Anyone charged with the job of determining what something’s worth, naturally relies upon recent sales of the item in question. If it’s a commodity like gold, barrels of oil, LeRoy Neiman prints, it is an easy job to come up with the value.
Real estate is different; there are so many variables involved that all you can really do is offer an educated guess. Once in a while, however, we get lucky and a nice bunch of sales of a similar class of real estate happen within a short time. Suddenly, the job gets easier.
Just such a bunch of sales has occurred in the last 18 months. I am referring to the sale of waterfront lots in Riverside and Old Greenwich, all in the range of $5,000,000.
Here are those four sales as listed on the Greenwich MLS. I would also include on this list, the direct (non MLS) sale last year of 40 & 44 Rocky Point Road, two waterfront lots of about 1/2 acre each, that sold for a total of $10,400,000, to a next door neighbor.
All six of these waterfront properties had buildings but in each case the value was clearly in the land.
So what’s the lesson? For now, we can conclude that a decent waterfront lot in Riverside or Old Greenwich will run you “around” $5M. For that you get perhaps an acre on a tidal harbor, or a half acre+ of really direct waterfront.