Tough Real Estate Market For The Rich, Too

for sale2Real estate agents say there are signs of hope. Prices have fallen in a correction that puts the market more in line with the economy. But a major hurdle remains: Banks, still burned by the housing bubble, are scrutinizing buyers’ creditworthiness more closely.

“The underwriting guidelines for jumbo loans — $1 million plus — are much tighter than they have ever been,” said Sean Clark, vice president of Advisors Mortgage Group LLC, a mortgage banker in Wall. “Higher down payments are required. Higher (credit) scores. Just all around much tougher.”

The market — from the estates in Holmdel to the vacation homes on Long Beach Island — has improved from last year.

From January through August, Monmouth and Ocean counties saw 225 sales of homes for more than $1 million, up 34 percent from the same time last year, according to the Monmouth County Association of Realtors.

They have included some whoppers. A Spring Lake home that was listed for $12 million recently sold for $9.9 million after just 45 days on the market, said David Reich, manager of Diane Turton Realtors’ Wall office.

“We are experiencing more showings, more activities on the listings,” said Mary Burke, president of the Heritage House Sotheby’s International Realty based in Shrewsbury. Burke said her company has closed on 37 sales in Rumson in 2010, up from 15 sales during the same time last year. Read more in the APP.

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