Daily Archives: July 14, 2008

Richmond Hill Drive
This street, way off in Greenwich’s northwestern corner by John Street, saw a spurt of building projects a few years ago. I can’t tell what happened to a couple of the most expensive of them – they were deleted from our listings. Did they eventually sell privately? Only their agent knows.

56 Richmond sold in February,2008 for $4.2 million, but it was originally listed at $5.695 million in January 2007. Ouch. Similarly, 95 Richmond, listed May 2007 at $8.895, sold this past April for $7.450. Ouch again.

Of the six active listings, 71 Richmond failed to sell in 2003 for $4.050 and was returned to the market today for $3.795. There’s no mention of any changes to this house except that it’s now four years older, so I assume that the sellers hope that their desired price has caught up with the market. I suspect that 2003 prices were stronger than today’s, and if it didn’t sell at $4.0 then … we’ll see.

25 Richmond, a building lot, seems to be priced fairly at $2.095 but it’s been on the market for the past year so what seems fair to me is obviously wrong. Keep cutting.

34 Richmond has been sitting, unsold, since November ’06. The sellers have reduced the price from $6.975 to $6.450 but I don’t think that’s going to do the trick.

37 Richmond was bought in August 2003 for $3.6 million and is now back on the market asking $7.450. Again no mention of improvements, so this seems, er, aggressive.

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The Mortgage Mess
Yesterday saw the Feds promise to bail out Fannie Mae and her siblings with you and me footing the bill. No surprise here – the Wall Street Journal has been predicting exactly this outcome for at least a decade – indeed, as the result of very bad political policies, this outcome was inevitable. But I don’t see an alternative, now that Fannie is the only entity providing liquidity to the home lending market; while it (she, he, whatever) holds or guarantees 1/2 of existing mortgage loans, its share of new loans has soared to 70% – no one else wants to participate in the market. It took twenty years to dig this hole; let’s hope it doesn’t take twenty more years to climb out. I’m posting this before Wall Street has had a day to digest the news but I’m curious to see what its reaction will be to today’s Fannie Mae auction of $3 billion in bonds. Hold onto your hats, and here we go.

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