Tag Archives: Market activity

Early morning activity

The listing for 19 Licata Terrace, asking $950,000  has expired. This was a horrible attempt at a renovation to a house purchased for $980,000 in 2004. Listed at $2.2 million in 2006, in an unfinished condition, it never sold and eventually reverted to the bank (Patriot, I think, but perhaps not) and from there to something called EPI Mortgage. I’m sure it will show up again, because what does EPI want with this pile of junk? Interesting to me is that the “builder” of this place, Jimmy Licata, pled guilty to bank fraud a year or so ago. I’m not saying that his half-hearted efforts to rehabilitate this property were fraudulent – perish the thought! – but if I had believed, until recently, that local banks gained their strength and advantage from knowing local property values and, just as important, the local players. You can’t find a nicer person than Jimmy, but I don’t think I’d lend him a million bucks.

29 MacArthur Drive, in Havemeyer, is reported as pending. This is a 1953 untouched, 900 sq. ft. house so it’s probably safe to assume it’s going for land value. It started at $875 and dropped to $750,000 before finding a buyer. Its ultimate sales price will give a nice reality check on what land in Havemeyer is worth. Building lots on MacArthur went from $360,000 (1998) to $501 (2001), to $639 (2002) and then dropped a bit to $632 in 2003. I don’t know if this particular piece had any special qualities to set it apart from those earlier sales, but if not, I’d expect to see it sell at somewhere between those 2001 and 2002 values.

Then we have 24 Thunder Mountain Road, off of Riversville, raw land dropped down today from $2.5 million to $1.799. While I have my doubts about even its new price as a good value for land on this street, you need lose no sleep over the builder/owner’s fortunes. He owned three lots here, built one and a half houses on two of them and sold them off, for $5.650 and $4.693, respectively. This last lot was envisoned as the site for a $5.8 million house way back in 2002 but I’m sure at this point, the land has been more than paid for.

UPDATE: I received an anonymous, blocked phone call just now (God, I love this gig) informing me that it was WAMU who extended the loan on 19 Licata Terrace, and it is scheduled for auction. The caller also denied that James Licata owned the place and that it was instead a “Russian lady” (Galina Ioselve, accordig to tax records) who did. She, again according to the caller, “stripped the place bare” and left town. Okay with me – was she a girldfriend of Jimmy’s?


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Inventory moves

Three Putnam Hill, unit 4-E, a top floor, renovated two bedroom, was originally listed for $455,000 back in September and sold yesterday for $350,000. Prices at the Hill are dropping bad.

25 Dorchester, in Riverside, sold new for $2.150 million five years ago, was put up for sale a year ago May at the silly price of $2.950 and eventually dropped to $1.999 – it went to contract yesterday for even less.

40 Sawmill, also new, sold in June,2006 for $6,000,000 and was relisted last September for $5.995 million. Its price has been dropping steadily since then and yesterday it dropped again to $4.995, or a cool million less than it was worth three years ago. Someone would have been better off renting at $33,000 a month and being able to walk away last year, when they wanted to. But nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.


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Real estate news

72118_101_12Yes, we’re light on real estate news this morning because there isno real estate news. Which is a story in itself, I suppose. One contract reported for this house on Valley Road. Built in 2008 on land purchased for $850,000 in 2005, it was originally priced at $1.995 million (!) in July 2008 and, after a change in brokers, dropped, eventually, to $1.495. Anything’s possible, but I doubt that the purchaser has agreed to even that price, so the builder will probably not be spending the winter in Las Vegas on the proceeds from this sale. Even at full price,  after deducting commissions and taxes, the fellow had about $525,000 to build the house, carry it for 3-4 years and pay overhead etc. I smell a loss.

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April sales of existing homes up, but so is inventory

So says the national data released today. In Greenwich, Shore & Country’s invaluable statistics page  shows a current inventory of 765 single family homes, up from 628 in 2008, 560 in 2007 and 531 in 2006. By my (admittedly poor) math, that’s a 44% increase since May 25, 2006. So inventory is up 44%, sales are down even more. Houses that went to contract May 1st – May 27 in 2006 = 65, 2007 = 56, 2008 = 39, 2009 = 27. If inventory is up 44% and sales are down 60%, I wouldn’t think this was the time to break new price records.

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Here’s some encouraging news for sellers

Just heard from another agent. Of the seven houses he hoped to show today in the mid $2 range, three had accepted offers. These days, there’s no certainty that an accepted offer will translate into a sale because of the lack of financing, but buyers making legitimate offers are a good sign.


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Sales statistics

Reader XXYZZY asked about the sales statistics I posted labeled as “February” sales. In fact, those are for the year – we’ve seen only 12 single family homes sell since January 1st.

The market is not entirely dead – we do have 23 single family homes under contracts entered into this year (5 of those already sold were also January contracts), so one every 2 1/2 days?Not as robust as 18 a day in the good times, but there’s a dim spark of life. Nothing much over $7 million (if that – waiting to see published selling price) has moved, nor do I think it will soon.

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Market report for Tuesday morning

Before my page buckles me into my armour and helps me into my Honda for the broker open house tour, I thought I’d report on some news that came across the wire this morning.

8-st-claire-ave8 St. Claire Ave. (OG) is under contract, one step ahead of the repo man. Asking was around $925,000. I had builders interested at $650 but they never bothered to bid. It will be interesting to see what someone did bid.

Price reductions Twelve

Those two condos at 56 Milbank (we called them Whole Foods ) have finally dropped a million bucks each to $4.9 million, after two years at $5.9 million each.

44 Grahampton, purchased for $5.125 in ’04 and put up for sale in October ’07 for $6.995 has dropped to $5.450 today.


218 Valley Road, Cos Cob, sold for $331,000 in 1996 and was relisted at $1.150 million in June, 2007. Five price cuts later, it’s down to $649,000 today.


10 Taconic Road sold as new construction in 2001 for $4.795 million (full price, seven days on the market – ahaaaa). Listed at $8.67 million this past August today it has a new broker and a new price, $7.775.


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Market activity so far

Nothing particularly encouraging so far, I’m sorry to say. We’ve seen 18 single family houses reported as under contract this year which is roughly 2 1/2 contracts per week compared to 18-20 per week in the good old days of three years ago. Three of those 18 were spec projects, one at $2 million the others asking in the $6s. Nothing above that yet, but the year is young.

Another new spec house joined the crowd today, 17 Wynwood, off of Clapboard, asking $10 million. I’ve seen the house that its builder put up next door and he does nice work. This one will really have to stand out among its competition though, to get much attention – there are 9 other spec houses currently on the market now between $9.25 and $12.5 million (although 20 Langhorne exists on paper only and will probably never be built, as its builder has dropped its imaginary price from $15 million to $11 million and put the land up for sale as is). I wish him the best, naturally.

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Sales activity?

Rumors going around – no one wants to be specific yet – that this past weekend saw a good amount of offers made and accepted. That wouldn’t surprise me because I did see a lot of other agents out and about with buyers and, even if many listings remain over priced on paper, it’s entirely possible that the owners got religion on Sunday and, faced with a real, bona fide offer, took it. I hope so. We’ll know soon, if contracts are reported.


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