Connecticut waterfront sales slow, but not in Greenwich

Tales of woe here from much of Connecticut’s coastline but note the comment from a Fairfield agent – direct waterfront sales have dried up because of their expense but 36% of all sales in town were in “beach neighborhoods” – close to, but not on the water. So people still want it, they just can’t afford it. That may change.

Greenwich waterfront is doing just fine, with the only waterfront land lingering being the ridiculously over-priced. Here’s Russ Pruner, saying just that. 

Yet Greenwich also happens to be another place where waterfront property is still moving — if it’s fairly priced, according to Russell Pruner, a partner at Shore and Country Properties.

One reason, he suggested, is that a beach berth in this status-conscious town is still considered the “triple-A bond” of Greenwich real estate.

Another is that there aren’t many of these properties available: as of a week ago, only 2.5 percent of the 560 homes on the market in Greenwich offered direct waterfront property. “If waterfront comes on, unless it’s grossly overpriced, it will sell fairly quickly,” Mr. Pruner said.

In the Riverside section of town, for example, a 4,000-square-foot house on Long Island Sound closed this month for $10 million after being on the market for just two months, a third of the current average. The home, which has a separate studio and two acres of land, had been listed for $12.9 million, but Mr. Pruner said $10 million was a more realistic value.

On the other hand, a new six-bedroom home with eight baths with tidal waterfront in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich, has not sold after 17 months on the market. In Mr. Pruner’s estimation, the current price of $16.7 million, though down from the original $17.9 million, is still “astronomical” given that the back of the 2.3-acre property is roughly 100 yards from Interstate 95.

“That,” he predicted, “is going to be sitting for a while.”

Russ is spot on, and, though he wasn’t asked, he could have mentioned some Byram shore properties that suffer from the same price defect. Here’s the odd thing about the “new” Belle Haven spec house he refers to: every agent who toured it at its open house some years ago knew it was way, way overpriced. It’s sat unsold forever because it’s overpriced. I assume the builder’s agent has told him what everyone else knows, so why the stubbornness? Unless we’ve finally located Mad Monkey’s lair, why hasn’t this guy accepted reality? My  pal Frank Farricker, who is smart in every area except his politics, speculated in print to the New York Times months ago that, if the market ever comes back, this house will be so dated and, with its huge size, so out of fashion that someone will end up bulldozing it and stating over. I don’t know if things will get that bad (it would improve the neighborhood if they did) but can this builder possibly think that the entire collective opinion of agents and buyers is wrong? We agents can be wrong and often are – buyers never are.


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2 responses to “Connecticut waterfront sales slow, but not in Greenwich

  1. Anonymous

    cf-w/o mentioning address, i do know which house you and Russ are referring to, and as a realtor (full time) that builder will be lucky to sell at 9m…Ugly house, not great property,- the whole thing is just yucky. Btw, the fountains created to limit I-95 noise was a waste, however do complete the home w/ additional tackiness.
    Good luck to all involved including listing broker – true example of having a dead listing.

  2. anonymous

    Suspect the paradigm shift (which you refer to in another thread) will occur not just in buyers’ ability and willingness to pay beyond certain psychologic/peer-acceptable barriers (e.g., $5MM or $10MM, etc), but in styles of home desired

    Lots of stuff from DebtBubble era will have negative connotations in minds of many buyers…dubious land, dubious build quality, massive, maintenance-intensive size w/diluted quality of finishes, old tech and decay of yrs of disuse

    Valuation may become largely a land value analysis, as structures will arguably have negative value (costs of tear-down, if land is at all desirable)

    Interesting, historic times indeed….