Daily Archives: October 19, 2012

Spending other people’s money comes easy up in Hartford

Malloy’s fired education chief received much more than just his paltry $340,000 salary.

Robert Kennedy, the higher education chief who resigned Oct. 12 amid an uproar over $250,000 in unauthorized raises given to his subordinates, received at least $100,000 more than his widely reported $340,000 annual salary in 13 months on the job — including $75,000 from a contractual bonus and an unvouchered expense account.

What’s more, the now-departed appointee of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is still eligible for an additional $20,000 in “deferred compensation” — even after he’s gone.

And although there was criticism over Kennedy’s 8½-week absence from Connecticut during the summer, he’s still expected to be paid more than $4,000 for 26.67 hours of “accrued vacation.”

Hey, it was all for the good of the children, and how can you put a price tag on that?


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Elephant’s Graveyard?


11 Vineyard Lane

11 Vineyard Lane took another whack off its price today, meaning if you waited overnight, you saved $900,000. That should help you sleep. New price is $7.850 million, the next step in a very slow retreat from the original price of $13.950 back in 2010. This is a beautiful old (1929) house on 6 acres on a great street, but its failure to sell makes me wonder if there is still a market for homes of this era? You wouldn’t know there was, judging by this one’s lack of success: maybe it’s the dark panelling, the indoor pool, I don’t know, but something there is that doesn’t like this style house anymore – witness the razing of that similar mansion on Meadowcroft earlier this year.

Too bad, because I think these homes are a nice reminder of our past, but so am I, and I get less valuable every day.


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Off to try to whittle down that inventory

Back after 3.


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Housing inventory low, nationally

Not so here in Greenwich, but apparently that’s the case in other parts of the country.

The market is now heading into a traditionally weak period for inventory, indicating the month’s supply may drop to the 5 month area in the period from December to February,Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a news conference as the figures were released.

“Certainly we have broken out of the slump,” Yun said. “Prices are now showing an accelerating trend, this is a reflection of low inventory. Builders need to increase production.”

But then there’s this: new homes are being built at a far faster rate than buyers are buying them. It would seem that the builders are listening to the NAR’s Mr. Yun while buyers aren’t. Get ready for the next cycle of bankruptcies but really, anyone who bases a business or buying decision on propaganda from the NAR pretty much deserves what he gets.

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We’re halfway through October and the fall market’s got maybe three, four weeks to go. How we doing?

So far this month we’ve seen fifty single family homes go to contract. Their asking (not necessarily their selling) prices break down as follows:

18 <$1 million

14  $1-$2

7     $2-$3

5     $3-$4

2    $4-$5

2    $5-$6

1    $6-$7

1     $7-$8

If you’re keeping track, we have 182 houses in inventory priced at $4 million and above.


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Forget the war on women, Obama’s gearing up for a war on America

The EPA regulations he promised in 2008 are ready to go, he’s just waiting for his reelection to impose them, and won’t they be doozies.

• Greenhouse gas regulations, including the infamous “cow tax.” The EPA will finalize proposed regulations that will virtually eliminate coal use in electricity generation, thus driving consumer electric bills sky-high. This cluster of new regulations will also impose an annual fee on farmers for every ton of greenhouse gases emitted by their animals. The EPA estimates that 37,000 farms and ranches will have to pay on average a $23,000 annual “cow tax.”

• New regulations will so severely reduce permissible ozone emissions that the EPA estimates the cost to the economy will be $90 billion per year. Other studies put the cost as high as $1 trillion. Split the difference between the estimates, and the result still means the loss of millions of jobs.

• New Tier III regulations will cut permissible sulfur emissions by two-thirds. That will add as much as 9 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas, according to Inhofe.

• The EPA’s new coal ash regulation will cost as much as $110 billion over two decades and destroy more than 300,000 jobs, mostly in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri.

UPDATE: Full report here – mail it to your liberal friends.


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A trickle of real estate news

7 Mary Lane

7 Mary Lane, NoPo, sold for $695,000. Owners bought it for $735,000 in 2009, added a deck and some new kitchen appliances but that’s all that was deemed mentioning in its listing fact sheet. I guess what that tells us is that we did not see the absolute bottom in 2009. My sense is that we did reach that bottom in 2010 and we’ve been holding steady since, but I’m also reminded of falling elevators that get stuck on the 15th floor, hang-fire for a few minutes and then resume their plummet to the basement. I’m holding my breath up here on the 15th floor.

And one test of where we’re going, I suppose, is new construction at 44 Winthrop Drive in Riverside, which came on today at $4.129 million. Winthrop’s better than Bramble, but over $4? We’ll see.


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