What Were They Thinking?

Gideon Fountain writes:

Yep, it’s true.  Despite everything we know, crazy folks out there just keep insisting on buying real estate!  Don’t they know they should keep renting for 5 more years??

Anyway, a reader asked about recent Greenwich sales in the specific, fairly narrow price range of $1,000,000-1,350,000.  In the last 6 months, there have been 32 such sales town-wide, reported  (quite a few more are signed deals, but haven’t closed yet).  Here is the link to those 32 listings.

Of course, old Fudrucker will condemn me as a “cheerleader” just for reporting these sales because…well, because it doesn’t jibe with his constant refrain of “The market’s terrible, nobody’s buying”.

So now you know the definition of a real estate cheerleader; it’s a person who reports the fact that people are out there buying and selling real estate.

A Real Estate Cheerleader (shhhh...don't tell her the market's actually pretty good!)

28 Comments

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28 responses to “What Were They Thinking?

  1. A data nerd

    Gideon, you have led us to the promised land, thanks for the data dump.

    :notworthy:

  2. anon

    The Wall Street Journal

    Last week, in an article entitled It’s Time to Buy That House, the WSJ told their subscribers:

    “It’s an excellent time to buy a house, either to live in for the long term or for investment income…Houses aren’t the magic wealth creators they were made out to be during the bubble. But when prices are low, loans are cheap and plump investment yields are scarce, buyers should jump.”

    In an article two weeks ago, MarketWatch.com (the on-line blog for WSJ) told their readers:

    “Now could be the best time in history to buy a home.”

    Forbes.com

    In a report to their subscribers, Capital Economics reported that:

    “The previous declines in house prices and the more recent drop in mortgage rates to record lows have created an unusual situation in which the median monthly mortgage payment is more or less the same as the median rental payment.”

    Why is this important? Last week, Forbes explained to their readers:

    “If rents simply kept up with inflation at a 3.2% annual increase, a $1,500 rent payment would cost that renter nearly $900,000 over the next 30 years. The same $1,500 payment made to their mortgage would be only $540,000 (because the payments don’t increase with inflation).”

    They went on to explain the advantages of homeownership during retirement:

    “Even with a dismal 1% growth rate over 30 years, a $300,000 property would appreciate well over $100,000 giving the homeowner an additional nest egg for retirement…

    At a time when retirement is becoming much more challenging, an extra $400,000 (or likely more) can make a major difference not to mention the impact of NOT having to pay a mortgage. How much less would you have to save for retirement if you didn’t pay the mortgage?”

    Bottom Line

    When the iconic financial newspaper and the iconic financial magazine say that it now makes financial sense to purchase a house, perhaps it’s time to buy a home.

    • Gideon Fountain responds:
      “anon”: Excellent! Thanks for the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, and Forbes quotes. Clearly they’ve all become…you know…”real estate cheerleaders”!

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you for linking to real data! Chris could learn a thing or two from you, G.

  4. Dan

    Can you really cheerlead around 14 Lake in Riverside? $1.275M in 2005 sold for $955K? Just a hair above assessed?

  5. Ironic? The community bank Occupy Wall Street picked to deposit some of the $300k they recently raised is a bank under FDIC enforcement order for some creative accounting and the FDIC says it’s management had to be gutted.
    http://www.teribuhl.com/2011/10/17/occupy-wall-streets-new-bank-under-fdic-enforcement-action/

  6. Anonymous

    Why is 7 Sanchem worth 1.35m? The land? close to training station? That’s aheck of premium.

  7. Anonymous

    Post the big boys. 5mm and up. Who cares about the odd lot sales.

  8. ML

    I appreciate the MLS links. I guess since Chris hates the GMLS, he wont send out the links. They are appreciated.

    Any chance we can get MLS links for the two properties for sale on Cliffdale? Information is sparse.

  9. Cos Cobber

    Thanks for the link Gids. Thats more RE content in one link than I have seen on this site over 12 months. Lots and lots of sales in 06807 on that list.

  10. Anonymous

    good info. thanks.

  11. Dan

    Gotta second the comments thanking you for the GMLS links too. Really interesting stuff. Worth seeing – and sharing. Thanks.

  12. Cos Cobber

    Sachem is just a beautiful little street that is close to everything; the train, greenwich ave, cos cob, the greenwich water club, etc. Plus, under the FAR rules you could build a much larger home and fit a pool in the back.

  13. fred

    $470 a square foot. Chris is vindicated.

    Chris’s argument was never about volume. It was about price. Seems like the Greenwich real estate gurus-gid-are starting to wake up

  14. Resident

    Could you two set up your own RE blog with the kind of DATA that you’ve been posting? We can make our own minds up about the health of the market without the great leader giving us an opinion. Many thanks for just the facts.

    • Gideon Fountain responds:
      “Resident”: Glad you asked, and yes, following my stint here as (co-) guest host, you’ll be able to find me at GideonFountain.com (not yet, but soon).

  15. Brown Eyed Girl

    An unrelated local real estate topic — do you have any comment or observation on recent developments in the real estate deal between Stanwich School, and Greenwich Reformed Synagogue?

    • Gideon Fountain responds:
      Brown Eyed Girl”: I will read up on the Stanwich School & Reform Synagogue “real estate deal” and tell you what I think.

  16. Inagua

    “Thank you for linking to real data!”

    Anonymous – Here’s some more real data: During the first two weeks of October 23 sales closed and 30 houses went to contract.

  17. A Reader

    Can you do a link like that for more price ranges — maybe up to $2,000,000?

  18. IDAHO

    GMLS links are your best idea. Always fun to see what the guy down the street got for his house 60 years after you lived there…..

  19. pulled up in OG

    I’m curious about that synagogue deal too.
    Stanwich Rd, zoning . . . condos???

  20. Inagua

    “… you’ll be able to find me at GideonFountain.com (not yet, but soon).”

    Gideon – You do a terrific job of describing the real estate market, and your putative blog would attract many followers, including me. But it is also true that Chris is a truly gifted writer whose wry wit has already attracted a substantial following, part real estate and part general interest. I wonder if a joint Fountain Brothers Blog might have the widest possible following? The sibling interplay between the real estate bull and bear would be very informative, enlightening and entertaining. And it might attract more leads than two separate sites.

    Reading your posts has been a pleasure and good luck to you in the future.

    • Gideon Fountain responds…
      “Inagua”: I agree, Chris Fountain’s writing is the reason we’re all here at this site. And yes, a co-blog might prove very successful (maybe I could convince him to take a teensy-weensy bit of advertising), but I think he wants to do his own thing.

  21. Inagua

    Gideon – Of course this blog should accept advertising. BTW, another advantage of Fountain Frères would be more more timely comment moderation with two pairs of eyeballs sharing the duty.

  22. anon

    Can you post sales in the past 6 months in the 3-5M dollar range?

  23. curious shopper

    is 11 Halsey nice? anyone have insight on who (buyer or seller) on that price on that street? looks nice on the internet