Good thing the owners at Putnam Hill are estates – word of their unit value’s demise won’t disturb them

Putnam Hill co-ops have long attracted an older crowd and now that so many of those owners are no longer growing older, the apartments are coming up for sale. I see that a three-bedroom corner unit, priced at $795 last summer, was reduced to $525,000 today. Curious where the original price had come from I looked up recent sales of three bedroom units at the complex and found the answer: that’s what these things were worth just recently.

In May, 2007, another unit, same untouched 1956 vintage, sold for $799 without ever appearing on the MLS. And in May, 2008, a seller reached for $840,000 but soon settled for $735,000. Assuming that we’re truly comparing apples here, I’d say that the price of fruit at the top of Milbank Avenue has fallen 35% in the past two years – that may serve as a cautionary tale for owners who hesitated to sell in 2007 and waited for prices to climb. Sometimes, you don’t always get what you want.

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6 responses to “Good thing the owners at Putnam Hill are estates – word of their unit value’s demise won’t disturb them

  1. anonymous

    One doesn’t end up living in Putnam Hill by being particularly adept at market timing…or much else financially related….natural selection is somewhat efficient, no?

  2. Stanwich

    Putnam Hill is not a “higher end” option in down town Greenwich. Deferred capital projects and co-op ownership model have always depressed values in this complex and the current market climate exacerbates those issues.

  3. dogwalker

    Okay, okay, I know there is a bias around here against the Putnam Hill/Putnam Park coops, but, goodness, values are going down everywhere . . . so why would they be different?

    Being at the lower end of the market, I think they went up proportionately more in the frenzy of the late 90s/early 00s and thus dropped proportionately when everything else did. (Though, admittedly, I have never taken a calculator to it.) And the lowered prices probably still are not very accurate because very little has been moving in there in the past year or so.

    And, Stanwich, my understanding is that while both coops definitely neglected even quite crucial maintenance for a couple of . . . decades . . . both have been turning that around.

  4. Stanwich

    dogwalker, you are probably right on most accounts but deferred capital projects are painful, especially for fixed income seniors in the complex that have born the brunt of such negligence. Good to know they are turning it around although I am not sure residents will ever see a return on the money they spent just to bring the place back to life.

    • christopherfountain

      Stan, I notice that the common charges on the unit I wrote about are something like $1,200 pr month. That’s a big chunk of change for most fixed income types, let alone the rest of us.

  5. dogwalker

    Agreed, Stanwich. Between necessary renovations on many units and then pretty hefty monthly increases to “catch up” on capital improvements, anyone who bought within the past . . . oh, maybe 6 years . . . will not a profit for quite a while.

    And, of course, when you neglect things, it just becomes more difficult and costly to repair. And last I knew, capital projects were not done by special assessment but from an operating fund.

    That $1,200 is high for a 3-bedroom unit. But besides the above factors, all of downtown took quite a hit on the last re-evaluation a couple of years ago. Still, it sounds high.

    Demographics are changing a little, too. The Park has more younger residents. But even the older people who have moved into the Hill in recent years are downsizers with more means than existing residents . . . just not enough means to move into Arbor Rose or Lily’s Path! . . . or one of the $5.9 units across the street!