When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (AKA the Trump Tax Cuts) was passed in 2017, common wisdom was that it was bad news for New Jersey’s housing market. The tax law limited the ability for New Jersey homeowners to deduct sales and local taxes from their federal taxes, penalizing homeowners in high-tax states, hitting those with more expensive homes the hardest. This increase in the cost of home ownership was predicted to especially hurt the high end of the housing market.
According to a report by Princeton-based real estate agency Callaway Henderson, the experience of the last year and a half shows that the law has had the effect that was foreseen: “The loss of SALT deductibility has, in fact, slowed real estate markets in high tax states, of which New Jersey certainly is one … buyers have a budget for what they can spend on a home on a monthly basis if carrying costs become too expensive, the sale price is the element most subject to change in order to balance things out.”
The report singled out Princeton, with its abundance of homes priced above $2 million, as a market that is experiencing “pricing recalibration” as seen in the statistic that homes that sold for 21 percent above their assessed tax value last year were now going for 13 percent over.
But how are home prices doing in the rest of Mercer County? U.S. 1 surveyed the most expensive homes currently listed for sale in each municipality.
Several homes in Trenton currently on sale are listed for more than $300,000, and they are mostly located in the Hiltonia section in the northwest end of the city. Hiltonia, separated from the rest of the city by Cadwalader Park on one side and the Delaware and Raritan Canal on the other, has always had the biggest, most expensive homes in state capital since it was developed in the 1920s.
There is one outlier, however and that is a three-story townhouse located at 324 South Broad Street just down the block from the Mill Hill Saloon, asking $480,000. The listing for the 3,000-square-foot home begins, “Enter into 324 South Broad Street and find the unexpected” and the photos deliver. The heavily renovated 1950 home has floating stairs, a loft, and a garage with an electric car charging station.
324 South Broad Street, Trenton. Listed by Kathie Yates, Gloria Nilson & Company Real Estate, Hopewell. $480,000.
The most expensive home for sale in Ewing Township is listed for more than $100,000 more than any other currently on the market. The 3,900-square-foot colonial home at 3 Mansion Hill Drive is listed for $534,000. It’s in the Wilburtha neighborhood, which borders the D&R Canal. The Colonial-style house, built in 1988, has a lot of almost one acre, landscaped with mature trees.
3 Mansion Hill Drive. Listed by Thomas Cuilla, RE/MAX of Princeton. $534,000.
The most expensive home in Hamilton Township is a 133-acre estate that includes a horse farm, a 3,500-square-foot house, a caretaker’s home, a horse barn, a vineyard, and a pool, all for $2.49 million. The listing advertises the home, at 108 Old York Road, as being perfect for a commuter or a horseman.
108 Old York Road. Listed by Mariola Abilheira, RE/MAX Homeland Realtors. $2,490,000.
There is a piece of farmland advertised in Lawrence for $1.5 million, but the house is not featured. The most expensive residence in town is a $1.3 million house at 38-A Carter Road on four acres across from an organic farm. The home, built in 2001, boasts all kinds of amenities like a sub-zero fridge, a secondary staircase to a rec room, a sprawling deck, and a tall stone fireplace. The home also has a coveted Princeton mailing address.
38-A Carter Road. Listed by Jean Grecsek, Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International, Pennington. $1,300,000.
Hopewell Township is home to many sprawling country estates, and the one on sale at 131-133 Harbourton Woodsville Road is a prime example. Offered for $9.5 million, the “Getaway fit for a Wall Street king” can serve as its own hunting and fishing destination, with 127 acres for hunting deer, goose, and wild turkey as well as two ponds where more than 1,000 bass are stocked. Indoors you will find a bar, a wine cellar, a billiard room, a media room, a steam room, and a gym.
131-133 Harbourton Woodsville Road. Listed by Norman “Pete” Callaway and Christina Callaway, Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International, Princeton. $9,500,000.
Princeton has no shortage of $1 million-plus listings, and currently the highest asking price is $5 million for a home at 18 Katies Pond Road. The seven-bedroom home is on 3.5 acres. Inside there is a library, a master bedroom with its own double-sided dressing room, a gym with a sauna, a home theater, and a wine cellar all radiating from an open party room.
18 Katies Pond Road. Listed by Norman Callaway Jr., Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International, Princeton. $5,000,000.
The “grand castle” for sale for $1.1 million, at 18 Wynwood Drive, is West Windsor’s most expensive home currently on the market. The Colonial-style home, built in 2003, has an open layout, a finished basement, and each of its five bedrooms has an attached bathroom. The 1.45-acre property backs up to the Cranbury Golf Club.
18 Wynwood Drive. Listed by Komail Ali, Realty Mark Central. $1,100,000.
The four-bedroom home at 23 Olivia Road is going for an asking price of $928,800, making it the most expensive home in Robbinsville and one of several approaching the $1 million mark. The 4,708-square-foot house located in the Washington Estates development has brick pillars out front, a butterfly staircase, several chandeliers, and other luxury amenities.
23 Olivia Road. Listed by Eugenia Brunone, Gloria Nilson & Company Real Estate, Princeton Junction. $928,800.