Is This A Zippy Market?

1 Bramble Lane, Riverside, asking $4.295M, now has deal, my guess, closes around $4.150M. Back in June, 2008, the builder unloaded it for $4,050,000, probably thinking he’d made a narrow escape, but Riverside hung in there!. Can any other part of Town promise that kind of hold on value? List: Russ Pruner  Sell: Barbara Wells

Those who know me well, know that I don’t throw words like “zippy” around lightly. No, I understand the significance of the word, and only use it when absolutely justified. Therefore, let me state for the record that we are experiencing a ZIPPY market!

Am I aware that the dominant political party in Hartford has taken us down the road-to-ruin, to the point where our finances now resemble pathetic Puerto Rico and Illinois? Yes, I am aware. If you actually add up all the (un-payable) billions and billions and billions we owe to the municipal-union pension funds, the State of CT is already effectively bankrupt. Not pretty.

And yet… people clearly still want to live in Fairfield County. Why is this? Are they unaware of the impending doom? Do they think a (Republican) savior will emerge?

Who knows. What I do know is that last year, as of this date, we’d had 89 closings. This year, same time period, we’re up to 169 (plus another 73 pending). That’s serious improvement.

The fly-in-the-ointment *? Of course, it’s the super high-end, just 3 sales this year for $8M+. 3 sales! Now we only have to get rid of the other 68 sitting on the market and we’re home free!

So why do Greenwich sales start to dwindle down when you pass the $6M mark? The reason stated above, certainly, but added to our miserable State financial picture, there’s the State’s continuing “war on the rich”, and the very, very rich don’t have to take it. If you’re a poor schlub barely making enough to spend $5,000,000 on a home, your work probably still ties you to the New York area. But I guarantee you that the $20,000,000 buyer is not tied to the New York area. And for now, that’s who’s leaving. You might think of them as canaries in the coal mine…

 

*how often is this a problem?

The Trump Press Conference

Like me, you are endlessly fascinated by politics, to the point where you even go to YouTube and watch old JFK press conferences, which are really, really entertaining.

But there’s a difference between those days and the situation today. The press loved JFK and you can see and hear it in these videos. In contrast, the press has a deep, DEEP hatred and fear of Donald Trump, and in fact, it is their (latest) attempt to destroy him that prompted this press conference.

The video runs over an hour, but I think it’s the most compelling live-history I’ve ever experienced. This story about Trump and his alleged escapades at a Moscow hotel is classic political warfare, and the way he has handled it is very much worth watching.

P.S. At minute-25, Trump turns over the microphone for a few minutes as lawyer Sheri Dillon painstakingly explains the extreme measures Trump has taken to isolate himself from his businesses so as to avoid any possibility, any semblance of conflict of interest. Ms. Dillon is impressive, and her presentation is fascinating all by itself. If Bill and Hillary could have done even 1/100th of this, Hill would be the president-elect today.

 

Too busy to watch the video? Here’s Liz Peek’s excellent summation: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/01/11/liz-peek-most-impressive-aspect-trumps-first-press-conference-in-2017.html

 

 

How (Was) The Market?

I don't know who this schmoe is, but let's pretend he's a "disappointed Greenwich broker".

(I don’t know who this schmoe is, but let’s pretend he’s a “disappointed Greenwich broker”)

Throughout the year, we brokers are repeatedly asked, “How’s the market?” because residential real estate is apparently endlessly fascinating to the general public. Being the happy-go-lucky, smiling, whistling, optimistic guy you all know and love, I always reply that the market is “Fine”.

Unfortunately, Houlihan manager Haffenreffer has now come along and supplied the actual facts of the case for the full year of 2016, and it’s safe to say that last year was a bit “sucky”, as the young people like to say.

Total House Sales

2016   572

2015   601

Total Condo Sales

2016   154

2015   191

Check out the results for the upper price ranges of $5,000,000+, those continue to be depressed, but keep in mind, as I’ve described in an earlier post, there is quite a bit of new construction going on all over town, much of it custom-building for people who’ve bought a tear-down and then hired a builder to erect their dream-house. This activity is significant yet goes completely unacknowledged in statistics like the ones provided here.

Click on links below to see the full (ugly) story….

housesales2016

condosales2016

P.S. Regarding the fading of the upper price range, perhaps the inescapable conclusion is that Connecticut’s dominant political party (no names mentioned) has gradually chipped away at our once-great state’s biggest advantage over neighboring New York, which was taxes. We are now among the highest taxed states and guess who is the first to get the hell out of here? Did you say “the mega-wealthy”? You’re right! They are leaving because they can.

