Here are some statistics from a reliable source

From Reader Pete the Appraiser, comes this summary he’s prepared of single family sales in Greenwich, calculating the sales price to the assessed value:

1st Qtr. 2008
Average Ratio: 1.48
Volume: 105

2nd Qtr. 2008
Average Ratio: 1.53
Volume: 140

% Price Change from 1st Qtr.: + 3.38%
3rd Qtr. 2008
Average Ratio: 1.52
Volume: 132
% Price Change from 2nd Qtr.: -0.65%

4th Qtr. 2008
Average Ratio: 1.37
Volume: 30
% Price Change from 3rd Qtr.: -9.87%

1st Half 2009
Average Ratio: 1.22
Volume: 95
% Price Change from 4th Qtr.: -10.95%

July 2009
Average Ratio: 1.36
Volume: 37
% Price Change from 1st Half: +11.48%

So Pete’s figures show that we’ve stopped falling precipitously and have climbed back to last quarter 2008 prices. That’s actually very encouraging, if it holds up. Question I have is whether this improvement is due to the normal spring market fervor, delayed until summer, or the start of something better. I don’t think we’ll know that until the end of November but I’ll certainly be watching September’s sales closely.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Here are some statistics from a reliable source

  1. Apples to Oranges

    How can looking at sale price to appraised value ratio in differing selling environments, and vastly different inventories in the selling pool, allow one to calculate a % Price Change from period-to-period?

    This number is useful only in a fixed neighborhood with fixed appraisals and a fixed pool of selling inventory, which is not a useful time series, since those things change.

    What happened to the notion that properties are unique?

  2. Retired IB'er

    There is something bothering me about this analysis that I can’t quite figure out. It seems to suggest that at the “lowest” point in the market (which the data suggests is already getting better) the average house sold for about a 16% discount to appraised value.

    It would imply that pricing got no lower than approximately 2004 levels and has already rebounded in July 2009 to a discount of only 5% from appraised values.

    As an aside, I recently (about two weeks ago) had a conversation with a tax assessor in Lower Fairfield county who told me that he thought a 30% discount to appraised values was where the market was (he told me that was the conclusion he came to from talking to other town assessors). That point of view independently corroborated FWIW’s conclusion, both of which don’t support the conclusions of the presented data.

    • christopherfountain

      IB’R, I’ve been having that same internal conversation since I posted those numbers because I, too, have been seeing prices at 2000 levels and not 2004. Either there have been some big sales to screw the numbers or something else is going on but I do not believe we’re still at 2004 levels, as an average. Pete, can you shed more light on this?

  3. Pete

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, “There may be insufficient volume and I have not weeded out the anomalies.” I show only 37 sales in July. A skewed sale could easily mess up the numbers. I don’t believe prices have risen 11.5% in July over the first half of 2009.
    Apples to Oranges makes a valid point. “This number is useful only in a fixed neighborhood with fixed appraisals and a fixed pool of selling inventory, which is not a useful time series, since those things change.” However, with greater volume, I think assessment ratios can provide some useful information regarding trends, as shown by comparing quarterly sales through 2008 and the first half of 2009.
    A better indication of July trends might be the following two sales:
    46 Terrace Ave. closed July 2, 2009 at $1,425,000. the property was purchased in August 2007 for $1,925,000, a drop in value of 25.97%.
    17 Marks Rd. closed July 9, 2009 for $1,820,000. It had been purchased in July 2006 for $2,494,500, a drop of 27.04%.
    Trying to pinpoint value change in a limited but extremely diverse real estate market is difficult at best. In these turbulent times, the difficulty is multiplied.

  4. Quant Head

    Yes Pete, let’s put median sale price in the quarters reported, and break out 2009 into quarters. Then let’s talk about July.

  5. Apples to Oranges

    As a boy I sat at your guru father’s knees, Pete, and learned the tools of your trade. In many decades of following the Greenwich market, I have yet to met as astute and assiduous collector of comp. data as you.

    Therefore, I am taken aback with your two sale “proof” that the 24 month July market comparison is down between 26 and 27 percent from 2007 to 2009, contradicting your original post that July was a rebound.

    But what started this thread was today’s Greenwich Time lede, which was an awful corruption of everything good and sacred to your profession.

    Your damn lies – or statistics -, whichever they were, tended to support that poppycock story, but now you reverse yourself with that cold douse of January water in July. What’s brought the market back a little are the courageous souls who bought Citi at $1 or Wells Fargo at 8$ last January, and think they can bring back the old game in Greenwich. Sorry, brother, but the rules have changed.

    However, your claim-to-fame and bread-and-butter come from your private database of aggregate market sales data, which have had a ratchet-up boot-strap lift bias since the 1950’s. But now the gas is out of that bubble and can’t be put in again.

    If you re-price your dataset in Euro-dollars, the Chilean Peso, or any number of foreign currencies, the picture looks quite different, and evidently the large foreign readership (24% of total) of this blog agree. At least that’s what this blog’s readership in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Afghanistan, Tajikistan tells me.

    CF is right (overlooking the irony in “For What It’s Worth”). September will tell the story. But wait until November to decide its meaning.

  6. Pete

    OK Quant Head, here’s some medians and first half breakdowns. (Note: I discovered an error in my previous calculations. The “Average Ratio” for the first half of 2009 should be 1.20, not 1.22)

    1st Qtr. 2008
    Average Ratio: 1.48
    Volume: 105
    Median: $1,975,000

    2nd Qtr. 2008
    Average Ratio: 1.53
    Volume: 140
    Median: $2,091,250
    % Price Change from 1st Qtr +3.38%

    3rd Qtr. 2008
    Average Ratio: 1.52
    Volume: 132
    Median: $2,014,400
    % Price Change from 2nd Qtr -0.65%

    4th Qtr. 2008
    Average Ratio: 1.37
    Volume: 30
    Median: $1,740,099
    % Price Change from 3rd Qtr -9.87%

    1st Qtr. 2009
    Average Ratio: 1.15
    Volume: 25
    Median: $1,025,000
    % Price Change from 4th Qtr -16.06%

    2nd Qtr. 2009
    Average Ratio: 1.22
    Volume: 70
    Median: $1,143,500
    % Price Change from 4th Qtr +6.09%

    1st Half 2009
    Average Ratio: 1.20
    Volume: 95
    Median: $1,141,750
    % Price Change from 4th Qtr -12.41%

    July 2009
    Average Ratio: 1.36
    Volume: 37
    Median: $1,600,000
    % Price Change from 2nd Qtr. 2009 +11.48%
    % Price Change from 1st half 2009 +13.33%

  7. Quant Head

    And is it true that your July data include:

    Address: Asking Selling
    1 INDIAN SPRING RD 23,900,000 22,500,000
    25 SHERWOOD AV 21,000,000 18,900,000
    24 CONYERS FM DR 23,995,000 18,700,000
    16 HURLINGHAM DR 13,750,000 12,225,000
    96 ROUND HILL RD 8,995,000 8,995,000
    45 BYRAM SHORE RD 10,995,000 8,500,000
    ???????

    Let’s sanitize the data for reality and look again.

    238 BYRAM SHORE RD
    5
    9,800,000
    7,000,000
    325

    601 LAKE AV
    6
    7,595,000
    6,500,000
    4

    21 CORNELIA DR
    6
    6,250,000
    5,350,000
    1,389

    41 JONES PARK DR
    6
    5,995,000
    5,050,000
    88

  8. Maria Duncan

    Is it true that 74 Upper Cross sold recently? Why no report?