Okay, so I’ve been remiss
I’m in the middle of what promises to be an exciting (to me, at any rate) new website with a number of webdesigners, columnists, reporters and editors (the free time of all of whom has been blessedly freed up by the ever-increasing rapidity of newspaper cut-backs, and blogging has been none-existent. Details forthcoming soon, but, if there are still any readers out there for this blog, here’s some information you probably already knew: the market is in the tank.
A handful of houses have gone to contract in the past 21 days, some at impressive prices, but the trend is dismal. 215 house price reductions, some by millions of dolllars, vs. 44 contracts. Interestingly, and as a sign that sellers new to the market still don’t get it, 205 new listings have come to market in that same period and, to my eye, the vast majority are grossly (which I define as in excess of 10% of their eventual selling price) over-priced. I’ve finally gotten smart and started refusing over-priced listings – why waste time and money marketing them when they aren’t going anywhere? There are still agents out there who will take a listing, any listing, at any price. One house I turned down because I valued it at $1,495,000 to, in their dreams, $1,695,000, was just listed by another agent at $2,000,000. That’s just crazy, and I want no part of it. A house I mentioned in an earlier column as insanely priced at $6,000,000 finally went to contract somewhere in the $3,000,000s. That agent spent over a year holding open houses, paying for full-sized ads and showing the damn thing when the only thing that was ever going to work was getting the price to its proper level. Buyers aren’t stupid and in fact, they’re growing more stubborn every day, no doubt because they go home each night and read more scary headlines about the housing market. We’re not in a free fall, but if ever there was a time to aggressively price your house, this ain’t it.
UBS Leaving Town?
That’s the rumor that’s reported in today’s daily and if it’s true (or even if the prediction of a 500 employee layoff s true), it doesn’t bode well for our immediate future. Lots of the support staff for UBS probably lives in Shelton and points north, but a lot of the higher level folks bought homes in Greenwich. Just what we need: more inventory.