16 Stillman Lane, an excellent, well built house, hasn’t sold in a year priced at $5.850 million so today it’s dropped to $4.950.
And 18 Bowman, new construction on the western side of town, was first offered for $2.685 million in February 2007. It wasn’t able to overcome a triple handicap – back lot, water tower looming overhead and an adjacent graveyard – at that price so today it’s marked down to $1.795. It’s a good looking house inside and at some price a buyer will like it. But you have to wonder where the builder’s break-even point is.
Which raises another question: how much profit was built into these spec houses to begin with? All these million dollar reductions raise the implication that the original price was a rip off. I’m a firm believer in charging what the market will bear but buyers seem to take these price manipulations personally. Those spec houses that came on in the 9’s last spring and dropped almost immediately into the 5s, for example, did other builders no favors.