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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22 responses to “Year end stats

  1. Inagua

    So 2011 had higher volume and prices than 2010, which had higher volume and prices than 2009. Does anyone see a trend yet?

  2. anonymous

    I’m getting ready to list my house for sale in the next year or so. My house was built in the late eighties and has a buried oil tank. We’ve never had any problems with it. Realtors I’ve spoken with say that I should go ahead and kill the below ground tank and install a new one in the basement before listing it. They say some buyers won’t even look at a house with a buried tank. What’s your opinion – is it worth the up front expense?

    • Yeah, pull the tank, and here’s why: it’s an unkown liability. It probably didn’t leak during its lifetime but if it did, remediation costs could be large (maybe $100,000 – otherwise, it’s $1500-$3,000). Buyers will insist that you do it anyway, so why not do it before listing and remove that issue?
      I say this even though I think oil tanks should be below ground – no stink, no danger of fire, etc. But the potential liability for a leak is so large that no buyer will assume it – heck, when I advised my law clients on buying a house I always insisted that the tank be removed and I believe every other lawyer in town did/still does the same thing. So bite the bullet and do the deed, as much of a money-waster as it is.

  3. Catch a Falling Knife

    wonder what a Case-Shiller index (using historical prices for the same houses – not perfect but best there is) for Greenwich would look like

  4. Anonymous re your oil tank: we pulled out a 1000-gallon buried tank when he bought our current home. The sellers were required to do a test but the tank didn’t show any leakage, so beyond that by NY State law, they were not obliged to replace it. Same with the house we SOLD. We had a giant buried tank. Our buyers required us to do a test. The tank passed. Then it was up to the new buyers to decide what is next. I might ask your oil company to do the test before even listing your house so you know ahead of time if it’s going to make sense to replace it. If it doesn’t leak, and you can prove it, I say don’t waste your money digging it up.

    After we dug up our buried tank, we added a small mechanicals room and installed a fabulous state-of-the-art Roth oil tank 300-gallon that we love. It was not all that expensive.

    • The only problem with your strategy, EOS is that it requires, I think, a seller’s market to pull off. It’s just my opinion, but I’d be hesitant to make my house even somewhat less attractive than its competition right now, when there are so many alternative houses a buyer can choose from.

  5. But I’ve always and only owned old houses and I know that’s what I am going to find. It’s just part of what to expect. Granted, Mr. Anonymous’s house was built in the 80s and I don’t think he meant the 1880s, so perhaps your take is the right.

  6. greenwich dude

    to catch a falling knife, NYT has a nice graphic showing Case-Shiller data for a bunch of US metros. Pick a couple of major metros that seem to approximate g’wich and dream away!

  7. Cobra

    Chris and/or EOS or any of the fine FWIW readers…any recommended “tank pulling” companies in the Greenwich area that you would recommend? About ten years ago, our oil company talked us into replacing our decades old in-ground tank with two in the basement. They came over and sucked out all the remaining oil in the in-ground tank right after installation of the new ones, but now I’m thinking that perhaps we should preemptively pull the old tank now rather than when we go to sell the house (which hopefully will not be for many years). Recommendations?

    • Gideon and I will show up any time between midnight and 4:00 am, Cobra, and have that sucker disappeared before you can say “South Bronx resting place”. We’re cheap, too.
      Otherwise, I’ll have to ask around. Northfield Fuel can probably recommend a good source, or perhaps they do this work themselves – my favorite oil copany in town.

  8. Dude

    Cobra, definitely get it removed. Our underground tank was pumped dry 15 – 20 years ago by previous owners. We discovered its existence when, after a storm, the tank collapsed creating a 8- 10′ deep sink hole. Luckily the little ones weren’t playing outside at the time….or I wasn’t mowing the lawn.

  9. Cobra: our first estimate came from EnviroShield that services both NY and CT. We liked their price but ended up using our oil company, Marshall Oil in Pound Ridge since they were installing the new tank. Hence, I can’t give a grade to EnviroShield. Whole lotta good I am, eh? Happy New Year!

  10. Cobra

    Chris…You and Gideon are on for whichever night you select to dispose of the old oil tank. If you suggest to Walt that it’s going to be a Wesson oil party with Steph and Tina in attendance, perhaps he might join us.

  11. Cobra

    Tim from Enviroshield will be at our house on Tuesday to assess the tank issue and give me a recommendation and quote.

    Thanks to those FWIW readers (and Blogmeister) who offered suggestions. Hopefully, I’ve not opened Pandora’s oil tank, so to speak.

  12. Anonymous

    @Cobra, better to open Pandora’s oil tank than a large unexpected new “pond” area aka sinkhole. 😆
    Best of luck to you and Happy New Year to all! 🙂

  13. Anonymous

    I love the 54 Rock maple House…
    my wife and I looked at it and were out bid.

  14. Atticus

    Trulia shows Greenwich sales down 29% and median price down bigtime during last three month period:
    Market View for Greenwich
    Avg. Listing Price
    Wk ending Dec 21 +$45,440
    Median Sales Price
    Sep ’11 – Nov ’11
    602 Homes For Sale 0 Open Homes
    244 Recently Sold 9 Foreclosures
    Market Trends for Greenwich Embed

    Average Listing Price$4,002,230+1.1%w-o-w
    Median Sales Price$1,190,000-26.2%y-o-y
    Average Price/sqft$524-7.4%y-o-y
    Number of Sales54-28.9%y-o-y

    I wonder what Corelogic says, since they’re the ones that exposed the false NAR figures.

  15. Anonymous

    @Chris and Anon@8:02am

    Every source I can locate (including Greenwich Patch) says that 54 Rock Maple sold on 3/15/11 for $2.15M

    What would cause the discrepancy between the reported sold price of $4.3M and the recorded sold price of $2.15M?

  16. Anonymous

    @Chris, Rock Maple is a beautiful house and I’ve no doubt my “price” of $2.15M is wrong, but what could/would have caused the possible error in the recording price? Was the loan amount recorded instead of the sales price?

    If that’s an ongoing problem then that would skew prices in ways that boggle my mind. $2M difference in selling and recording price ain’t a rounding error.