Montclair Home Prices Jump

Montclair seems to be defying both state and national drops in home prices, according to first quarter stats from
The Bloomfield chart, however, is more typical of the NJ market. The lower number of sales for each suggest incomplete numbers. It would only take a few Mega-mansions in Montclair to skew the stats.
Larger charts are on EcoRealty

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  1. If I were a younger man with better hair, I’d certainly look into purchasing a home in Montlclair.

  2. The volume of home sales in Q1 2008 was very small, so the average sales price is not very meaningful for that final data point. Even with declining sales volumes over the last 4-5 years, the price trend is flat to slightly up. Pretty good news.

  3. The rise in median price may reflect the fact that, because of tighter lending standards, lower priced properties are not selling at the same rate they used to. As such, the homes that are sold tend to be higher priced homes.

  4. Let’s see, then. Yup. Bought exactly at the peak of the market. Ah well. Better hope Bloomfield’s schools shape up. Looks like we’re gonna be here awhile.

  5. Yeah, this data is near meaningless as far as making any factual statements about the trends. Pretty far stretch to say home prices are trending higher. More accurate and appropriate statement would read “Insufficient Data makes it look like housing prices are rising”.

  6. My friend bought his Upper Mtc. home for 145K in 1991. It’s worth about 600K now.
    Sheeeeeit!, I paid the same amount in 1991 for my Bloomfield home and it’s worth 300K now…
    That’s a nice jump in equity for both of us. Much nicer for him.

  7. I bought my home for $3.50 in 1841, but I’m sure it would fetch $1.5 million now — according to the chart! Which is as good as cash!

  8. Marsupials are noted for their longevity, sometimes attaining a life span of 3 million years. This enables them to wait out the bad times and to make conservative investments that blossom decades later.
    In 1841, $3.50 was an outlandish amount to pay for a home.

  9. It was! For years I had to bide my time while the price dipped to below $1. But my patience has paid off.

  10. Prof, you are making me laugh today, thank you.
    Captain, we also bought at the height of the last market – jeez, like 18 years ago?! – and then couldn’t even give it away for *less* than we paid for it, 10 years later. A little patience, (well, actually a lot of patience and some renovations) and things ended up working out OK.
    Just don’t hire anyone for your BOE that has the words “booted out of Montclair BOE” on their resume and you should be fine.

  11. I’d love to see a report that explains the trend of homeowners who can pay $40K+ in annual property taxes. Who are these people and where do they keep moving in from? Because almost everywhere else, these properties’ taxes would have been a deal killer.

  12. “…these properties’ taxes would have been a deal killer.”
    Exactly. And that is the variable that you cannot control. You can control your interest rate to some extent (you can get locked in with a low rate or you can refinance down the road should rates drop). You can have control over price of the house you buy (you can haggle in a buyers’ market) but you cannot control the taxes. They are what they are. And, most likely, they can and will go up as ours will in 2009.
    {{{another reason to not vote Democratic….did I just say that?}}}

  13. NJ Voters keep electing the same party over and over expecting a different/better result. Now please refer to the bottom of MM’s post above..

  14. “homeowners who can pay $40K+ in annual property taxes”
    Last time I drove down Upper Mtn. (the section with all the castles!) with my daughter, she said: “What kind of jobs do these people have that they can afford these houses??” I stammered something like, Oh, doctors and lawyers I guess. (Maybe hedge fund managers, but that would have ended up in a long explanation that she would have tuned out anyway.)
    Then she said when she gets older, she wants to get a group of friends together and go door-to-door under the guise of taking a survey, and ask the homeowners what they do for a living — so that they can then go to college for those specific jobs.
    Have a nice weekend everyone.

  15. “…these properties’ taxes would have been a deal killer.”
    And these pretzels are making me thirsty!!!

  16. Its quite an unbelievable reality to think that now the larger homes cost about twenty to thirty thousand dollars a month to live in once all of the taxes, mortgage and running costs add up. Some of these homeowners spend hundreds of thousands to millions to upgrade and renovate with practically no return of investment at resale. Thats great if you are willing and able to invest that kind of money to live in a suburban estate so close to Manhattan but this kind of homeowner (they do exist) would become demotivated to make such sacrifices if the surrounding townscapes are not protected from speculative overdevelopment, teardowns of characteristic houses, condos and McMansions. This is local reality and these houses are such an important contributing factor of our characteristic townscape.

  17. Worthwhile data would be comparison to Assessed Value, that was determined at the (near) height of market. If selling above, means one thing; selling below, is entirely different story.

  18. A large part of the tax bill is for schools. If you live in Manhattan or Brooklyn and have 3 kids that you do not want to send to public schools, that amounts to approximately 75k a year for school alone, starting with pre-school. So 30k-40k is a bargain and you get a nice house instead of a 2 bedroom condo.

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