398 Stanwich has dropped its price to $5.495 and I suppose its owners think that’s a concession, but I’m not so sure. This Jordan Saper house sold new for $5.5 million in 2004, tried for $6.345 in 2009 and finally sold to these owners for $5.350 in 2010. They, in turn, listed it last February for $5.695 but as they’ve discovered, we aren’t back to 2004 prices yet, let alone above them.
As an aside, if based on this listing’s description you expect to find an “Exceptional Gated Stone Georgian Estate” behind this home’s rather modest driveway fence, you may be disappointed. Many people, if not New Yorkers, don’t associate “estate” with two-acres, even if that land does include a colonial era graveyard.
And speaking of wannabe estates, 918 North Street, 4 acres, is back again, now asking $13.999 million – that represents a $1 million reduction for each of the past three years this has been for sale but I’m not convinced it’s there yet. In fact, I wonder if there is still a market for 10,000 sq.ft. (above ground -there’s also a 4,000 sq.ft. basement) back country homes these days. The back country used to be aspirational – a young family would move into Greenwich in a more affordable neighborhood and when the breadwinner rose to the top of the heap he’d drag his brood north, where his peers and the serfs could note his accomplishment.
But that was when there were real estates in the Back Country – 50 acres, 100 acres, and even larger. Ownership of a dark, gloomy 1920’s pile of stone and timber signaled an important person inside. Now that those estates have been chopped into mere estatelets, four-acre patches of marginal swampland with, maybe, an acre of grass, what’s the point of living in such an inconvenient location?
Apparently none, which explains why the back country is so dead these days. I don’t think it’s coming back, either, until the really rich show up and reassemble the ranchettes into large parcels again. When that happens, when it’s again possible to impress the lesser classes with an estate, the truly rich will spend their money on big mansions. A big mansion on an insignificant scrap of dirt will remain, I predict, what it is now: bulldozer fodder.