Daily Archives: August 3, 2012

Greenwich is hard of hearing

2012 is “the year of capitulation” for sellers of multi-million-dollar homes in many areas.

There are several factors behind the price drops. The high end of the market didn’t fall as much or as early as the broader market, since there weren’t as many distressed sellers that were forced to sell. Those wealthier sellers have hung on to their properties, waiting for prices to approach 2008 levels.

Now that they see that the prices of 2008 aren’t likely to return anytime soon, many are deciding to drop their prices just to get a deal. The increase in sales has itself spurred sales, as wealthy sellers see a larger number homes in their neighborhoods trading at lower prices.

“There is now a critical mass of data so sellers can say, ‘Well, this is the new reality,'” Boomsma said.

Here in Greenwich it’s perfectly obvious what is selling in the high end of the market and what is not. So far this year 9-10 home owners in the $5-$9 range have accepted the new reality and gotten out – 163 owners are waiting for the return of 2006.

 

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Guardian of the Little People

You have a beach, good for you, but you didn’t make that beach

Obama is holding another Millionaires Club dinner, this time in Westport at the Hollywood – East mansion of Harvey Weinstein. To accommodate the Emperor and his coterie, Sherwood Park will be closed for the entire day so that Bummer can land his helicopter there Monday evening. White House press secretary Jay Carney denied this would inconvenience any of the thousands of residents who had hoped to cool off at the beach that day:

“Are there no private clubs?” he asked. “No slip-n-slides? Besides, those people should be out looking for work, not lying around doing nothing.

“And it’s our beach anyway.”

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The trouble with going way up north

Westchester tax men lie in wait

Indian ambushes! Buyers for 17 Steeple Chase were disappeared and the house, reported as under contract just a short time ago, is back. A reliable but anonymous source says that Tom Cruise is interested.

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When Reuters is more truthful than the AP, we’re in deeper trouble than we thought

Drudge:

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Hell, if he’ll promise to retire there next January let’s just give it to him

Obama wants to win Florida for his birthday.

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What bias?

Power to the people, right on!

The Boston Globe can’t find its way across the Charles to unearth Obama’s law school grades but it can dedicate a reporter’s time to dig into Mitt Romney’s high school report card from 45 years ago? (Turns out, he was judged to be becoming “more responsible”).

These guys remind me exactly of so many of my college peers who shrieked of “speaking truth to power!” while gulping the orthodox pablum spoon-fed them by liberal professors. They’re now editors, I presume, and haven’t changed a whit.

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170 Clapboard sells

Vintage April ’11 Photos, by iPhone

July contract, 170 Clapboard just sold for $3.8 million. It asked $5.8 million (oh, g’wan!) back in April 2011 and it carries an assessment (supposed to represent 70% of estimated market value) of $3.6 million, so I guess this is an okay price, but a tad surprising to me nonetheless. Two acres in a two acre zone, so no premium there and the house, built in 1928, looks pretty cramped and low to me.

But maybe that’s just its pictures – after all, if the agent couldn’t be bothered to update them in 15 months, how much care went into them in the first place?

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Never heard of him

Say “cheeeesecake!”

One William Goodman, 99 Maple Avenue, was arrested this week for possession of kiddy – porn. There’s a William Goodman ivey found via Google that shows him to be a local realtor but whether he’s the same guy or not (I have it from an unidentified source that he’s Harry Reid’s adopted son), I’ve never encountered a Bill Goodman in the trenches. Has anyone?

UPDATE: Oh dear, I now remember him, vaguely. While searching Google images for the man (plenty of material, all centered on the Hamptons, Palm Beach and NYC charity events) I found his Twitter page. Nothing on it about his recent activities, alas.

Hey little boy, ever seen a grown man naked?

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Grab your nets and dinner bowl

Chinese treat

Chinese mitten crab found in Mianus spillway. It’s an invasive species so biologists are concerned, but they say the things are considered a delicacy in their native waters, so the answer would seem to be, as it is for so many invasive species, to eat them. Besides, the blue crabs which should be teeming this time of year are missing in action. An alternative would be welcome.

(h/t, Scusie W)

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Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be like me

27 Pilgrim Drive is sort of a Kerry neighborhood:  one of those places where you have to be against Greenwich before you are for it, which is to say, double back from Port Chester. Normally not one of our more popular neighborhoods but the place sold in a mini-bidding war ($1,000 over ask) in 2008 for $746,000 and now reports an accepted offer, even though its current price is $798,000. The sellers did some renovating between that 2008 purchase and listing it for resale this past April, which probably accounts for their original optimistic pricing of $889,000 but still, $798,000? It’s got to be a Westchester refugee fleeing taxes.

UPDATE: It now (4:00 pm) shows as active, “returned to market” and indicates that it was withdrawn from the market July 31st and returned today. Perhaps I misread the original posting this morning, perhaps it’s had its immediate history cleaned up – either way, it’s still available.

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Dong Dong dons gold gong

Walt warned me this might happen.

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An old favorite returns

In the Greenwich Time article on the search for a padded cell for Tom Cruise, Tamar Lurie alluded to a new listing she was bringing on, and here it is: 27 acres at 21 Topping Road, $24 million.

This land has been for sale seemingly forever and certainly as long ago as 2003-2005 (728 DOM) when it asked $39 million, and from September, 2008 (great timing) to August, 2011 (1,093 DOM) at various prices, starting at $49.5 million. Now it’s back with a new price and new broker.

