for-saleAn abundance of ‘for sale’ signs caught the newspaper’s attention. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


The New York Post has been hanging around Rumson, and if you saw Sunday’s edition, you noticed the dispatch wasn’t as cheery as the recent flurry of features on the area.

Instead, New York City’s oldest paper took notice of the higher-than-usual number of ‘for sale’ signs on borough lawns — particularly in front of a “glut of luxury homes,” an indication that writer Hilary Kramer said in her story lends a “surreal quality to the town.”

Or as one unidentified resident quoted in the story says, “There’s a new class of citizens in Rumson: the formerly rich.”

The Post says the combination of the weak economy and tighter banking practices have put the pinch on Rumson homeowners. Kramer quotes real estate agent Richard “Ric” Martel Jr. of Zack Shore Properties, who says:

“The scenario could be a banker who was making $1.5 million, and now their company went under — like Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns — or they have seen their comp cut to $750,000, and the house they bought in 2005 for $1.6 million is now worth $1.1 million, and… the mortgage is $1.280 million.”

Kramer’s piece focused on the properties listed at or more than $1 million — the average assessed property value in Rumson — and used figures from a website to show that there are more than 100 homes valued at $1 million or more that are up for sale.

Kramer ID’s a Rumson couple, the Greenleafs, who say they’ve had their home on the market since October, but nobody’s biting. The thirtysomething couple tells the Post that banks are making it difficult for people to sell their homes.

Another “high-profile” resident, who’s had her home for sale more than 200 days, said the market has been so difficult that she’s been considering throwing in her Porsche along with the house.

“I’m even thinking of throwing myself in to close the deal,” the unidentified woman told the newspaper.