What’s Selling Well In Greenwich Right Now

75 Rock Maple, Greenwich (off Stanwich Road), $5,695,000. Came on May 24th, already has a deal! This was a very smart asking price. We’ll have to wait for the closing, but I won’t be surprised if it had a little bidding war.
List: Helene Barre
Sell: Max Wiesen

You want the truth? You can handle the truth, so here it is: houses priced $5,000,000-6,000,000 are trading quite nicely, thank you. How many? So far this year, we’re up to 11 closings, with 6 more pending. For all of 2016, we had a total of 12, so there, my friends, is another clear indicator of that “zippy” market I talked about..

There is a theory among brokers that these $5M-6M buyers are “yesterday’s $10M buyers” who are now spending less not because they don’t have the dough, but more out of a sense of caution. This could be true, I’m not sure, but as I wrote yesterday, I’m certain some percentage of $10M buyers just aren’t here anymore. They’ve stayed in Manhattan or they’ve gone to places like Florida.

Now consider this: If all the Greenwich property owners with houses on the market for $10M+ (there are 41 of them) suddenly decided they needed to sell RIGHT NOW, they would need to slash their asking prices by millions. That would quickly drive down the price of all these houses presently selling in the 5’s and 6’s.

But guess what? High-end Greenwich property owners almost never really “need” to sell. That’s why we have so many on the market celebrating their 5th anniversary, 6th, 7th, all the way up to a few that have been on for FOURTEEN YEARS. So all you sellers in the $5M+’s? Relax, your market value is safe.

 

 

 

 

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Will The High-End Drag Down Everyone Else?

If no one buys this Bugatti Chiron for $2,998,000, will that hurt the sales of $90,000 Mercedes Benzes? Gideon says no.

I was belly-aching about the lack of high-end ($7M+) sales the other day to my friend* Chuck Royce, who certainly knows things, and he said “We lost 300,000 financial jobs and those buyers just aren’t there anymore”.

I won’t argue with the Voice of Royce, certainly the government-caused melt down of the housing industry, followed by the near collapse of the financial sector, took a terrible toll on jobs in the investment business.  But I still think there’s more to this. After all, there are now PLENTY of young couples out there getting into bidding wars over $2M tear-downs, particularly in Riverside and Old Greenwich. It’s one of our busiest segments, and consider the money being spent: they’ll pay anywhere from $2M to $4M+, just for the land, then spend $2M-3M to build the dream house.

Take the folks who just paid $4,325,000 for the right to tear down 206 Shore Road, Old Greenwich: they will be all-in for around $7M when they’re done building. Does that sound like a weak market?

No, what’s going on here besides Royce’s observation of 300,000 eliminated jobs is that young buyers, more than ever, want brand new. That means if you dumped millions into a property 15 years ago, you may not get that money back. Maybe your $12,000,000 house is now only worth $7,000,000, but the buyers are there. Their tastes have changed, but they do exist!

We notice this loss of value most in our extreme high-end properties, but will that erosion inevitably drag all the other prices down? I say no. It’s like the Bugatti example above. Prices in the rarefied categories, whether it be art, property, or automobiles, don’t really have much influence on the rest of us.

 

*You qualify as my “friend” if you can reliably pick me out of a police line-up.

On The Other Hand, There’s This

 

22 Mimosa Drive, Cos Cob: everybody wants!

22 Mimosa Drive, Cos Cob: $1,200,000… everybody wants! List: Roseann Sarica Benedict

UPDATE: Closed 12/01/2016 for $1,320,000. That’s the power unleashed by “underpricing”.

Everyone likes Mimosas, don’t they? Of course they do. And they also like streets named after the flower or the drink.

So no one will be surprised to hear that 22 Mimosa Drive, which hit the market a day or two ago, attracted multiple bids from builder and end-users alike, and the whole thing went to sealed-bids!

This a nice, fairly level one-acre parcel and the asking price was smart. Result? Bidding war.

 

Note: My happy little face appears on the listing link, but this is Roseann’s listing.

Havemeyer Park Building Lot

39 Northridge Road, asked $799,000, GOT $965,000.

39 Northridge Road, asked $799,000, GOT $965,000. List: Bill Andruss. Sell: Andy Healy.

“Havemeyer Park” is on the Town of Greenwich’s eastern border, one side of Havemeyer Lane is Old Greenwich, the other is Stamford. Other streets in this neighborhood are named after famous WWII military figures, so you’ve got MacArthur Drive, Halsey, Nimitz, and Marshall. In addition, there’s Northridge Road, Old Wagon, a bunch of others.

