I think not, although the real estate market in Greenwich is not looking so great right now, at least for sellers. Home sales are down nationwide and prices down 11%. Bloomberg (entire article linked above) quotes this fellow:
“Underlying demand appears very weak; it seems many sales are coming from cheap prices on foreclosed properties,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, whose firm’s forecast of a 4.97 million sales pace was the closest in a Bloomberg survey of 67 economists. “Home sales will continue to fall over the next few months because of tightening credit conditions.”
It is true that credit is hard to come by, and I know of several sales that have fallen through when the buyer’s mortgage did. Right now, cash is king and if you can swing it, there are bargains to be had.
If sellers will cooperate. I wrote yesterday that I prefer dealing with builders rather than homeowners right now because to them, it’s just a business deal – how much is it going to get out from under a bad decision? (For the same reason, working with professional criminals was easier: they’d done the crime, and only wanted to know how much time they’d have to serve – amateurs were much more difficult, wailing that they were innocent, how they’d never do it again, did the prosecutor know who they were, etc.).
But I digress. A reader asked, how is the market affecting sales of older homes, and what should such owners do? Sales of older homes are suffering – buyers can get new houses for what these older homes are asking and, all things being equal, most buyers prefer new to old. As to advice on what to do, my answer is, walk like a builder. Divorce yourself from your emotions, forget how much you paid for your house, forget what your neighbor got for his place last year, what you’re going to tell your friends at the Club, etc. and make a business decision: do you want to get out of your house now? Do you want to, and can you afford to, wait, with the accompanying uncertainty of not knowing how long you’ll have to wait and whether prices will recover or sink to a new level and stay there?
Some owners can wait and are willing to. If you’re one of them, great. I’d take my house off the market and stick it out until better times return. Some “experts” are predicting a recovery by this coming summer or next fall – others aren’t so optimistic but if you can sit things out, I’d recommend you do so.
But if you can’t, or don’t want to, then cut your losses and either accept the first offer that comes in waving cash and a no-financing-contingency deal or slash your price to the bone and hope that stimulates a buyer. There are buyers out there – I’m working with a couple of them and I know that public open houses are drawing them in. Right now though, buyers and sellers are miles apart waiting for the other to blink. My money’s on the buyers because we’ve entered a buyer’s market – this stuff happens from time to time – sorry.