Real Estate News?

It’s not like I’d rather shove liberal propaganda down your throats, I’d rather sell real estate. Today we have about 15 open houses (for Gideon, none on Club Road so he can take it easy on this rainy day). I had an agent last night at an event tell me its not the lack of sales that worry her, its the lack of showings. Is price driving demand, or is there just no demand. Strange days indeed.

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50 responses to “Real Estate News?

  1. xyzzy

    Well take this as a sample. I was talking to a builder who does high end homes in Greenwich and he had two contracts cancelled on him in the last month.. Two bankers decided that the environment was just to uncertain to spend a large amount of money now.

  2. Cos Cobber

    Congratulations, I think this is your most informative post in CF’s absense.

  3. No one answered my q yesterday about which house had a major price reduction from $18 to $12.8mm.

    And if you don’t want to talk real estate, let’s talk about the new Kindle Touch, live blogging going on right now about it. Bezos seems psyched.

  4. Cos Cobber

    NYS is beginning to look really sharp for selecting nano tech as a industry to lure and support in upstate NY as an economic generator.

    FF, so what does our cracker jack crew up in Hartford have planned? To focus on more pro-labor union legislation such as paid sick leave and nanny-union bills? What is the democratic response to why CT is at the bottom ofthe barrel on job creation over the past 20 years?

  5. Inagua

    Lack of sales? There were 413 sales in the first eight months of this year, significantly ahead of last year, although August’s report of only 47 sales was discouraging.

  6. Anonymous

    How are neighboring towns doing? Stamford, Darien, NC & Westport.

  7. Cos Cobber

    Yes, lots of Red and Blue states on that list FF.

    Turning it back to CT, why is it our little blue state fairs so poorly on returning federal tax income back to our state? Its $.69 returned for every tax dollar spent in DC as of 2005. This is an enormous drag on our state economy that has been ongoing since the advent of the income tax and its clear that its finally catching up with us. The lack of return hurts everyone, particularly the low income people Democrats like to claim they are the only ones defending.

    • Its a scandal that all Northeastern states suffer from this kind of income transfer, regardless of political persuasion. I’m sure it can’t be that Tea Party Republicans are actually better at bringing home the bacon. I think it is more based on the fact that primarily southern states may have great tax and labor rates, but their economies and infrastructure at the levels that federal funds pay for are actually quite immature.

  8. Cos Cobber

    Wonderful FF, the first step is acknowledgiing the problem. So where do we go from here because there appears to be absolutely zero attention to this matter. I’m not looking to bring it to 1 to 1, but it needs to narrow. Reducing the gap by 1/3 would have a modest boost for our state and perhaps better explain why the NE has been an economic laggard for a couple decades now.

    As for party politics, this shortfall was created under the guidance of both Democrats and Republicans, so why you would trust them to fix it is beyond me. The teaparty, if for nothing else, has been about reducing Washington’s economic influence and therefore I give them the best odds of examining this issue and exploring cures.

  9. just_looking

    I don’t know about the numbers for Darien, but most sales seem at or above the 2007 prices.

  10. Anon

    Inagua, go check the sale price for each of those 413 sales.

    For example, 8 Meadow Lane recently closed for $1 million. Compare that with similar lots that sold last year.

  11. HG

    On “income transfer”—no!!!–you are all looking at it backwards. And Cobber, I am particularly disappointed in you given your solid libertarian instincts. Look at the difference between Alabama and Connecticut. The per capita federal spending in the two states is almost exactly the same. The difference is what the federal government takes, as of course you all realize and which right-thinking people like C.C. mourn (I am sure C.C. only wishes for more federal government largesse as a second and more realistic choice if lower tax rates are unavailable). So the first problem of perspective is that $1 of increased federal spending in the state would be anywhere near as beneficial as $1 of lower taxes taken. The second and more serious problem is that the books are not balanced and it is an illusion that your tax dollars are being siphoned away to fund make-work for Alabamans. In fact, of course, that money is being borrowed from the Chinese and used to fund make-work for Alabamans, which will ultimately be much more destabilizing.

  12. Barbara Walters

    What is the significance of “it’s an Ogilvy listing..?”

    • It is been repeated in some quarters that Ogilvy listings start very high, and that at some point, when the sparkle is off the star, that the price has been known in the past to be slashed. Just saying what I’ve heard

  13. a quick favor please: when you, as Guest Host, respond to one of us, can you add our name at the beginning, like @EOS, so we know who you are answering. Sometimes it’s obvious whose query you are responding to, but other times, not so much.

  14. Libertarian Advocate

    It’s the Obama Economy Stupid!

  15. anonymous

    how was today’s batch of new listings?

