Tag Archives: Russ Pruner

Oh my gosh, it says here Greenwich sales are down

By the time Greenwich Time discovers something it’s old news, but nontheless, they’ve learned that our real estate market sucks, and good for them. You’ve got the obilgatory quotes from agents saying all is good, but I thought Russ Pruner was pretty objective:

“I think our numbers are definitely going to exceed last year’s numbers in the second half of the year, just for the pure fact that we had no market at all from Sept. 15 through the end of the year,” Pruner said.

There may be more buyers next year, too, as more people jump into the market. But, Pruner said, “the prices are anybody’s guess.”

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Reality creeps in on little cat feet

11 Hycliff Road (off Riversville) is a “California Ranch”, whatever that is, on six acres of nice land. It’s been for sale pretty much constantly since February, 2007, first at $4.995 and now, three agents and a bunch of price cuts later, at $3.250.  This may or may not be the right price today  I’m pretty sure, however, that had they started here in 2007 the owners would be long rid of the place and already settled in a wherever they preferred to be. This isn’t all about a falling market – overpricing in Greenwich ahs been going on for a long time, but there’s just no margin for error any more.

Russ Pruner, Big Chief of Shore & Country Realty, sent me a fascinating spread sheet yesterday and when I can figure out how to post it, I will. He analyzed all sales this year – 91 single family houses (some of which went to contract in 2008) and compared their selling price with their full market value in 2005. On average, they were down 11%. But, as you’ll see once I post it, the real significance, at least to me, is that the few houses that beat the 2005 valuation were up a teeny bit – many, many others got hammered. Of course, that’s along the lines of what I pointed out yesterday: these low-priced sellers aren’t the exception, they’re the rule.

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Connecticut waterfront sales slow, but not in Greenwich

Tales of woe here from much of Connecticut’s coastline but note the comment from a Fairfield agent – direct waterfront sales have dried up because of their expense but 36% of all sales in town were in “beach neighborhoods” – close to, but not on the water. So people still want it, they just can’t afford it. That may change.

Greenwich waterfront is doing just fine, with the only waterfront land lingering being the ridiculously over-priced. Here’s Russ Pruner, saying just that. 

Yet Greenwich also happens to be another place where waterfront property is still moving — if it’s fairly priced, according to Russell Pruner, a partner at Shore and Country Properties.

One reason, he suggested, is that a beach berth in this status-conscious town is still considered the “triple-A bond” of Greenwich real estate.

Another is that there aren’t many of these properties available: as of a week ago, only 2.5 percent of the 560 homes on the market in Greenwich offered direct waterfront property. “If waterfront comes on, unless it’s grossly overpriced, it will sell fairly quickly,” Mr. Pruner said.

In the Riverside section of town, for example, a 4,000-square-foot house on Long Island Sound closed this month for $10 million after being on the market for just two months, a third of the current average. The home, which has a separate studio and two acres of land, had been listed for $12.9 million, but Mr. Pruner said $10 million was a more realistic value.

On the other hand, a new six-bedroom home with eight baths with tidal waterfront in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich, has not sold after 17 months on the market. In Mr. Pruner’s estimation, the current price of $16.7 million, though down from the original $17.9 million, is still “astronomical” given that the back of the 2.3-acre property is roughly 100 yards from Interstate 95.

“That,” he predicted, “is going to be sitting for a while.”

Russ is spot on, and, though he wasn’t asked, he could have mentioned some Byram shore properties that suffer from the same price defect. Here’s the odd thing about the “new” Belle Haven spec house he refers to: every agent who toured it at its open house some years ago knew it was way, way overpriced. It’s sat unsold forever because it’s overpriced. I assume the builder’s agent has told him what everyone else knows, so why the stubbornness? Unless we’ve finally located Mad Monkey’s lair, why hasn’t this guy accepted reality? My  pal Frank Farricker, who is smart in every area except his politics, speculated in print to the New York Times months ago that, if the market ever comes back, this house will be so dated and, with its huge size, so out of fashion that someone will end up bulldozing it and stating over. I don’t know if things will get that bad (it would improve the neighborhood if they did) but can this builder possibly think that the entire collective opinion of agents and buyers is wrong? We agents can be wrong and often are – buyers never are.

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