, was just a mere $2,835,000.  Compared to all the mega home sales in Manhattan, the Hampton’s and places like Aspen and Miami, Alpine looks as if could be the most forgotten luxury community in the country.

Homes sold Alpine 2012
  • there are currently 42 houses for sale in Alpine
  • 31 houses are for sale priced up to $10 million
  • 11 houses in Alpine are for sale priced for more than $10 million
  • only 7 houses were sold in Alpine in 2012…the lease expensive house sold was $935K and the most expensive home sold to date was $2,835,000
  • the most expensive house for sale, is the mega ultra luxury mansion…wait a minute, where in the heck did Alpine’s Stone Mansion go? The Stone Mansion was priced at $56 million, and now I DON’T SEE IT LISTED!  Something’s going on here, and I can’t wait to see what it is!
  • at this minute the most expensive mega ultra luxury mansion listed for sale in Alpine is on 2 Margo Way…$29 million.  The home was originally listed in for $34 million. Pictures on the mls look like there’s a few dead bodies floating in the indoor pool…tell us what you think it is
Alpine’s Stone Mansion

I’ve been saying it on this blog for a long time…the once be-all-end-all bastions of local luxury real estate is now a faint glimmer of what it once was. I’ve also been saying this since I started developing Tamcrest Estates, but no one was listening.  Now they don’t have a choice but to see the reality of the market. The facts can’t be disputed, and the trends are obvious to anyone who looks at this with an unbiased eye.

Alpine homes for sale priced above $10 million

And it’s not just an Alpine thing.  The ultra luxury market in Bergen County has been decimated by the economy.  What it takes to get this end of the market rolling again is anyone’s guess.

Will it ever recover?

Want to know more about The Stone Mansion, and why Realtors need to upgrade their views of “real marketing”…then check out…The View of An American Masterpiece…on Noisecut.com

It’s all about marketing…and a real estate listing isn’t marketing. It’s just a modern day classified ad.

If you really want a shot at selling your high end home, then you have to jump all over your marketing, and spend money, and an incredible amount of time trying to find that needle in the haystack buyer.Typical real estate marketing just won’t cut it anymore.

Tenafly is a sellers market…it’s about time !

Here’s an interesting look at the breakdown for home sales and listings in Tenafly as of May, 15,2012

Tenafly sales activity
data source: njmls

Home sales activity:

  • 36 single family homes were sold
  • 705% of home sales in Tenafly were priced below $1 million (25 homes sold)
  • 11 homes sold for more than $1 million

Listings activity:

  • 113 single family homes are for sale in Tenafly
  • 56% of the homes for sale are priced below $1 million…60 homes for sale
  • 44% of the homes for sale are priced above $1 million…52 homes for sale

This chart show us that homes priced below $1 million are in heavy demand in Tenafly, and there probably isn’t enough inventory to satisfy that demand…which means that sellers in Tenafly should be raising their prices.  The opportunity is now  there for home owners to recoup some of the equity they lost over the past 5 years.  It’s time to go for it!

As for homes priced above $1 million (luxury homes), the inventory is balanced with a high demand (though not as high as the below $1M market)

Tenafly sales activity 2011
data source: njmls

2011 sales comparison:

  • 69% of the homes sold in Tenafly in 2011 were priced below $1 million…108 homes sold
  • 31% of the homes sold were priced above $1 million..and that was a big increase over years past

Like I’ve been saying since the beginning of 2011…Tenafly is back to being a sellers market.

It’s time to stop pushing price reductions in Tenafly.

The market here has recovered to a normal sales pace, and prices will climb higher as a result of the demand.

As I look around at the listing prices on the njmls, I believe that a vast \majority of the homes for sale in Tenafly are under priced…and underpricing homes leads to more confusion in the market compared to over pricing them..

This information is ammunition for buyers and sellers.  Anyone buying a home would be ecstatic to know that they’re purchasing in an up market…it creates confidence.

So why am I the only person getting the word out?

Ultra luxury home sales take a beating in Bergen County

I hear around town and read  articles on the web, that like to portray the luxury market as flying high.  So I decided to dig into the numbers to get to the truth about or high end housing market.  Here’s some of what I found:

New mega-mega ultra luxury home being built
  • In 2011, there were 25 homes sold priced above $3 million
  • There are presently 97 homes for sale priced $3 million and above
  • The highest priced home sold in 2011 was the $10 million home of mega star Russell Simmons (Saddle River).  And the next highest priced home sold for $6.2 million.  After that it was a steep decline that rivaled any Vail double black diamond ski run.

The ultra luxury home market for 2012 won’t be any better, especially when the market for homes in this price range are selling at a record pace in New York City, and even a bit out in the Hampton’s.  This is where wealthy people are putting their money.  Not in the suburbs.

And the demographics are working against ultra luxury home sales in our area. There just aren’t enough wealthy young buyers who want massive homes, with massive taxes on the other side of the Hudson River.

However, there is one interesting thing happening in Tenafly, that’s worth a mention:

It’s weird that we’re once again seeing homes being sold, then torn down in Tenafly. There are a few builders who are taking the risk and building large (6,000-8,000sf) and expensive spec homes, and there are buyers who are building their own large and very custom homes here as well. This in turn hurts sales in the ultra luxury existing home market, because it takes buyers away from the existing homes.

Buyers seemingly want new over something older and more dated, even if they can buy an existing home for a steep discount.  Gotta love American capitalism.

Let us know what you think

Competition for Alpine’s Stone Mansion

Just came across this post on aol real estate titled “House of the Day: Museum-Quality Mansion“.  An impressive 55,000sf home done to the hilt. What impressed me most was the video tour that was created using an array of still pictures with Kens Burns effects, and slices of video and a nice voice-over.  This is some of what Realtors need to do in order to  attract buyers and be competitive…for homes in any price range.  And this home is that much harder to sell because of a limited number of buyers, so your reach has to encompass a larger area than in the past.  It was a great play getting this onto aol real estate.

I don’t want to hear that it’s a lot of work to create quality videos…so what!  And let’s not complain how expensive it is (the huge commission should be incentive enough), because if you own an iphone, or a good digital camera, and an Apple computer, then it’s easy.  It’ll take a day or two to put it together and another day to perfect it on imovie.  Yep it can all be accomplished on an Apple computer!  And you can have a thousand full scree pictures on a project specific web site that you also created with basic Apple software, and slideshows up the ying yang that you can email to every agent on the planet (if you really believe there’s a world wide audience then you have to reach out for them).

Hmmmm…prices are really cheap in Nashport, Ohio (yep that’s where this home is located), because at 55,000sf at a measly price tag of $15 million, on 200 acres…this home is a steal compared to the Stone Mansion in Alpine, NJ which is listed at              $52 million. ..and it’s only 30,000sf on 6 acres.  But what do you expect for a home that’s a few minutes outside of Manhattan. Talk about coastal snobbery.

Sorry to say, but I had no idea that anything like this existed in Ohio.  The Realtors need a better marketing effort.

Shout out to Sharon Znidarsic of Howard Hanna Real Estate and aol real estate for bringing this to us.  Thx