Whether you’re talking about Bergen County New Jersey or anywhere else in the US, the housing market recovers at both extremes first and the rest of the real estate market comes along. Now that we’re halfway through 2011, I thought it would be helpful to take a quick look at the numbers for Bergen County luxury homes. There’s no doubt that good things are happening.
In almost every location, the luxury home market has improved dramatically. This is especially true east of Route 17 because we are closer to New York City. While I’ve never seen any data to explain this, I have felt that being on top of the George Washington Bridge is a major factor for high end home buyers who are in positions where they may not stay for extended periods of time such as Fortune 500 CEO’s, senior level diplomats, celebrities and athletes and who must be within 15 minutes of the George Washington Bridge.
Let’s take a look at our luxury home market in Bergen County beginning with Alpine New Jersey. Alpine made tremendous progress in 2011. Alpine homes nearly tripled the number of sales in 2011 going from 4 to 11. Smart home buyers looked at Alpine homes as a tremendous opportunity. I remember one buyer saying to me that he never thought he could buy a good home in Alpine at $2-2.5 million.
Saddle River had a solid performance this year with one more sale going from 19 to 20 closings. Saddle River homes certainly appear to have stabilized and the average sales price of a Saddle River home is up by 10%. Alpine and Saddle River are the 2 most exclusive Bergen County luxury home markets.
Franklin Lakes is still having a tough time though; Franklin Lakes homes went from 50 to 38 sales and average pricing is down by 3% but there’s good news here too for Franklin Lakes homes – home buyers paid a higher percentage of the asking price in 2011 and the time it took to sell a Franklin Lakes home dropped dramatically from 126 to 92 days. I bet you’ll see a great improvement in Franklin Lakes homes by year’s end and certainly in 2012.
Tenafly homes at the luxury home level more than tripled the number of sales going from 2 to 7. Don’t look at the average price because it’s lower. This does not describe the reality of the Tenafly luxury home market. The 2 sales in 2010 were new construction; the 7 sales in 2011 were from a broad palette of new and resale Tenafly homes. Tenafly real estate at the high end did extremely well so far in 2011.
The bottom line is that the real estate market for Bergen County luxury homes has stabilized. Because it’s stabilized, It’s been able to do very well indeed and that’s good news for all of us.