Contemporary homes tougher to sell than colonials.

English: Contemporary brick home in Toowoomba,...

… it is certainly more challenging to sell contemporary homes than it is to sell colonials, at least in north Jersey.


I recently became acquainted with an amazing contemporary home. It has features such as an enclosed oriental garden, and a home office that you would never want to leave. But that’s not what this post is about. Rather, it’s about the widely held belief that contemporary homes are more difficult to sell than other home styles…at least in New Jersey. Now that I had a practical business reason as motivation, I decided to see if the belief was supported by the facts.

In order to focus the task I compared colonial-style homes with contemporary homes in suburban Essex, Passaic and Union Counties in New Jersey, including in the analysis only those towns that had a reasonable number of contemporary home sales. The included towns were  Cedar Grove, Livingston, Montclair, North Caldwell, Little Falls and Wayne. Sale prices of contemporary homes in those towns ranged from $393,000 to $2 million. I then pulled MLS sales data on contemporary and colonial homes between those price points for the past four calendar years. Here is the picture that emerged.

Market Size
The market for colonial homes is far larger than the market for contemporary homes. Over the preceding four years, there were 90 sales of contemporary homes in the selected towns, while colonial home sales totalled 1422.

Recent Price Trend
The median price of contemporary homes fell 28% over the past four years, while colonials rose 4%.

Speed of Sale
The amount of time it takes to sell a home is a strong indication of perceived demand; buyers move quickly when they believe that they will lose out to another buyer. That said, 43% of contemporary homes sold within 60 days of going on sale compared to 60% for colonials.

Selling Price At Or Above Original List Price
As with speed of sale, price paid is directly linked to perceived demand; perceived buyer demand drives up price. For contemporary homes, only 10% of buyers felt compelled to pay original list price or more. For colonials the percentage was nearly 3-times more at 29%, .

Based upon this evidence, all of which was was gleaned from MLS data using Hyperlocal Market Analysis, it is certainly more challenging to sell contemporary homes than it is to sell colonials, at least in north Jersey. And, if you are seeking to sell a contemporary home, it is also clear that using the same sales tools and techniques that work in selling colonial homes will probably come up short.

If you have a contemporary home to sell I would like to share my marketing ideas with you.  I also invite you to view my credentials presentation.


Categories: All Posts, Residential

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