Daily Archives: September 25, 2009

Old Greenwich land sells for improbable price

7 St. Claire Avenue, an 0.42 acre building lot, has sold for $1.750 million. I’m mystified, but someone out there obviously saw (a lot) more value here than I did. Good for him. I’m not sure how the math works on this – a new house might be worth, maybe, $3.2 million? but maybe the new owner has a piece of Home Depot and can get building supplies at a discount.

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For this, I could come out of retirement

I no longer hunt wicked financial types but here’s a man who has sued Bank of America for 1,784 billion trillion dollars for bad advice he received over the phone “from some Spanish lady”.  I’m guessing here, but it sounds as though he may be unrepresented and if so, I stand ready to serve. I can’t even figure out my contingency fee on a sum that large but I’m willing to hire an accountant to do the work for me.

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1979 was not a very good year

Two more houses built in 1979 and priced above $3 million came on the market today and I wondered how houses of this age have been selling. Not so well.

There are fifteen houses built between 1978-2000 currently for sale, nine of them priced between $2 million and $4.5 million.

Nine houses built in that year have sold since January 1, 2008, with just one, 52 Round Hill Road, selling for more than $2 million: $2.150, with an assessed price of $2.650.

So what happens to the nine currently active that are in that price range? I smell price reduction.

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If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

Interesting article sent by a reader from Seeking Alpha that asks what houses would cost if they were priced in gold. Turns out, the last good year to buy a house was 2001 and it’s been downhill ever since. Yes, gold is volatile but as the last two years have shown us, so is housing. Anyway, it’s interesting. Especially in view of Shiller’s Shiff’s guess today that gold is headed to $5,000 an ounce.

Since gold is a universal metric of money, let’s see how housing has done when priced in gold. Yes, I understand you can’t live in gold or plant trees in gold, but the exercise isn’t to suggest housing is “only” an investment like gold–the point is to seek an understanding of the relative peaks and valleys in housing valuation.

In other words, is housing “cheap” now? There are various accepted metrics of approaching this question, for instance, comparing the equivalent costs of renting versus buying. Another is to ask if buying a house and renting it out at current market rates would yield a profit, and if so, how does that profit compare to other alternative investments?

Priced in gold, housing has already fallen 2/3 from its 2005 peak.

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Hey – it’s your money

304 Taconic

304 Taconic

This four-year-old house way up at 304 Taconic Road came on today asking $15.950 million for 10,000 sq.ft., 3,000 of which I’m guessing is under ground. That would certainly break the per-square foot record in this neck of our woods by a huge margin, and won’t that please its Taconic neighbors?:

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Foreclosures

30 Crescent  Rd, Rvsd

30 Crescent Rd, Rvsd

The banks are slowly stirring and getting a few houses off one side of the ledger and onto the other. Thirty Crescent, which sold in a bidding war for $1.760 (ask was $1.68) in 2004, went off to the bank on a debt of $1.4 million.

28 Old Camp Road, in Cos Cob, purchased for $1.275 , has also returned to the lender.

 There are a lot more where these came from.

3 Roger

3 Roger

One house that is not in foreclosure yet does provide a neat example of the current market is 3 Roger, off S.Baldwin, purchased for $5 million in 2005 and reduced today to $3.750. Assessment is $3.570.

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I blame Bush

Jordanian caught trying to car-bomb Dallas office building.

Musselman tries to bomb Illinois federal building.

FBI: Pakistani – trained terrorists planned attack on Quantico.

Iran admits to second, hidden nuclear plant.

Subway bomber plot one of the most serious in years.

Had we just listened to Michael Moore and elected Obama instead of returning Bush/Cheney/Hitler to office for an unconstitutional third term, the Islamists would love us by now and be sending us presents of sweet treats and virgins instead of shabby, cruel terrorists. If only.

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