Assessed value is the new 2.3 X assessment

In the good old days (2007) houses in Greenwich sold for an average of 2.3 X their assessment. Today, it’s much closer to 1:1. Considering that assessment is supposed to be 70% of 2005 values, we’ve dropped around 56% from 2007 values. (or that’s what my math shows – wizards, pitch in here. Example: If house’s 2005 value was $1,000,000, its assessment would be $700,000 and its 2007 value (2.3 X. 700) $1,610,000. Today’s value of $700 = 44% of 1.61, right?)  The five sales reported today seem to support this.


17 barton
17 Barton Lane

19 Skylark, sold for $820,000, assessed value $826,000.

Barton Lane, asked $2.625 in February, 2007 and sold today for $1.3 million. Assessment: $1.3

98 Orchard Street sold for $660,000, with an assessed value of $782,000.

102 W. Lyon Farm sold for $895,000, assessment is $1.154 million.
21 Gatefield Drive, purchased for $2.550 in 2004 and renovated in 2008 was listed that year for $3.675 and sold today for $2.595. ASssessment was just $2.1 million, but I wonder whether the improvements were picked up?


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18 responses to “Assessed value is the new 2.3 X assessment

  1. anonymous

    Chris, do you know how much the tudor on meadow road sold for? Not the one that sold for 2.1- the tudor across the street from 60 meadow?

    • christopherfountain

      Sold for $3.9 even. Assessment was $3.1 (so an exception to the rukle here) asking was $4.2 or close to that.

  2. Stanwich

    Are you just cherry picking sales that correspond with assessments?

    Lyons Farm is an abberation with the run up in values there caused by the “flight to easy living” by Greenwich geriatrics too stubborn (or smart) to fly south to Florida. There were scant options available in this price range with these amenities, hence a veritable soccer stadium rampage to get in there. Oh how the tables have turned.

  3. Anonymous

    Assessment is a murky no., as is law of small nos. w/<$5MM houses

    Seems like Greenwich premium land is already down to '99 levels (Borges '09 sale vs Lampert '99 buy)

    Would reconstruct "value" of any house based upon current land value and build cost (and consider value of one's time and depreciated value of any used, archaic-tech, nonhygienic structure)

  4. GideonFountain

    Your formula works fine if you cherry-pick the numbers. I just did a search/analysis of recent sales $3M+ and the assessment multiplier (for the first 10 results) is 1.343. If I restrict the search to just Riverside/Old Greenwich, the assessment multiplier jumps to 1.437.
    What does all this prove? Nothing! There has never been a blanket “formula” for the whole town. It’s best to consider a particular street’s recent sales if you insist on using formulas.
    P.S. Heather Platt sold the tudor “across from 60 Meadow” for $3.9M (assessment was $3,090,710).

  5. anonymous

    If I am looking online at houses for sale in Greenwich, how can I find out the assessments?

    • christopherfountain

      I think they’re included in listings. Under taxes there should be an assessment number. Otherwise multiply the taxes by 8 and you’ll have a fairly accurate number.

  6. GideonFountain


  7. Xyzzy

    I believe the site has them for each listing.

  8. FlyAngler


    Any recent thoughts on Zillow and the Zilloestimates for Greenwich homes?

  9. Russell Pruner

    Chris: FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH – How come you talk more about property sales that are selling nearer or under their 2005 assessed value then the ones that sell above their 2005 assessed value. I know you have this data – your a Realtor with access to these numbers – I think you should share it with your readers – to date both MLS and direct sales that have sold in 2009, as of close of business today, for the entire market are selling for 11%, on average, below their 2005 full value – not the 30%+ you keep telling your readers. The median sales price is 14% below the 2005 full value that the Town of Greenwich placed on a property. I agree some properties have sold at their assessed value or less but many more properties have sold for well above their 2005 assessed value not to say their 2005 full value – 24% of all the properties sold in 2009, both MLS and direct sales, have sold above their 2005 full value. Maybe properties in the future do sell at their 2005 assessed values, you nor I, will know that until we have the sales data to show it – by then you will be talking about 2010 assessed values not 2005. Right now though the majority of the market is still selling a good 15-20% above where you are telling you readers. Let me know if you have data that I could be missing.

    • christopherfountain

      Russ, the houses I discussed today are the only houses that sold today. If you’ve got a sale I missed today, bring it on. Just giving a current tally here, so as the current goes, there you are.

  10. Cos Cobber

    You mean CF hasnt been forthcoming with ALL the data!! Damn it CF, I just placed a series of billion dollar real estate bets using your apparently cherry picked info. Now I am screwed.

    Seriously though, I think the regular reader has a good idea that CF cherry picks the worst of the worst. Nevertheless, dont hold back, lets hear more….I like the false sense of comfort good real estate news gives me in times like these.

  11. pulled up in OG

    CF – “multiply the taxes by 8” ??

    Given current mill rate of 8.316:
    If you know the property tax, multiply by ~12o to get assessed value (70%).


    Tax/0.008316 = Assessed value

  12. Russell Pruner

    Chris – I am not talking about just today – I am talking about all of 2009. Do some serious homework and tell your readers what the whole market is doing – don’t just your cherry picked listings that tell the story you want your readers to believe is happening. You have missed over 2/3rd’s of the market in 2009 that have sold for more than their 2005 assessed value. The Greenwich real estate market in 2009 is not down in value by the 30%+ you keep telling your readers. FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH – tell them the truth about what is really going on in the entire market.

  13. Quant Head

    Perhaps a neutral approach is in order. All new deeds cross the Tax Assessor’s desk.

    And I imagine Pete, among others, tracks the price to assessment ratio, and reports quarterly to us here.

    So let’s go back to break out the quarterly trends without the buyer v. seller hype.

  14. Anonymous

    I think Chris is doing a great service my articulating and supporting a contrarian (i’d argue an accurate) view of the market. The real estate companies dominate the media with their positive views and their awards to each other. The point here (and that you see with the Schiller index) is that prices are still trending down in many communities and Greenwich is one of the last to follow the trend. Chris is doing a much needed service of showing how we have not hit the bottom yet in Greenwich. Keep up the good work!

  15. Lou Caravella Detractor

    Any chance the buyer of 98 Orchard St was Lou Caravella, the abutting neighbors. Neighbor cynics think old Lou wants to buy up his block as a private developer. We all know he can’t wait for his southern abutting neighbor, the old lady with a similar old house with super high taxes compared to Lou, to pass on so he can buy her out.

    Really, look it up. Is Lou showing his colors and buying out neighbors? Really curious.