The Real Deal New York

High-end Riverdale market lags despite citywide rebound

Western Bronx neighborhood saw 30 percent fewer top-tier sales from 2009-2013

July 22, 2014 02:50PM

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From left: 4941 Arlington Avenue, 5000 Iselin Avenue and 421 West 250th Street in Riverdale

From left: 4941 Arlington Avenue, 5000 Iselin Avenue and 421 West 250th Street in Riverdale

While the New York City luxury real estate market has long bounced back since the recession, one high-end corner of the Bronx still lags behind.

From 2009 to 2013, properties priced at and above $1 million in the western Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale saw 30 percent fewer sales than they enjoyed before the market bottomed out in 2008, according to New York City Department of Finance data cited by the New York Observer. Currently, at least several dozen listings of homes in that price range have sat on the market for periods of six months or more, such as a mansion on Iselin Avenue that has languished for over four years.

The typical reason for such slow-moving sales, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, is that prices are out-of-sync with the market. Homeowners may see the possibilities through unrealistically rosy lens when they read a flood of stories about record-setting prices, expecting the frenzy from neighboring areas to spill over into theirs.

“We tend to look at housing markets in general as one big homogenous grouping,” Miller told the Observer. “When prices are up here, they must be up there.”

Indeed, one Riverdale property owner told the Observer of a lack of offers and attention on her 1950s estate despite reports of bidding wars in nearby Hastings, a town located 10 minutes away in neighboring Westchester County. And Susan Goldy, a longtime real estate agent in the area, blamed the lag on an erroneous idea of what the neighborhood is like among prospective buyers.

“It’s a beautiful, idyllic residential area,” Goldy told the Observer. “It’s highly desirable, but some people just don’t recognize the convenience that it has.” [NYO] Julie Strickland

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