Tag Archives: assessments

Leona’s place and assessments

A reader close to my heart claims that the tax assessor knows nothing about Greenwich values so I thought I’d check out what the assessor has to say about the late Leona Helmsley’s estate at 521 Round Hill Road, which I estimated to be worth $40 million when it was first listed some years ago at $125 million. The listing broker took the largest price cut in Greenwich history: $65,000,000, but still couldn’t sell it at $60,000,000 and now it’s off the market while the estate regroups and decides what to do with the place. My advice would be to hire me but that’s not likely, so let’s see what the Town of Greenwich thinks it’s worth:

Turns out, $47 million or, at 70%, $33,437,000. I rest my case.

UPDATE: checking out my old posts, I see that I started at $40 million on this place but as the years passed without a sale I dropped my estimate to $27 million. That seems about right to me. Which makes 30 John Street’s price laughable, but only if you listen to me – my  brother Gideon will probably sell it at full price.

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Sales prices reported

A couple of older contracts (October and August) closed yesterday and we now know what the properties fetched.

54 Byram Drive (Belle Haven), 4 acres of waterfront in the 1-acre zone, plus old house, listed for $23 million, sold for $14.525. Assessment: $5,643000.

15 North Crossway (Lucas Point, Old Greenwich), listed at $7.195, sold for $6.5. Assessment, $3.148 million. Owners bought it new for $3.925 in 2002 so here’s a property deal that paid handsomely.

By way of comparison, 37 Almira Drive in Byram, originally listed at $825,000 in 2008 and dropped to an asking price of $475,000 is now under contract. Its assessment is $482,000.

If you notice a pattern in under-assessment and over-assessment here, so do I. I wonder whether our new evaluation has used appraisers cognizant of the difference between waterfront and Byram hills? I doubt it – I think certain people like things just the way they are.

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Pending contracts and assessments

On a lark, I pulled the 9 lowest and 9 highest properties of the 50 Greenwich single family homes currently under contract (leaving 603 still for sale and more, presumably, coming on in January). It seems to me that many of the higher end houses are selling for a huge premium to their assessed value (which, I remind you, is supposed to be 70% of their 2005 market value). Either of two explanations come to mind to explain this phenomenon: either higher end homes are really holding their value better or the assessments were skewed to their advantage back in 2005. I don’t have the answer, but here are the statistics:

Address                  First price                       Last asking price         Assessment (70%)

10 Lyon Ave.          $695,000                             $489,000                          $444,000

36 Hartford            $650,000                             $550,000                          $442,000

9 Miltiades              $985,000                             $695,000                           $667,000

7 Mill Pond              $925,000                             $739,000                           $705,000

11 Somerset            $940,000                             $895,ooo                            $1,008,000

 4 Janet Ct               $799,000                              $779,000                          $533,000

73 Halsey                $920,000                              $799,500                          $570,000

1 Fairfield                $1,199,000                            $899,000                         $668,000

14 Windy Knoll       $1,239,000                           $987,000                          $498,000 (renovated ’08)

TOP NINE CONTRACTS

51 Mooreland            $9,500,000                        $5,995,000                      $3,535,000

74 Lower Cross       $6,995,000                           $6,450,000                     $4,000,000

21 Willowmere Cir  $7,400,000                           $6,850,000                     $4,300,000

10 Cornelia               $9,750,000                           $6,950,000                     $4,757,000

15 N. Crossway        $7,195,000                           $7,195,000                       $3,148,000

205 Clapboard          $12,500,000                        $7,975,000                      $6,120,000

21   Guinea                $8,950,000                           $8,950,000                    $5,171,000

67 Harbor Drive       $11,950,000                          $11,950,000                  $8,366,000

54 Byram Drive       $23,000,000                          $17,950,000                  $5,644,000

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