Tag Archives: Greenwich spec homes

Here’s a spec house I lost sight of

26 Cedarwood Drive

26 Cedarwood Drive

In calculating spec house inventory (74 49 over $5 million) I use a construction date of 2007 as a cut-off date but that means my search fails to come up with houses like the one on Deseree (2005), 20 Dingletown (2004?) or this one on Cedarwood, which started construction in 2004. The builder paid $2.4 for the land it sits on back in January 2004, began building some time thereafter and has had it listed for sale since 2004 at ten various price levels, from a high of $7.950 million (June, 2006) to today’s new price of $5.450. It will certainly sell at some point and when it does, it will no doubt be cited by that optimist in the paper as proof that the speculative building market is gaining strength, but five years – and counting – to unload a project is doubtless not what this developer had in mind before he started out on his most excellent adventure.

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Bloomberg discovers that Greenwich spec houses are in trouble

(Sigh) – spend an hour on the phone with a reporter and see it condensed to one snippet and one misidentification. Of well. Here’s the story.

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If I had a few tens of millions hanging around in Treasuries

I think I’d emulate this guy, who’s going after distressed real estate 

Fund managers and investors are seeking $92.5 billion for funds to buy properties and debt being sold by developers struggling to repay bank loans or finance construction in the credit crisis, London-based Preqin Ltd. said last week. Corl said he thinks the current property slump that dragged down U.S. prices almost 15 percent last year will only get worse.

“It’s going to be catastrophic across the real estate industry,” Corl, 42, said in an interview. “Most of real estate is going to end up in the distressed category” because REITs and property investors have too much debt and that will increase as occupancies, rents and values fall in the recession, he said.

Corl will be Siguler Guff’s managing director for distressed real estate investments, the New York-based company said today in a statement. He managed about $30 billion of real estate investment assets before leaving Cohen & Steers a year ago.

Corl’s change in investment strategy makes sense because it’s likely “the market is going to completely overreact on pricing to the negative side,” said Rich Moore, managing director at RBC Capital Markets in Solon, Ohio, where he analyzes REITs.

‘Tremendous Opportunities’

“I think there will be tremendous opportunities over the next two to three years in real estate owned by distressed owners,” Moore said in an interview. “If you get real estate where someone is struggling, but the real estate is quite good, I think there will be lots and lots of those. That will create great opportunities for people with money.”

I have a much smaller vision than these people who I assume will be buying up condo projects and commercial real estate, but bailing out some over-extended Greenwich spec builders at, say, 30 cents or even sixty cents on the dollar (the actually expended dollar, not the hoped-for retail price) should eventually return a nice profit.

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This is probably good news (for other parts of the country)

Housing starts drop another 16%, lowest rate since record keeping began (of this statistic, obviously, the Babylonians were busy with clay tablets eons ago). This country may still need a good five cent cigar – it most definitely doesn’t need more houses, right now. So clearing things out can only help, I hope.

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — U.S. builders broke ground in December on the fewest houses since record-keeping began as sales and credit dried up, signaling the real-estate slump will keep hurting economic growth.

Housing starts fell 16 percent last month to an annual rate of 550,000 that was less than forecast and the lowest since the government started compiling statistics in 1959, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Building permits, an indicator of future projects, were also at a record low.

Here in Greenwich where we long since used up land suitable for tract housing, new spec home starts are close to dead, but I see in my travels through town a lot of projects nearing completion. I hope for their builders’ sake that they’re all custom homes but I’d guess many are not. So watch, as notes come due on tons of unsold spec homes this and next month, for prices to plummet. That’s just my guess – your opinion may differ and God bless you if you’re right.

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