Monthly Archives: December 2011

That’s probably it for the year

At least for real estate – the MLS is shutting down shortly and there’s not much to report. Check in for a few political rants if you’re so inclined  – I’m bound to have a couple. One final sale,  59 Park Avenue South, in Old Greenwich. This house just keeps selling, despite what I believe to be a building lot immediately next door (otherwise, it’s a nice property). Sold for $2.287 in May, 2007, resold for $2.375 six months later and now has yet another contract, asking price $2.295. Proof that Old Greenwich, at least, has held its own over the past four years.

Happy New Year to all.


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Year end stats

Here are some preliminary statistics for the year just past, all for single family homes:

Executed contracts or sales:  500

Asking prices, $308,000 (280,000 actual selling price) to $42,500 million.

$4.995 million and above: 40

$9 -$15 million: 6


Sales: 477

Asking prices, $299,000 – $55,000,000 ($35,000,000)

$4.995 million and above; 40

$9 – $15 million: 8


Sales: 593

Asking prices, $529,000 – $40,000,000

$4.995 million and above: 102

$9 – $15 million: 23

I’ll come back later, maybe, with median and average prices and, my favorite, original asking price vs. final sales price. While David Ogilvy continues to be the champion of this gap in total dollars (Helmsley’s place, listed at $125 million, sold for $35), this year’s percentage winner could well be 54 Rock Maple, originally listed by Fran Erlich in 2007 for $12.450 million and finally sold, four years later, for $4.3

UPDATE: the most accurate statistics on Greenwich home sales are found at Shore and Country’s web site. They don’t have 2011’s numbers up yet but here are some past years’ results (numbers a little different from mine because I go by contract dates, they use sale dates)

Number of homes sold                    $ Volume                          Avg. Price

2008: – 37%                                         -41%                                  -8%

2009: – 20%                                         – 25%                                – 6%

2010: +48%                                         +41%                                  – 5%

Median prices are

2007: $2.1

2008: $1.950

2009: 1.595

2010: 1.675

So we’re about 20% below 2007 prices, median and average – other areas have fared worse. Of course, that also means that if you bought your house in 2007 and put the typical 20% down, you were under water as of the beginning of this year. Did you recover any this year? I think not, but stay tuned.


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Between the dying and the dead

44 Parsonage Rd

Or, more prosaically, between the Nathaniel Witherell Home and Putnam Cemetary, This new listing at 44 Parsonage Road is of note primarily because, at $2.795 million, it’s asking a wee bit less than its 2003 sales price of $2.873. I won’t have a chance to refresh my memory of the place until its open house two weeks from now but judging from its pictures it doesn’t seem to have changed much, not withstanding the listing’s claim of a 2010 “renovation”. And while it may just be an oversight on the part of the listing broker, I’m always cautious when there is no picture of a home’s kitchen.

Still, it’s on 1.5 acres in the 1 acre zone and even with some wetlands, there should certainly be room to expand from the current 3,800 square feet.
Speaking of land values, four acres at 156 Taconic has a contract. Last ask was $1.9 million, down quite a bit from its 2009 ask of $3.2. Assessment is $1.328, which seems closer to what a building lot is worth up here than that first price.


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The kind of case first year torts students will love

In Chicago, an appeals court rules that a woman struck by dismembered body parts can sue the estate of the former owner of those parts who, running for a train, was hit and tossed about.  This actually makes sense, legally, although it is not true that the court, ruling in the plaintiff’s favor, said that the defendant didn’t have a leg to stand on. It should have, though.


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Obumski’s new tactic: tax the poor and the stupid


Hmm. Ran out of 1%ers. What to do, what to do?

Moves to legalize interstate gambling. Readers with the memory of an elephant may remember when, two years ago, the DOJ hauled two British gambling executives off a plane and incarcerated them for conducting an online gambling site in Britain (!). Those gentlemen are still awaiting trial but in the meantime, our president has moved on.


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Would someone please buy this house and put the owners out of their misery?

11 Hycliff Road is marching toward its fifth year on the MLS, marked down, as of today, to $2.195 from its preposterous 2007 price of $4.995 million. It’s a contemporary but if you don’t like the house, and I do, tear it down – you’ve got 5+ acres to work with, plus a pool plus a tennis court and Hycliff is off what I’d call lower Riversville Road. At under $2 million (I sense there’s negotiating room here) you could do far worse.


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Why shouldn’t an illegal have a say in our government?


Rebuilding Greenwich, one block at a time

Mason seeks chairmanship of Greenwich BET


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I’m not sure her publicist really wants to employ the term “breakout star” to describe her


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Hillside Road sells quickly, high school or not

25 Hillside Rd

I mentioned recently that 55 Hillside Road, a house I tried unsuccessfully to sell to my own clients, had gone to contract at what I’d guess was close to or at full asking price, $2.885 million. Now I see that 25 Hillside, a renovated carriage house on two acres has also gone to contract – its asking price was $3.8 million. So what’s Hillside got going for it? Large lots, a really convenient location and nice houses. And those lots are large enough to afford a buffer from the 2X daily school traffic.