Obama Nominates Black Conservative To Supreme Court

Taking friend and foe alike completely by surprise, the President announced this afternoon at a White House press conference that he was nominating D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Judge Antonin Scalia.

“To replace a true Constitutional scholar with yet another stooge that will rubber-stamp any expansion of government I can dream up is unfair to at least half the US population so, dammit, I’m just not going to do it.” the President told a packed room of reporters.

“Judge Brown has, to my way of thinking, a quaint, even antiquated view that the Constitution actually has meaning and importance. Obviously she and I completely disagree on this, but her voice, her point of view, deserves to be heard on the Supreme Court, so today I nominate her to that position, and I expect a quick confirmation from my friends in the Senate.”

Concluding his remarks, the President refused to take any questions from reporters and instead, ran around the room yelling “February Fool’s Day! February Fool’s Day!” until Secret Service personnel wrestled him to the ground. He was later admitted to George Washington University Hospital for observation. No further details available.

 

 

 

Who Would Listen To George Soros?

George Soros, clown? evil genius? he's both!

George Soros, clown? evil genius? he’s both!

George Soros has gotten it right enough times that he’s piled up a net worth estimated by Bloomberg at $27.3 billion. But he’s also sly enough to proclaim his “concern” for the markets last week only after he’s shorted everything he owns. Now that he’s got his 1,000+ point Dow drop, he and his minions can pick up the bargains!

That’s just the normal fun & games of the market, but what really bugs me about Soros is that, when he’s not busy fleecing un-wary investors, he works actively to undermine free markets and free enterprise in general. Every far-left nut-group in the world can count on a yearly check from Soros because a., that’s his philosophical viewpoint, and b., he knows no matter what happens, he will still make money. Who cares if the little people starve, their businesses collapse, and dissenters get locked up (Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea), it’s all good in Soro’s book.

Viva revolución!

 

Director Spike Lee Calls For Affirmative-Action Oscars

New York, NY 05/23/11- The University of Georgia Presents the 70th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards -PICTURED:  -PHOTO by: Alex Oliveira/startraksphoto.com -AOH_1390 Startraksphoto NY,NY 10010 For licensing please call 212-414-9464 or email sales@startraksphoto.com

The saddest part of this is that the loonies are actually pressuring comedian Chris Rock to boycott his own Oscar’s master of ceremonies job! Why? The nominees are Caucasian, not African American.

Maybe it’s time for the Justice Department to…

A. Launch an investigation, and then…

B. Reach a settlement with the movie studios that a “percentage” of Oscars must be awarded to non-whites. After all, it’s only fair!

Connecticut’s Conveyance Tax Explained

 

Formerly the estate of "timber tycoon" John Rudy...really? "Timber tycoon"?

Formerly the estate of “timber tycoon” John Rudey, the sale of this 50.6 -acre property produced a total conveyance tax of $1,796,000.

The occasion of the sale of 499 Indian Field Road, “Copper Beech Farm” for $120,000,000 and it’s attendant conveyance tax* of $1,796,000 provides us with an opportunity to show how this (insidious, deliberately confusing, so-called) tax works…

Here is the state of CT’s real estate conveyance tax, in it’s two parts:

State:  .75% of the first $800,000 and 1.25% on amounts above $800,000.

Local:  .250% of the total sales price.

So in the case of this landmark $120,000,000 sale, you calculate thusly….

For the state, you take that first $800,000 and multiply by .0075 to get $6,000. For the balance ($119,200,000), you multiply by .0125 to get $1,490,000. Total for the state, therefore is $6,000 plus $1,490,000 or $1,496,000.

For the Town’s take, you multiply the entire total of $120,000,000 by .00250 to get $300,000.

OTHER EXAMPLES

Sell for $1,000,000:

State gets .0075 of the first $800,0000, which is always $6,000. The $200,000 balance is multiplied by .0125 to get $2,500.

Town gets .0025 times $1,000,000 equaling $2,500.

Total conveyance tax = $11,000.

Sell for $2,000,000:

State = $6,000 + $15,000

Town = $5,000

Total conveyance tax:  $26,000.

Sell for $3,000,000

State = $6,000 + $27,500

Town = $7,500

Total conveyance tax:  $41,000.

And so on…

* In their never-ending quest to drive productive citizens out of Connecticut, Hartford liberals, beginning in 1989, began the steady raising of the conveyance tax every few years. Since it applies to all sales, even in cases where the seller may be losing hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, it is more accurately described as a real estate sales penalty. Don’t like it?  Stop voting for liberals!