Correcting Gideon’s Stats

Every once in a while, people make mistakes…


All bloggers like to have readers, I am no exception. The only annoying part is when some of those readers question the Great One’s statistics. Just such a case has now presented itself.

You’ll recall that I recently compared the 2016 numbers to 2017’s using the Greenwich Board o’ Realtors site that all brokers use, something called “FlexMLS”. On that site I entered this criteria: “single-family Greenwich closings with contract dates between Jan. 1, 2016 and June 5, 2016”. That produced a figure of 89 sales.

Ask that same question, but change the year to 2017 and what do you get? 169 sales, almost a 90% increase! (I’ve just tried it again, and this time, I got slightly different numbers, yeesh!)

That number is apparently inaccurate, so I guess I cannot rely on the search method I’m using, not because the actual MLS numbers are wrong, but possibly because the search program mysteriously retains sales from the previous search that don’t belong in the new, changed search? I don’t know, I don’t care.

From now on, I’ll rely on Houlihan Lawrence’s excellent statistics. They’re clearly presented, easy to understand, and never wrong.

The long and short: Greenwich sales figures are indeed up this year over last, but not 90%, sadly, instead a more modest 6.9%. Sigh.

Click on that link below the picture to see an excellent year-by-year comparison.

The Dumbest Move In Real Estate

The Winner and still champion, this place took 21 years to sell (finally closing in 2012 for $8M)

The Winner and still champion, this (lovely, 23-acre) back-country Greenwich estate took 21 years to sell, finally closing in 2012 for $8M.

Maybe “dumb” isn’t the right word, especially since people who do this are often highly intelligent and accomplished in other areas of their lives, but let’s agree that the WORST move in real estate is to leave your property on the market for months and months, years and years, at the same price (or with occasional grudging reductions).

I think this sort of thing is more common in wealthy enclaves like Greenwich, where every listing broker has heard clients utter these three lines s-o-o-o-o many times before:

  1. We don’t need to sell.

  2. We’re not going to give this place away.

  3. All it takes is one! (reflecting the mistaken belief that, if you wait long enough, a rich sucker will finally appear)

I was about eight years old when I first noticed this phenomenon.The family would drive up to Ogunquit, Maine every summer and one year we drove past a nice new for-sale sign posted in a field just outside of town. The next year, that sign was still there, looking a bit worse for wear.

By the fifth year, the weather had taken its toll and the sign was illegible, pretty much just faded letters and peeling white paint. Over the years, I saw this exercise repeated on other fields, with the same results. “What’s the point of that?”, I wondered. And I am still wondering!

Coming in 2nd place (but clearly making a run for the record) is this (also lovely) estate, which has entered its twelfth year on the market!

Coming in 2nd place (but clearly making a run for the record) is this also lovely estate in mid-country Greenwich, now well into its twelfth year on the market! Can the owner hang in there for just ten more years and break the record? Stay tuned!