From the NY Post (Hat tip Dan):
In this economy, it’s not uncommon for whole neighborhoods to be on the market. But Rumson, NJ, a leafy bedroom community of 7,200 residents, nonetheless stands out: It has 100 homes for sale — all for more than $1 million.
“The streets are filled with distracting ‘for sale’ signs,” says one resident. “Lots of husbands are hanging out at the bagel deli. They used to be working and now are picking up bagels. There’s a new class of Americans in Rumson: the formerly rich.”
The glut of luxury homes has lent a surreal quality to the town, and weekends find brokers sitting at open houses waiting for buyers that never come. Many of the properties have been on the market for more than a year.
Notable residents include Bruce Springsteen, as well as Goldman Sachs bankers, hedge-fund honchos and retired baseball and NFL stars.
But lately, even this community has felt the pinch of the recession. One resident said the top-rated restaurant in town, David Burke’s Fromagerie, which serves a $42 veal chop, has a waiting list for “Burger Night,” where locals can “enjoy a salad, burger & glass of wine or beer, only $25 per person.”
The impact on real estate has been particularly acute. According to the sales Web site Trulia, there are about 100 homes — excluding private sales, foreclosures and quiet bank sales — on the block for more than $1 million. Expanding to include the homes within one mile, the number jumps to 190.
“People don’t have the money they used to have,” says Richard “Ric” Martel Jr., a broker in the Rumson office of Prudential Zack Shore Properties. “The scenario could be a banker who was making $1.5 million, and now their company went under — like Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns — or they have seen their comp cut to $750,000, and the house they bought in 2005 for $1.6 million is now worth $1.1 million, and . . . the mortgage is $1.280 million.”
Residents are “still owning nice cars and belonging to beach clubs and country clubs, and they’re asking themselves, ‘Where can I cut my monthly nut?’ The answer is to put their home up for sale.”
The problem is that every house on their block is for sale, too.