So what’s selling?

Not a heck of a lot, just to bring you unexpected news. We’ve seen 29 single family houses go to contract this year: 11 in January, 15 in February and 3 so far this month. Prices? Not so hot, either. There’s the $7.95 Jordan Saper spec house on Perkins, under contract but selling price not yet known, a $6 million sale on 48 Parsonage, today’s $5 million on Bobolink and after that, it’s a pretty quick trip to the low 2s and under 1s, with a brief dalliance in the 3s. None of which is good news for the high end spec house sellers.

Who’s left to buy these houses? It’s cruel to suggest it, but criminals always have money in good times or bad, and usually have the execrable taste to appreciate the excess these houses exude. Consider Long Island. Will the Round Hill Club, fresh from the embarrassment of having members like Walter and Monica Noel exposed in the press, have to make room for new members with less taste but more money? I hope so – it would so much safer, way out there on the 16th hole, if armed, members’ bodyguards were wandering the greens. Especially if those horrible gangs from Wilbur Peck make their way up north!


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10 responses to “So what’s selling?

  1. anonymous

    Money doesn’t buy taste….a chronic shortage of good taste prevails in any economy…money (or willingness to spend it) varies cyclically

  2. New Buyer

    Houses are not selling and there seems to be 3 logical scenarios — (1) there are no buyers, period (2) buyers exist, but they are waiting for the market to drop, or (3) sellers are rejecting buyers’ lowball offers at 20-40% off of asking price.

    We fall into category #2 — we are waiting for asking prices to drop to more realistic levels before we enter any bids and suspect that is 6-12 months from now. In my (unprofessional) opinion, many sellers have listed their prices simply too high — at or near 2006/2007 levels. We are not going to be the lone fish on a hook and get into a bidding war with ourselves.

    What is your professional opinion? No buyers, buyers waiting on the sidelines, or buyers getting rebuffed? Option #1 is just plain doomsday. At least options # 2 & 3 suggest there could be a flicker of life in the market — once it corrects itself. Would love to know your observations.

  3. PoeticJustic

    Hey trading money for taste worked for Belle Haven.

  4. Anonymous

    Bobolink started at 8.9 back in 5/07. Rumor has it that the buyers had to promise not to tear the place down. Time will tell.


    Oops, I didn’t read far enough along before I made my comment!

  6. Stop

    Stop writing bad things about Mr. Noel. I am starting to believe them. He is innocent until proven guilty in a Court.

    • christopherfountain

      Mr. Noel took in $200 million a year, for years, in fees for his feeder fund, claiming that he was justified in charging such large amounts because of the careful due diligence he and his staff performed in selecting and monitoring the performance of their hedge fund managers. In truth and in fact, Noel made no investigation of Bernie Madoff of any kind – every experienced manager who did refused to invest with the man. “Guilty” of a crime? You’re right – that’s a matter for prosecutors to prove. Receiver of stolen money? Gross negligence? Reckless misstatements of material facts? Yes, yes, and yes. May he be dragged through the court system until he is ragged, penniless and living over a subway grate in New York City.

  7. Chris took the Noel bait

    I was just Noel-baiting you, Chris. We all know Mr. Noel is innocent, right?

    Mr. “Stop”

    • christopherfountain

      I have a wonderful story coming up in a week or so about doings in the Noel neighborhood but I am unfortunately sworn to secrecy until then. Drat!

  8. Chris's little secret(s)

    1).Noel neighbors on RHR have bought Mr. Noel property.
    2). Mr. Douglass has come to the rescue with $7.9 billion loan from Mr. Rockefeller to give to Mr. Noel.
    3). Mr. Noel has obtained a second mortgage on his house from Chase Bank.
    4). Monica is holding Mr. Noel’s stimulus package.
    5). The Noel’s are renting again.
    6). Mr. Noel is selling his family jewels to the highest bidder at the sperm bank.