Daily Archives: August 25, 2009

It’s happening here in Greenwich, too

England: property owners trapped in homes because they can’t afford to sell them. “They’ll be stuck where they are for many years”.  Other than sheer obstinacy and blind optimism, I suspect a major reason we aren’t seeing Greenwich home prices fall further is that their owners are 10-20% below their original equity level and simply don’t have the wherewithal to come up with a half million dollars to pay off their mortgage at closing. So they stay put.

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If at first you don’t succeed, …

British man collapses with ruptured appendix one month after National Health Service “removed” it. The Hospital’s manager for general surgery was unable to identify what body part the doctors might have removed the first time they went after the appendix but did offer these words of concern: ‘However, we would like to apologise if Mr Wattson felt dissatisfied with the care he received at Great Western Hospital.’

Barak Obama was golfing and unavailable for comment.

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Tasered, he bursts into flames

FAR advocate Franklin H. Bloomer, Rvsd.

FAR advocate Franklin H. Bloomer, Rvsd.

A gasoline-sniffing permanent-abode-challenged gentleman in Pennsylvania was sniffing while biting and kicking a pair of policemen when they tasered him and gave him a new set of problems. Kids, don’t try this at home!

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Antares and the UST building

I suspect that this building will be sitting around for a long time before anyone can figure out what to do with it. Today I reviewed the loan documents that financed it and whoo boy, they’ll never untangle this one. Credit Suisse put together a $1.5 billion package, secured by this building, a Hard Rock Cafe casino in Atlantic City (never built), a casino at the sands in Las Vegas (never built), a 400 unit condo project in Key Biscayne Florida (if it was built it is surely underwater by now), and some office buildings in Seattle, fate unknown. They securitized the loan by splitting it into 24 different tranches, as though they were able to precisely define 24 different levels of risk – crap is crap, boys – and so ownership is literally spread out over the world.

Antares itself seems to have borrowed $160 million on a building optimistically valued at $130 million, which is a neat trick if you can do it. No money down that I could see, so Antares, the bankers and all the underwriters had a fine time feeding at the trough before selling the swill off to investors. No mystery how they Boyz got such large houses for themselves, is there?

But the Putnam Avenue building sits empty.

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This should finally do it

91 Overlook, new construction in Milbrook, has been reduced from $3,000,000 to $2,995,000. If that last $5,000 was holding you back, now’s your chance. In fact, this place has seen a number of price reductions since first going on the market in 2007 for $3.950 million. But I suspect its problem attracting buyers isn’t going to be substantially relieved by this last cut.

14 Ben Court, in Old Greenwich, sold quickly. Listed at $1.495 it went to contract in two weeks and closed today at $1.350. That was for land, though I suppose someone could renovate the existing house if they wanted to. Seems a tad pricey to me, but someone obviously wanted this location.

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56 Havemeyer Lane finds a savior

This new construction started at $2.195, a preposterous price for its location and I said so, much to the builder’s annoyance. It finally dropped to $1.349 awhile ago, and has gone to contract today. My guess? $1.225. Don’t come from California and build in “Greenwich” before you know the lay of the land, is my suggestion.

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Cos Cob sale

122 Cat Rock

122 Cat Rock

Nice house on 3 acres with pool, built in 1998, sold for $2.125 back in 2000, listed a year ago for $3.6 million, sold today for $2.475. Assessed value, $2,275,000.

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