In April 2005 this house on Tod Lane was listed for $2.795 million and sold five days later, via bidding war, for $2.905 million. Those were good days for sellers, bad for buyers – which makes me wonder, when Mad Monkey refers to “greedy buyers” today, whether he appliedthe same term to sellers four years ago, but never mind – today, it’s been relisted, for $2.495 million. Someone didn’t get MM’s memo, obviously, about refusing to give in to market conditions. I don’t need CEA’s sophisticated calculator to figure out that the owner is not expecting a profit on this one.
Tag Archives: Greenwich real estate pricing
And with it, the clouds will dissipate, the economy will heal itself and Greenwich real estate properties will return to where they were two years ago and resume their meteoric rise. Or so some sellers seem to think.
Here’s a new price reduction today, from 54 Doubling Road. Purchased for $1.5 million in 2003 and untouched since then, the owners listed it for $2.295 million this November. Not a crazy price, were this 2006, but not one that will move it today. But the owners must feel that, if The One is coming in to heal our wounds, why give away the store? So they’ve dropped the price a whopping $46,000. Yeah, that should do it!
122 Cat Rock road may have the same problem. These owners paid $2,125,000 in 2000 and again have done nothing but live in the house since. They’ve been trying to sell it for $3.595 since June and now have reduced it to $2.950. That’s a substantial reduction, but if we’re really approaching 1999 or 2000 price levels, and I think we are, then this one still has a ways to go. Unless, of course, we really do see a miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue this afternoon. I have my doubts; many others do not.
Tomorrow’s NYT Real estate section reports that first time buyers, encouraged by low mortgage rates and huge price drops, are returning to the NYC market.
Many of these buyers have never received a fat bonus check, so they don’t miss it now. They did not suffer huge stock market losses, because they didn’t have huge stock market investments. They aren’t mourning the loss of value in their existing co-ops or condos, because they have never owned one.
They have jobs and good credit ratings, and they are looking to buy.
And now, brokers say, these mostly first-time homeowners are taking advantage of reduced apartment prices and interest rates that have fallen to the lowest levels in a generation. They’re making deals — sometimes far below asking price — on apartments marketed for under $1 million, and especially under $500,000. Still, the hard number of transactions remains depressed; in the fourth quarter of 2008, they were more than 30 percent below levels of a year earlier, according to a market report by the Corcoran Group.
At three tenement buildings on West 107th Street last weekend, buyers shuffled past one another as they climbed the narrow staircases, often up to the fifth floor, to look at newly renovated two-bedroom apartments in otherwise unrenovated buildings.
The buyers, some of whom said they had been priced out of the market in the boom years, were drawn back by low prices and the promise of deals.
“It is price, price, price,” said Jason Haber, a broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman.
The same phenomenon is just starting to appear in Greenwich, and I’m glad. Look: as a real estate agent, I welcome the beginning of the return of reality because prices were crazy and getting crazier each day, narrowing the pool of buyers into an ever-thinner slice of the population. Had it continued, this price spiral would have resulted in just two buyers being able to afford Greenwich houses, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, and Mr. Buffet doesn’t seem to share the taste of most Greenwich spec builders. Something had to give.
My pal Nancy Fountain was always amused by my fascination with hurricanes, accusing me, accurately, of taking a perverse pleasure in tracking the chaos and disruption huge storms brought to land. I love blizzards, too, so I might as well admit that watching the fall of our local market is kind of cool.
But my extended family owns houses in town to, just like the rest of you, and I know very well the sense of unease watching the value of those assets drop. There was always something comforting in knowing that, if everything hit the fan, a couple of million was available – we might have to move to Bumfruck North Dakota to take advantage of that pile of cash, but it was there. Now it isn’t, or not as much of it is. Owning a house here was sort of like taking an airplane flight: you know there is a possibility that the plane may come down unexpectedly but what are the odds? As Thursday’s U.S. Air flight into the Hudson shows, you never know. The passengers in that one escaped with a couple of broken legs and no other serious injuries. We can only hope we land as successfully.
So things are what they are, and we’ll see how they develop. My advice remains unchanged: if you have to sell today, or within the next year or so, slash your price to the bone and hope you attract one of those buyers looking for a bargain. If you’re buying, insist on a price that will shield you from a further decline in the market. And we’ll all get along and on with our lives, I hope.
A condominium at 351 Pemberwick Road sold yesterday for $735,000, 85% of its original asking price of $865,000. But the owner held onto the unit from August, 2006 until yesterday, changing agents three times and her price no more frequently. There’s really no need to go through this agony. And for those sellers who resist lowering their price out of the belief that “I’ll let someone make me an offer- I won’t bid against myself”, here’s a nice little object lesson in how a relatively small over-pricing kept bidders away for more than two years. When this unit finally dropped to $743,000, it found a buyer almost immediately. Couldn’t someone have offered 85% of the asking price way back then? Sure, but they didn’t.
I mentioned this yesterday but today I saw that 180 Round Hill Road has expired unsold yet again and so I bring it back up for discussion. The owners of this property have been trying to sell it since 2001. First at $3.795 (expired 2002) then at $5.250, beginning in 2005. It expired Today at its last asking price of $3.795. One day, they may actually decide that they want to move.
A reader asked about this Surf & Turf listing and I told him it was on Clapboard Ridge. Well, Clapboard Ridge runs into Grahampton, so give me a break. Asking $5.995 since August. Good, large (7,000+ sf) house, nice pool and yard, good location. The owners paid $5.125 million for it in 2004 and spent a fair amount adding the pool and doing various renovations/improvements, then put it up for sale in October, 2007 for $6.995. The fact that I’d forgotten about it proves my point about over-pricing your listing: don’t do it. We see the place, dismiss it, and promise ourselves that we’ll revisit when the price drops. But then we don’t; other houses come on, inventory swells and ….. I really had no idea this place was still for sale, and that’s too bad, because at a million dollars less, it looks pretty good. Maybe not really, really good, but certainly worth considering.
UPDATE: CEA posted this comment on the original post but now that we’re writing about it here, …
That’s on Grahampton, near Beechcroft. Big house, backhard is narrow and overlooks the people behind. 0 outdoor privacy.
I knew there was something I didn’t like about it – privacy is expected at this price.