From the Star Ledger:
Ten years ago, when their grandchildren were young and visiting often, Frank and Rosemary Santoloci bought a brand new five-bedroom, four-bathroom home on four acres in Sparta.
There was ample room to play indoors, swim in the pool and and spend time outdoors.
But now the boys have gown up and don’t come over as frequently, so last spring, the couple put their home on the market. The house sold within four months — after they cut the price.
The Santolocis are among the lucky ones.
There is a glut of these McMansions on the market in the suburbs throughout New Jersey, real estate agents and analysts said.
Certain homebuyers once prized these large houses, tucked away on a few acres of land and featuring half a dozen bedrooms, grand entranceways, and three-car garages.
But in the face of the economic collapse, declines in personal wealth, a tight housing market, and a shift of what prospective homeowners want, all that has changed.
Major demographic changes could also make the market shrink even further in the next five years, as baby boomers retire and look to downsize. The generation behind them is smaller and has less money and a desire to live closer to urban centers.
“We definitely have an oversupply of inventory for the so-called McMansions,” said Mary Pat Spekhardt, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Sparta who worked with the Santolocis.
“Houses are staying on the market double the time that they used to, and everyone is frustrated,” she said. “We can’t make buyers, though, that’s the problem. We market, market, market the house and make the house stand out, but the buyers are few and far between.”
In New Jersey, it would take 14.6 months to sell the current inventory of houses listed between $600,000 and $1 million, according to real estate analyst Jeffrey Otteau, president of Otteau Valuation Group. The only houses that are selling are those with unique features, like an inground pool or a media room in the basement, agents said.
And the issue is only going to get worse.