Will it sell? Oh eventually, I suppose, but the owner’s best chance probably died with her neighbor Leona Helmsley, who was long-rumored to be interested in reuniting the original Topping Estate. The urgency for that disappeared when Leona went into seclusion at the Bedford Women’s Prison and never returned, even when the Queen of Mean did.

Maybe Trouble’s estate would want it for a doggy mausoleum?

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Oh, they try so hard

As drafted and supplied by Obama himself – no kidding!

Just heard NPR “reporting” on today’s jobless numbers. While allowing that the unemployment rate had “ticked upward” (no number given because it might alarm NPR listeners, but it’s now 8.3%, higher than Obama warned it would be if his trillion dollar stimulus weren’t passed), the tone was upbeat. The reporter, no doubt thinking he was supplying the objectivity he heard mentioned once in journalism school, cautioned that at last month’s increase of 163,000 jobs, “it will take years before the unemployment drops to pre-recession levels”. Get it? Slow and steady, we’re getting there, we just need patience and in four more years Obama will have brought us back from where we started in those awful Bush years.

But in fact, 163,000 new jobs a month will result in an ever-growing unemployment rate – we aren’t inching ahead, we’re plummeting down. We need 316,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth and drop back “a tick” to 8.2%, 216,000 to stay where we are. Half that number won’t do the job, so to speak, no matter how desperately NPR and its friends spin it.

I also included the number of jobs needed to lower the unemployment rate by one percentage point to 8.2%. If the participation rate rises, then it would take 316,000 jobs per month. If the participation rate stays steady, it would take 224,000 jobs per month to lower the unemployment rate to 8.2%.
Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/07/how-many-jobs-are-needed-over-next-year.html#RVjs087E5wJZ2oja.99

The real key to success here, from Obama’s perspective, is to continue to discourage workers and persuade them to drop off of the unemployment rolls and onto welfare and disability. Do that, and a mere 95,000 would entitle him to claim that his plan is holding unemployment steady.

So guess what he’s doing?

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Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

A gloomy day at 18 Chimney Corner Lane (GT photo)

Greenwich Time, whose last remaining source of revenue is real estate advertising from local firms, heard a tip from a reliable but anonymous source that Tom Cruise and his Scientologists might, maybe, be looking for a compound to purchase in Greenwich. Naturally, the paper called agents from its biggest advertisers and gave them a chance to tout any unsold white elephants they might have kicking around. And just as naturally, those agents responded. I particularly liked that of Tamar Lurie, who as a top professional took advantage of the opportunity to suggest her unloved listing at 18 Chimney Corner Lane, asking $10.75 million, as the perfect spot for a crazed, sofa-jumping fruitcake.

Well perhaps so, and one certainly can’t blame Tamar for trying to assist her client, but I’d have been more impressed with Greenwich Time’s editorial independence had its reporter pursued a few details. How, for instance, could a three bedroom house with no room for expansion accommodate Cruise, his team of bodyguards, his 747, fifteen Sea Org concubines and visiting aliens and still have space left over to imprison strayed Scientologists?

And maybe the reporter could have asked Tamar her guesstimate as to when this place might finally sell and at what price, after being available for sale since April, 2005 (by my math, that’s 2,645 days, although the GAR shows 18) and having seen its original asking price drop so slowly and inexorably from $18.5 million?

Good questions, unasked.

By the way, you’ll notice that the exact address of 18 Chimney Corner Lane was revealed to the unwashed public in this news story, an act that brought me threatened censure by the Greenwich Association of Realtors. I’m sure the GAR just hasn’t read the article yet but when they do, whoo boy, watch out, Tamar!

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Need some jobs to goose your reelection odds? We got jobs

163,000 jobs “created” last month, the press is delighted to describe this as a meaningful improvement. Really? What if 429,000 of those jobs were pulled from thin air? 

Happy by the headline establishment survey print of 133,245 which says that the US “added” 163,000 jobs in July from 133,082 last month? Consider this: the number was based on a non seasonally adjusted July number of 132,868. This was a 1.248 million drop from the June print. So how did the smoothing work out to make a real plunge into an “adjusted” rise? Simple: the BLS “added” 377K jobs for seasonal purposes. This was the largest seasonal addition in the past decade for a July NFP print in the past decade, possibly ever, as the first chart below shows. But wait, there’s more: the Birth Death adjustment, which adds to the NSA Print to get to the final number, was +52k. How does this compare to July 2011? It is about 1000% higher: the last B/D adjustment was a tiny +5K! In other words, of the 163,000 jobs “added”, 429,000 was based on purely statistical fudging. Doesn’t matter – the flashing red headline is good enough for the algos.

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It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity

The warmists go limp

Think-Progress, a site that promises to deliver “hard-hitting political views and analysis” stirred up the mob yesterday by reporting, “wow, its so hot in Oklahoma that the street lights are melting”.  The science was settled: global warming had struck again.

Sadly for the eco-nuttery, it now turns out that those lights melted from a dumpster fire, not from a blast of cow flatulence. Reached for comment, Senator Harry Reid remained defiant: “I was told by a highly-reliable anonymous source that they melted from the hot air rising from Washington and so that’s what I believe. If it weren’t true, why wouldn’t they deny it?  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have thirty years of tax returns to prepare.”

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Not all terrorists are French women, but all French women ….

Toronto law suit: Riot police profiled female protestors with hairy legs.

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