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Schadenfreude will bite many of us Greenwich residents in the butt

The Wall Street layoffs resume and pick up speed. It’s not just the Dollar Bills of this area who cheer this sort of thing – Ol’ Bill is too blinded by hate to have any rational thought on the subject but plumbers, carpenters, doctors, home sellers and even real estate agents should be able to see what will happen when the faucet is turned off.

Many don’t. I recall being at a sales meeting at another firm when news of the Lehman bust provoked a loud cheering. My peers were delighted to see some Wall Streeters brought down but as I tried to point out, who did they think was buying the houses we were trying to sell? I’m as appalled at the excesses of some of our newly rich as anyone but I know who’s buttering my bread.


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And not just in Greenwich

Homeowners discover that they can stop paying their mortgage and live worry free for years.


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If so, I blame Sean Penn

Hugo Chavez:  did U.S. give me cancer? No charge, fat boy.


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I was going to point this out to Mr. Bill yesterday

Obummer has put together a massive, world-wide drone killer operation. According to Mr. Bill, these hateful machines are the fault of that ol’ debbil Bush but, like so much of President Bush’s efforts in this arena have been seen, raised and even trebled by Obummer.

UPDATE: a reader sends along this link to a WSJ blog that decries the hypocrisy of Obummer who, rather than do anything mean like stick a terrorist in Gitmo and extract information from him kills him via remote control instead. No mess, no bother, no complaints from his liberal friends.

Of course, this “out of sight, out of mind” thinking is endemic throughout the entire liberal agenda. Coal-powered cars like the Prius are the favored vehicle because all those icky rare earths are mined in far off China. Oil may be imported from the Nigerian delta, one of the most polluted, corrupt countries on earth but not Canada because we can see Canada from our back porch. Cuba is an acceptable place to visit and support because Castro keeps his political prisoners hidden away from Greenwich touristas, and so on.


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Couple of sales

44 Winthrop, land sale, 0.4 acres, sold in ten days. Interesting that the seller took a bite off her asking price of $1.395 million and accepted $1.250.

15 Audubon Lane, over off Bedford, was a contemporary on 4 acres. Sold for about its assessment – $1.020 assessment, $1.050 sale.


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So what’s the surprise here?

Waiting for Mr. Goody Bag

State’s investigation into food stamp fraud spreads to Department of Social Services employees – the group that was “overseeing” the giveaway. You offer something for free, of course people are going to want it (estimate of how many people would need additional food stamps after Hurricane Irene doubled from the original guess of 10,000). And it’s hardly surprising that state employees, witnessing this largess on behalf of tax payers, would want in on the game too and scam it.

That doesn’t mean the employees shouldn’t be fired and prosecuted, but maybe the state should be looking at why it felt extra bags of popcorn for the poor was a good idea or even necessary in the first place. If you’re unemployed, how does a hurricane hurt you? There’s no job you have to get to and I know of no scientific study documenting increased hunger during storms. My guess is, like the recipients themselves, the state saw an opportunity to grab hold of extra federal money and, like George Plunkett, took it. Mr. Plunkett called that sort of behavior “honest graft” – his spirit lives on in Hartford.


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One Milbank sale

Price reported yesterday: $1.350 million. While that’s less than the asking price of $1.699, it seems in line with sales from 2004, which isn’t bad. I hated the exterior architecture of these units when they were erected in 1985 and haven’t warmed up to them since but they seem to be holding their value and they do have a decent location going for them.


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A meaningful price cut? Maybe. Larger than the usual, anyway

38 Cedarwood has dropped from $7.750 million to $7.250.  Will that be enough? Darned if I know, but it’s a good sized chunk of cash and should attract some buyer’s attention. The owners paid $6.5 million for this place, new, in 2003 and it might ultimately return there, but Cedarwood’s a nice street in an excellent location and this house, on two acres, seems to have all the features buyers in this price range demand. Could be your cup of tea.

Comments Off on A meaningful price cut? Maybe. Larger than the usual, anyway

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No, leave the driving to us!

Guy steals a bus in Syracuse and drives it up to Watertown to visit a friend. A couple of questions: why would anyone want to go to Watertown?; why would they go by bus?

On the other hand, the article says that Greyhound disabled the bus remotely, which is pretty cool – I didn’t realize they had that technology. Maybe they’ll sell that knowhow to the Taliban.


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Another drone down

No, Dollar Bill’s fine, I’m talking about those drones that don’t like the Taliban. Question: if we worry about the technology of these craft falling into enemy hands, why don’t we have explosive devices included in their fuselage? I’m sure there’s a good reason why not, but I’m curious.


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The Strangler gets his wish

Cole Stangler

Wall Street loses 200,000 jobs with more to come. Here’s the problem, children: when you lose all those high paying jobs, you lose all those high paying tax payers, so the taxes to fund your utopia are going to have to come from er, well, you.


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