Can You Predict The Future?

11 Round Hill Club Road, quite spectacular, and you can drive home in your little golf cart! Priced at $16.950M, it is Greenwich's most expensive spec house. List: Chris Finlay

11 Round Hill Club Road, quite spectacular, and you can go from the course to your home without getting out of your little golf cart! Priced at $16.950M, it is Greenwich’s most expensive spec house. List: Chris Finlay

Sorry, nope, you can’t predict the future. Sometimes people think they can, and they bet a certain way and get rewarded, only to lose it all on the next bet.  I’m reminded of financier John Paulson, who correctly predicted the future in 2008 (by buying credit-default insurance against billions of dollars of subprime mortgages) but has since been far less prescient.

On the other hand, there was the late, great Bill Ziff, billionaire publisher. He was so good at guessing what people were going to want to read, people would ask him if he could predict the future. He explained it this way:

 “I just saw things as they were in the present, while others only looked at the past”.

Bill Ziff was very, very successful, so let’s think about that quote for a moment. A child puts its hand on a hot stove once, and learns not to do it again, that’s an example of the teaching value of past experiences. But for your investment decisions, are you really looking at things as they are right now, or are you focused on the past? (Or, worse still, trying to predict the future.)

Anyway, I had a point to make about real estate, dammit, and here it is: There are presently 50, yes, FIFTY unsold spec houses sitting around on the Greenwich market, and each one of them was built by someone who had to at least try and predict the future. The question they answered yes to was, will Greenwich continue to be desirable to the wealthy?

Last year, the spec builders got it right, particularly in the $3M-$5M range, where we had 14 sales. Over all, 33 new-construction spec sales occurred, so that is a healthy market. But what about 2017? Will the rich folks be there for us, or will Hartford continue its quest to drive them away?

I want you to look at things as they are right now…got it? Ok, so what’s your prediction?

Here are additional samples of those 50 on the market…

9 Oakley Lane, $11.995M. List: Steve Archino.

9 Oakley Lane, $11.995M. List: Steve Archino.


French Road, $9.395M. List: Joanne Mancuso.

French Road, $9.395M. List: Joanne Mancuso.


72 Meadow Road, $6.450M. List: Tracey Koorbusch.

72 Meadow Road, $6.450M. List: Tracey Koorbusch.


14 Dawn Harbor Lane, $5.995M. List: JoAnn McCarthy

14 Dawn Harbor Lane, $5.995M. List: JoAnn McCarthy


22 Welwyn Lane, $4.595M. List: Linda Collins.

22 Welwyn Lane, $4.595M. List: Linda Collins.


9 Byram Dock Street, $3.995M. List: Bryan Tunney.

9 Byram Dock Street, $3.995M. List: Bryan Tunney.


8 Chapel Lane, $3.975M. List: Barbara Wells.

8 Chapel Lane, $3.975M. List: Barbara Wells.


15 Cottontail, $3.995M. List: Jacqueline Hammock.

15 Cottontail, $3.995M. List: Jacqueline Hammock.


34 Miltiades Avenue, $2.995M. List: Michele Nygaard.

34 Miltiades Avenue, $2.995M. List: Michele Nygaard.