A lot of it is zoned R-7, (FAR = .36) so even the smaller lots have plenty of building potential, plus, this has been one of the last bargain spots in town. Got the picture? No? Well take a good look at the picture above, because that little shack is a typical example of what Havemeyer Park used to be all about.

World War II ended, servicemen returned home to Greenwich, and found there was no “affordable” housing, so the Town modified the zoning for this section and authorized the building of about 100 of these nice little homes. They sold for around $15,000, (possibly funded by George Bailey of the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Company).

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, 39 Northridge Road! Listing agent, Bill “Blabbermouth” Andruss* brought this baby on for $799,000 way back in March. Was it underpriced? Sure! Was that a mistake? Hell no! As always, underpricing worked its magic, and the end result was it closed today for $965,000, $166,000 over ask.

For that, selling broker Andy Healy’s client gets .29 acres in the R-7 zone, which means our busy little Building Department will (graciously) allow 4,547 square feet of above-ground living space, that’s a lot of house.

It hasn’t happened overnight, but over the last decade, this whole neighborhood has gained substantially, and it looks like there’s plenty more growth to come.

 

*kidding about Bill, he’s the complete opposite!

The Market Has Changed

73 Sterling Road, asked (eventually) $2.750M, got $3.2M....last-minute bidding war!

73 Sterling Road, Asked (eventually): $2.750M. Got: $3.2M (last-minute bidding war!) List: Julianne Ward  Sell: James S Higgins. Note: the English buyers intend to totally renovate.

If you were to slap your hand on my shoulder* and say, “Gid, how’s the market?”, I would answer, “Fine”, because lots of properties are selling. But there’s something troubling about this market and it is this: lately there are fewer and fewer buyers who want a beautifully renovated older house.

Back in 2009, when no one was buying anything, I figured the market would eventually return, and it did. What’s going on now is different. There is a market, people are buying, but what they mostly want to do is tear down and build new.

Even almost new houses are being neglected. And before you get complacent about your brand new house, that market is starting to look over-supplied, too, as buyers look but don’t bid if it is their perception the property is over-priced.

So, if you’re on the market now, you have a choice, you can be a seller or a sitter. If you wish to sell, keep cutting that price till the fish begin to bite. You might even get a last-minute bidding-war.

But since this is Greenwich, CT and most sellers don’t really need to sell, there will continue to be a lot of sitting properties.

 

 

  • never, ever do this

Another Bidding War

39 Northridge Road, Old Greenwich, $799,000. Priced as 'dirt", so bring on the bulldozers!

39 Northridge Road, Old Greenwich, $799,000. Priced as ‘dirt”, so bring on the bulldozers! Listing broker Bill Andrus.

 

This time it’s a tear-down at 39 Northridge Road, Old Greenwich (about 1 mile north of Post Road), listing broker Bill Andruss tells me, “Highest and best offers must be submitted by Friday noon”.

So the market’s good right now, as well it should be at this time of year. Is it “hot”? No, so don’t go raising your price! Plenty of un-sold inventory out there that needs to be worked through. But overall, things are good.

39 Northridge Road is in the R-7 zone, and has .29 acres, so the FAR rules allow 4,547 square feet (of above ground finished living space).

Listing broker: William (“Wild Bill”) Andruss

What The Market Wants

41 Dawn Harbor, $4,450,000, built in 1993, renovated 2014. Listing still says "active", but the rumor mill says otherwise. Listing broker Ann Simpson.

41 Dawn Harbor, $4,450,000, built in 1993, renovated 2014. Listing still says “active”, but the rumor mill says otherwise. Listing broker Ann Simpson.

There’s a tendency, don’t yew know, among us real estate experts (and that includes you “armchair” real estate experts), to exclaim, when something sells quickly, “Oh yes, well of course!”, as though the ease of the sale was a foregone conclusion.

The ugly truth is, sometimes we just don’t know why one property sells and another one doesn’t.

Having said all that, here’s one that really does seem easy to figure out:

41 Dawn Harbor Lane, Riverside, CT

The rumor is, this place had a mad, crazed bidding war over the weekend, with lots of contenders and, naturally, only one winner. That leaves a bunch of frustrated buyers, in the mid-$4 million range, casting about for an alternative!

Listing broker: Ann Simpson