    • Not so hot. 12 Baldwin Farms is on either owned by the bank, the owner, who knows, but at $7.5MM, a long time available. A nice, but pricey house on Indian Point Lane, and after that a lot of shelter

  16. Cos Cobber – not all of those jobs are going to be upstate. IBM is getting quite a few right here in Westchester.

    I never thought I’d see the day when I could honestly say that NYS government was better run that CT’s. But it’s happened. We’re climbing out of the same hole that you’re climbing into.

  17. The numbers on tax transfers can be misleading. They are greatly impacted by number of federal employees, federal retirees and military personnel in the state.

  18. Anonymous

    The pause that refreshes is over. The Greenwich/Fairfield County real estate market is no longer stable and looks like it is going to trade much lower from here. The financial services industry is going through changes that will severely disrupt the lifestyles (and the $$$) of those beholden to it. Look out below!

  19. Southern Belle

    Hogwash about the infrastructure. When I moved up here from down South, I could not believe how bad I had it. Here i was in fancy Greenwich CT, with no cell phone service, had to pay for garbage pickup and leaf removal, schools falling apart! Add to that the arcane town government who has yet to figure out flooding and appropriate land use rules. I could go on and on. Infrastructure indeed!

    • Hogwash back at you. The northeast, for example, has large-scale rapid transit networks, highways dating to the 1910-1920 era, and a mature school infrastructure. All of which, so long as it isn’t killing anyone, is being neglected. The Federal money is being diverted to build this infrastructure (new) in places that never had it, which of course means its new. They get all the money, and its in great condition. Lots of migrants not having to pay taxes to have it installed is part of the reason. Its as if we’ve been having a redistribution of wealth from North to South for the past 50 years

  20. Inagua

    Anon – I don’t know the price of every transaction. But I do know that first half median price was $1.8 million versus $1.6 million for last year (per Prudential Realty.)

  21. Anonymous

    Frank, I’m a liberal Democrat and I think you’re not quite right about states and federal spending.

    It’s not a “scandal” that states like CT send more to DC than they receive. States don’t pay federal taxes — individuals and firms do. “States” aren’t wealthy — the people in them are. So in a state like CT that has a lot of wealthy people per capita, we’re going to “send more money” to DC than we get back — especially when you consider that the large percentage of federal spending to states is for programs like Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, SCHIP, etc. that benefit low-income Americans — if your state has fewer low-income people (like, say, CT), your “state” is getting less money back (even though, really, it’s the people in your state).

    Many federal taxes are justly redistributive (sorry, conservatives). You, as a progressive, surely recognize that. But recognizing that, it’s impossible to say it’s a scandal when a state full of wealthy people is charged more in taxes than in federal funding received. That’s as much of a scandal as a wealthy person complaining he owed more in taxes than what he got back from the government — well, duh. [N.B.: Of course, affluent people and successful firms do receive numerous public subsidies, ranging from tax-subsidized mortgage interest and tax-subsidized employer health care to a public education system that furnishes employees for their firms. This is a tangential point, and suffice it to say I’m with Elizabeth Warren on this one.]

    Anyway, Connecticut shouldn’t complain too loudly — we’ve got a whole sector of our economy (Sikorsky, UTC, Electric Boat, Coast Guard Academy) that exists solely because of federal largesse. And if you think our representatives aren’t doing their damnedest to make sure that spigot stays open, just watch the torrent of press releases that flies out of the CT delegation’s office every time the Pentagon sensibly says it is considering not building some unnecessary submarine or superfluous fighter jet.

  22. Anonymous

    Ogilvy listings
    In my experience, a lot of them start over priced tp please the client and then they have a big drop when no one shows up to view after 6 to 12 months. Out dated practices, they better get up to speed with the times otherwise ………

  23. Anonymous

    30 Husted,
    If that is an “estate” then Ogilvy needs a new word for the real ones! Also we are all rather bored with the word “” sparkling”” that is over used by that office too….

  24. Cos Cobber

    HG, dont worry, my instincts remain true. I’m not arguing for an expansion of governmnet, I’m simply arguing for a fair distribution of the existing pie (which, yes should also be reduced in whole).

    While you per capita viewpoint is interesting, the facts are taxes are a drain and this disproportionate draining is a tremendous drag on our regional economy. I’m merely making this point as a stakeholder in the northeast. I want to see us succeed and its seemingly unfair to me to have such a lopsided pay-in on federal taxes go on for decades on end. Of course the Northeast is going to decay and succomb to neglect under these circumstances.

    So no HG, I’m not looking for more spending, just a more equitable return on our contribution. I feel like germany.

  25. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the red states would happily do without the subsidies provided by the blue states, if the blue states would be happy doing without the red states food.

    On another front, you can’t shove liberal propaganda down our throats. We read, or don’t. Must chap yer ass that you cannot make us. It’s always oppressor and victim with liberals and if you cannot fit something into that frame, (like the relationship between reader and poster) you get all cognitive dissonant.

