From the Star Ledger:
You know the luxury property market is struggling when one of New Jersey’s most lavish estates sells for barely one-quarter of its original listing price.
Fawn Hill Farm, the storied Harding Township landmark that hit the auction block last October, sold for just $6.4 million — a fraction of its original listing price of $22.5 million — according to a recent update on the auction company’s website.
The 34-acre property, located in the affluent New Vernon section of the township, languished on the market for five years before owners Herb and Gloria Glatt hired an auction company as a final resort. By that time, they had marked down the price to $15.3 million, but with no luck.
Mary Horn, the listing agent for Fawn Hill for four years, estimates the estate was worth double its auction price. In the year leading up to the auction, she received an $8 million offer for the house alone, but the owners hoped to get even more with an auction, she said.
“It’s worth a lot more than $6 million,” said Horn, who specializes in luxury homes at Weichert Realtors. “I was there at the auction—I was numb.”
To be sure, New Jersey’s high-end property market has been hit hard by the recession, she said. Horn recently sold two homes in Far Hills—one for $4.3 million, less than half of its original asking price, and the other for $3.9 million, about $1 million less than the owner paid for it.
Still, for owners who are realistic about their selling prices, there’s still a market, she said.
A spokeswoman for Concierge said the auction was “very successful,” with 11 bidders participating after more than 200 showings of the home.
“The challenge today is that buyers and sellers aren’t certain what the true value of property is,” said Laura Brady, vice president of Concierge in Manhattan. “A property is worth what a buyer is willing to pay.”