More single family homes and condos in Verona went to contract in 2012 than in 2011, 28% more, driven in part by a near doubling of condo sales. But if you’re wondering whether selling prices improved with that, the answer is: Not so much.
According to Multiple Listing Service data provided by the Prudential New Jersey Properties in Verona and analyzed by MyVeronaNJ.com, 168 single family homes and condos went under contract in 2012, up from 131 in 2011.
In 2012, 66 of the sales–or 39%–were for condominiums, many of which were in the two large Claridge towers on Verona’s eastern ridge. There were only 38 condo sales in 2011, accounting for 29% of the total sales that year.
In all $55,381,003 in real estate changed hands last year, which again sounds like good news. But only 36 of the 168 properties went to contract at or above their original listing price. Had everything that sold actually sold at the original price, we would have been looking at more than $59 million in sales. The properties sold also skewed toward the lower end of Verona’s market: 36 properties went for $200,000 or less, all but one a one-bedroom condominium.
The lowest sale price reported was $89,900 for a one-bedroom apartment on the first floor of Claridge I. The most expensive sale in 2012 was 60 Chestnut Road at $726,000. While Verona, unlike Montclair or West Orange, does not have many homes priced above $1 million, two of our top-end homes had sold in 2011.
One of the most historic properties in Verona finally sold in 2012. When 14 Manor Road came on the market in August 2010, it was a property that maybe only an old house lover could love. The house, built in 1880 for the man who donated the land for Verona Park, was a Carpenter Gothic in serious need of a carpenter. It found one last year in Lenny Shriber, a Prudential New Jersey Properties realtor who has made a specialty of buying and restoring homes in Verona.
Shriber gutted much of the home, but carefully preserved its bones and unique architectural details. He held a special open house with the Verona Historical Society in May, and on August 30, the former Hiram Cook homestead sold for $626,000.
And what about this year? “We’re extremely optimistic about the market going into 2013,” says Steve Janett, the chief operating officer of Prudential New Jersey Properties and a lifelong Verona resident. “I truly believe all the economics that are playing out now, the reasonable prices and low interest rates, will make people say in a few years ‘I’m so thankful I bought a house now’.”