  26. Libertarian Advocate

    @Guest Host: An interesting phenomenon don’t you think? The very politicians our ignorant fellow citizens keep eagerly returning to office term after term are the ones facilitating the transfer of wealth away from our region.

    Go Dick go! Go Himie go! Go Rosa go! Same to alll the other CT Dimocrats who keep screwing over the “little people” they claim to love, support and represent in Washingtoon.

  27. The Tortoise beats the Rabbit in this Market

    I agree with Anonymous. The Greenwich market is going down, and if it looks like a buyers market now, its going to be a tasty buffet for buyers come January. There’s a very direct correlation btwn Greenwich RE and Wall Street bonuses. Ask anyone on Wall St, especially hedge funders who have had a pretty ugly year–this is going to be a repeat of the bonus season that followed 2008.

  28. anon1

    Along with the already announced layoffs at other banks, there are rumors of layoffs coming soon to our company. Most are $600,000 salary plus bonus jobs, too, along with back office and other support positions.

  29. Cos Cobber

    Really West, our tax dollars should be overly distributed to food producing states because you’ve got the food? Arguments like that could go round and round. I suppose we could take away pro sports, cable tv, advanced medical devices, medicine, your computer and all computer technology.

    FF, I have been watching the commercial leasing activity in Westchester, NY and Fairfield County. Its interesting that ever since Malloy pasted his budget, leasing activity in Fairfield County has completely wound down. Under the remainder of his term, it will be interesting to see how all three areas fair going forward. Ultimately people and business vote with their feet.

  30. Cos Cobber

    I meant “passed” not pasted his budget. What’s a Cos Cobber entry without bad grammar, misspellings and typos…

  31. Cos Cobber

    Oh come on “Guest Host,” who are you talking too? And where is the effort to add to the conversation?

  32. Anonymous

    Cos Cobber–leasing activity down in commercial and retail because many landlords, who’ve owned their properties free & clear for decades, have their heads and brains in another era, one that’s characterized by pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. Shockingly, that era is over for the foreseeable future. Get businesses in, get ’em a fair rent so they can not only sustain but–shockingly–maybe even turn a profit, and they’ll remain for a long time. It’s really that simple.

  33. HG

    CC, we are of like mind on the Northeast (Germany with a better sense of humor). Ron Paul has the clearest diagnosis of our overall problems but unfortunately I think his time has passed just as the time for his ideas is coming round.

  34. Despite the large inventory of single family homes I have noticed when given a set of criteria from a client how little comes up in the mls search. These aren’t clients that I would consider overly picky or unrealistic even at todays prices. We have lots of really old houses around here because we have been around here for a long time. People don’t/can’t do a lot of renovating. If you buy a house with x% down that needs work you can’t get a home equity line to fix it up so you need the cash which you probably just spent on the down payment.

  35. Inagua

    “I agree with Anonymous. The Greenwich market is going down…”

    That may well be correct. Certainly the August numbers were troubling. The volume and median price were up so much (over 20%) in the year ended in July, that a slowdown is almost inevitable. As Harry Markopolous said, “There are no straight lines in finance.”

  36. Anonymous

    I agree with Anon too. In addition to all the wall street layoffs, all of the ancillary business that support them will be hurting too. The party is OVER! All charts point to real estate having to trade back to around ’97 prices before we are truly at fair value and chances are that we will overshoot on the down side too. All this talk about a double dip recession is complete nonsense. We are in a depression and it looks like the rest of the world will soon be joining us. The pause that refreshes will be a decade or two of very slow growth (at least for the western world). You do not have a 25 year bull market fueled on massive credit that corrects itself in 5 years. Cash buyers will indeed have a tasty buffet to treat on but it is still far too early to start nibbling………………things are going to get way way cheaper.

  37. Anonymous

    Hey Tortoise beats Rabbit, forget the hedge fund guys. They are the least of your worries. Those guys generally have some cash and most of those guys already have their nice crib. Nantucket/Hamptons will feel their pain more than Greenwich since some of them may have to punt the beach house. What will really hurt the bedroom communities of NYC is the massive layoffs that are coming at all of the banks. This will kill the trade-ip market. Also, all of those Mr. Mom’s that you have seen all over town since 2008 are absolutely doomed. They have been faking it for a while and their savings are close to depleted. The vacation house is gone, the kids are no longer in private schools, wifey has had to cut back on shoes/bags, etc. At some point, they have to throw in the towel and decamp for greener ( i.e. less expensive) pastures. That is when you will see true price discovery. Extend and pretend is coming to an end.

  38. anony-moose

    By the way, here’s the total federal tax collections vs. expenditures by state, over a ten year period. It’s sort of interesting:

    Economist: America’s Fiscal Union

  39. MC

    anony: I’d like to see the same chart with the removal of federal employee, federal retiree’, and military, spending. I’d think we would get a more accurate picture of the amts provided.