Peter the appraiser weighs in

Don’t want this lost in the comments section (which you should really read – all the intelligent people are there, as opposed to this idiot) so:

IS mentions assessment ratios by zone. Here are some by price range, based on 419 sales in 2009.
Under $500,000, 0.96; $500,000 to $750,000, 1.18; $750,000 to 1M, 1.21; 1M to 2M, 1.27; 2M to 3M, 1.30; 3M to 4M, 1.43; 4M to 5M, 1.36; 5M to 10M, 1.44; over 10M, 1.86. Assessment ratios going back to 1970 show similar assessment disparities by price.

Update: Whoa! Pete, I hope you understand that “this idiot” refers to me – just struck me that it might be misunderstood. Thanks very much for your data. Seems like our next assessment can use some tweaking.


Filed under Uncategorized

10 responses to “Peter the appraiser weighs in

  1. Bob

    It is very deceiving to look at the average over all sections of town combining new, renovated, and teardowns. It is best to look at case by case as each house is different. I just don’t want sellers and agents to be fooled by Peter’s number. Here is a sample of recent sales (all with ratio below 1):

    Address Assessed Sold For Sold On Sale/Assess Ratio
    71 Richmond 2.9 2.5 9/09 0.86
    8 Round Hill 2.54 2.5 12/09 0.98
    84 Butternut 2.245 1.6 3/2010 0.71
    5 Kenilworth 1.42 1.4 6/09 0.99
    317 Stanwich 2.63 2 5/09 0.77
    614 Riversville 2.1 2 1/2010 0.94
    52 Round Hill 2.64 2.15 7/09 0.81
    407 Round Hill 2.95 1.8 8/09 0.61
    108 Shore 1.73 1.6 2/2010 0.92
    309 Stanwich 1.9 1.7 4/2010 0.89
    6 Guinea 2.26 2.08 4/2010 0.92
    44 Sumner 1.99 1.75 2/2010 0.88
    18 Sandy 2.13 1.35 4/09 0.63
    12 Wyckham 2.339 1.86 12/09 0.79

  2. pulled up in OG

    . . . including your FPC dream house, currently listed at 2.5x.

  3. Pete

    You might be right either way.

  4. Retired IB'er

    Looking at Bob’s numbers and then looking at Pete’s averages suggests that a few “bad apples” (ie- house sold for a lot over assessed value) skewed the results.

    Assuming Bob didn’t cherry pick his listings.


  5. Island Surveyor

    WordPress being down prevented this posting.

    Thanks Pete for the backup.

    Here’s the anti-progressive graph, showing from your data that the working stiffs pay double for Town services what the $10 Million & Up club pay to enjoy living here, based on sale values of real estate.

    Click to access greenwich-tax-structure.pdf

    To avoid the appearance of taking sides in the politics of all this, which I never do, let me also point out that the school board budget is included in our tax bill, and perhaps the under half-million crowd get twice the public school benefits of the $10 million and up crowd.

    I am actually a radical, sort of left of Che Guevara, but more of a Jesus type radical, and he said, “You will always have the poor with you.”

    Matthew 26: 11 For you will always have the poor with you.

    Mark 14: 7 For you will always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want. But you will not always have me.

    Deuteronomy 15: 11 There will never cease to be some poor people in the land; therefore, I am instructing you to make sure you open your hand to your fellow Israelites who are needy and poor in your land.

  6. Bob

    Even if you assume that I cherry picked the list (which I didn’t), the key point is that you have many attributes for a house (new, renovated, teardown, quality, etc.) and land (landscapped, wetlands, wooded, ledge, levelness, etc.) in addition to the location (fringe area, prime area, etc.) and street name (Round Hill, Roberta Lane, etc.). Using the “average” is statistically misleading: you have asymmetric data and outliers.

  7. Pete

    In most cases, house attributes such as new, renovated, teardown quality, wetlands, ledge, topography and location are considered in assessment. I admit that landscaping and wooded are not considered and, in some cases, the assessment does not reflect recent improvements. However, the overall tilt to the assessments toward relatively higher values in lower price ranges, and the disproportionate tax burden, as so obviously reflected in IS’s chart, is not misleading.

  8. Island Surveyor


    As a public service, I am posting an analysis of year-by-year and zone-by-zone sales in the Public Assessment database as of 3-18-2010. Be patient for full data set. Bookmark the link below.

    Comments of a cold-hard-fact nature are invited.

    My first post-college job was as a lead-lag analyst for an economic forecasting institute. We used to practice on horse races. In a way, a ten year revaluation policy is a big horse race, and the same jockeys keep coming out ahead.

    Is what we see a pernicious bias by zone, or just the nature of things? Do the finer, more costly and more “sale-worthy” properties just do better in an up market? Or is the game rigged?

    True Marxist social re-engineers are invited to comment too. I’ll check with the Chief on this.