From the Record:
In a sign that wealthy households may be spending more freely, a dozen houses sold for more than $4 million in Bergen County in 2015 — up from eight the previous year.
The priciest sale in North Jersey in 2015 was the $13.9 million sale of an Alpine home to comedian Tracy Morgan, who bought the Rio Vista Drive manor in the name of a trust. The second most expensive sale was another Alpine home, on Buckingham Drive, which sold for $11 million.
By contrast, 2014’s priciest sale was for $7 million.
Number of home sales over $4 million in North Jersey:
Sources: public records, New Jersey Multiple Listing Service
Annekee Brahver-Keely, a real estate agent with Russo Real Estate in Teaneck and president of the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, said last year’s bump in high-end sales reflects a more optimistic economic landscape.
“It’s a true sign that the economy is definitely turning around,” she said. And Dennis McCormack, managing partner of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Alpine, an agency that handles a large share of the area’s luxury listings, said that the high-end market is more active than it’s been in a decade.
But high-flying sales like these are still rare, especially considering the supply. There are more than 60 Bergen County homes on the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service with asking prices of $4 million-plus. That adds up to a five-year inventory at the current sales pace.
Marlyn Friedberg of Friedberg Real Estate in Tenafly — who has several multimillion-dollar listings — said that higher-end homes are “taking a long time” to sell.
“There’s always a smaller pool of buyers in the multimillion-dollar range,” she said.
And even when the homes sell, their owners often have to accept a lower price — and a longer wait — than they’d like. For example, the Alpine home bought last year by Morgan for $13.9 million had been on and off the market since 2006, when it was listed for $24.9 million.