If my own practice is typical, there are a lot of buyers suddenly interested in Greenwich property. I think that’s due to a sense that the market is settling, an improved stock market (even if only temporary) and a general feeling that, for the first time in a long time, Greenwich is “affordable”. I’ve been running almost non-stop the past two weeks and, after spending the morning with one client, I’m off to spend the afternoon with another, and I have five other new clients waiting to receive my emailed wit and wisdom on what’s out there that’s either reasonably priced or ridiculously -priced but perhaps available at something approaching sanity.

Will all this activity move houses? I certainly hope so, but I continue to think that 80% of our stock is over-priced and won’t move until it isn’t. Then again, I’ve seen some recent contracts reported that suggest either that the selling agent has a wildly different view than I on the respective merits of certain property or they’re just hucksters peddling junk at inflated prices using the Greenwich mystique to overcome buyer’s better judgement.

Hucksters selling Greenwich real estate? Nah, I must just be off base in my opinion.


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10 responses to “Buyers

  1. For the new firm, how about:
    “Farricker, Fountain & For What It’s Worth.”

  2. Blind Brook

    Hucksters? Chris, remember when the reals estate brokers wore tweed skirts and cashmere sweater sets and pearls (not ironically as now) and basically told you where you could live? A few ne’re do well old boys in tweed jackets (not skirts). Sammis and Chadsey? Jane Newhall? Thomas Cooke? Even Bobby Pickering and June Peters and some might even say Sally O’Brien. I think Margery Rowe was the beginning of the end.

  3. Spell Checker

    judgment not “judgement”. What happened to the spell checker!

  4. Wally

    Greenwich has always been a great place to live, and it will continue to be, notwithstanding the resetting of prices taking place now. It seems as if a lot of buyers that have been waiting in the wings for the bottom (so as “not to catch a falling knife”) are moving in to the market in a significant way. It’s clear that lots of low ball offers are being tossed out, to see if anything sticks.

    This makes sense. It is the classic first step in the recovery of any market – those that move out first (and take the risk that it is not the bottom) get the biggest bump when normalized pricing returns.

    This budding recovery does not mean that we will go back to 2007 prices. To the contrary, income fundamentals for our area have suffered and there are too many houses on the market. We may see higher prices than the distressed ones seen in the past few months, but normalized prices will only start to rise again when inventory levels are reduced and incomes start to go up again. (So, if you want one of those big spec houses – I don’t – now is the time to get a deal, since they will not be built like this or in these numbers again for a long time.)

  5. anonymous

    Vaguely recall a yrs-ago interview with Henry Kravis who told of househunting in Greenwich back in ?early ’80s as either a mere Bear IBer or young co-founder of a lil LBO shop called KKR; and he recalled thinking Greenwich prices were overpriced and too costly vs his budget at time; the cyclicality of housing prices (and affordability) through the generations is amusing

  6. InfoDiva

    As a new bride, I was sold my first house in Greenwich by one of those hoary classics in twinset and pearls.

    As I sobbed in the backseat of her big brown Buick, bemoaning how little house we could afford, she looked me sternly in the eye and said, “If you buy whatever you can afford in Greenwich now, I promise that in 25 years, you will thank me.”

    She wasn’t talking about capital gains. She was talking about quality of life.

    She was absolutely right.

  7. Anonymous

    What do you mean, “told you were you could live”? Based on what characteristics? Irrespective of money? How was Greenwich divided in the past? Wasn’t everyone a WASP?

    • christopherfountain

      No anonymous, and my Jewish friends’ parents were discretely directed to Havemeyer or the Bonwit Road?Sunshine Ave area north of the Post Road or, if they were rich, over to the west, on Sherwood near the Gimbels or anywhere west of Riversville. Not one of our prouder eras in town history.

  8. Retired IB'er

    My gut reaction is that we are seeing the “impact” of the trillion dollar stimulus package working its way into the psyche of the stock market, which then expands out from there.

    The fundamental question is whether the stimulus effect is sufficient to re-inflate in the financial/asset bubbles blown by the FED over the last decade, or are we simply witnessing the short-term affect of re-pumping new air into the leaking/bursting bubble?

    Put another way, is this perceived renewal of “growth” a temporary (and expected) blip or the economy has turned the corner.

    My gut tells me this is temporary. We have not wrung the excesses out of the system yet and, notwithstanding the FED and Treasury have tried to move heaven and earth, they have not permanently “fixed” the leaks.

    Instead, we are witnessing what the FED/Treasury has gotten extremely good at: pushing the day of reckoning off to the future.

    Of course, there is the very real possibility that I am all wet.

  9. anonymous

    No need for shame in Greenwich about subtle socio-economic segregation, whether imposed by realtors or self-imposed

    Manhattan’s most elite Upper East Side co-ops have had Jewish quotas for yrs, incl within past decade; humans will be humans; in small-town South or less educated parts of NYC or Detroit (or any city/suburbs), segregation is more violently imposed; in overeducated places, some use co-op boards, building permit hearings, etc to achieve same outcome in a more legally clever manner