March Continues February Trend of Fat Middle – High End Showings Up

GREENWICH REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT FOR 3/21/15
We have 83 sales of single family homes in Greenwich so far this year. Of those houses 24 of them have been in the first three weeks of March. Now the average sales for the whole month of March over the last 9 years has been 41 sales so we are likely to finish the month below this average. However, in March 2013 and 2014 we only had 35 and 31 sales. Last year was another harsh winter and our sales should be the 31 sales in March 2014.

The price distribution of the sales continues to follow the pattern that we saw in February with a fat middle and skinny ends. Under $1M we have only 4 sales while over $4M we also only have 4 sales none of which are over $6M. Our high end buyers seem to be enjoying their winter houses whether on the ski slopes or at the beach.

At the low end there are just fewer places to put the snow. Sellers are holding off on listing their houses until they get rid of these piles of snow. So far this month we have had 74 new listings and only 12 have been under $1M. Of those 12 new listings 4 are already under contract and one was a private sale that listed and closed the same day for a net gain of only 7 listings.

The middle price range in Greenwich continues to be where the action is. Sixteen of the 24 sales have been between $900K and $3.1M.

Contracts are looking good with 41 new contracts so far in March. Of those 41 contracts 33 are fully executed and waiting to close and 18 have contingencies. Amazingly inventory has actually shrunk from 468 houses at the beginning of the month to only 452 listings today.

I would expect a real explosions of listings in April as owners who have been waiting for better weather put their houses on the market. One worrisome trend that we are seeing nationwide is that move-up owners in this low inflation environment are taking more years to build up enough equity so that they can move up to a larger house as their families expand. Banks are addressing this issue by making more loans available where the move-up buyer can put down less than 20% thus requiring less equity appreciation.

On the plus side showings of high end homes are looking up, at least if my experience is any indicator. I’ve had three showings of my $8.7 million listing at 26 Wooddale and have a showing scheduled of my $5M lakefront listing in New Fairfield. Interestingly, none so far are from the financial community, but are from China, a dotcom and Westchester County.

I’m betting we will have more than the 700 sales that we had last year, but only time will tell how these countervailing trends will balance out.

 

Greenwich has Record Mid-Market Sales – Feb. Cold Hammers Low- and High-End Sales

  • Best February sales in years
  • Sales and contracts from $1 – 3M are top sellers
  • Market under $1M has low sales due to limited inventory
  • Market over $5M has few buyers in record cold

 

A Record February – Mostly From a Tight Price Range

February 2015 was not only a record cold and snowy month, it was also a record month for Greenwich real estate. We had 41 single family home sales in Greenwich in what is traditionally the slowest month of the year. These 41 sales are more than we’ve ever had in February in last decade. They are also almost 50% more than January’s 28 sales.

Sales.SFH.2013-FebFNL2015.031415

 

The curious thing about the sales is how concentrated they are. Two-thirds of the sales are between $1 million and $3 million even though it only covers one-third of our inventory. Outside of this price range sales have been slow so far this year.

As of 3/5/15 Inventory Contracts Last Mo. Solds Tot. Solds+ Contracts YTD Solds YTD+ Contracts Mos Supply Mos w/ Contracts
< $600K 7 2 2 4 5 7 2.8 3.5
$600-$800K 11 2 1 3 2 4 11.0 9.6
$800K-$1M 13 3 2 5 2 5 13.0 9.1
$1-$1.5M 40 13 8 21 15 28 5.3 5.0
$1.5-$2M 43 21 9 30 12 33 7.2 4.6
$2-$3M 66 15 8 23 13 28 10.2 8.3
$3-$4M 59 11 1 12 3 14 39.3 14.8
$4-$5M 53 4 1 5 1 5 106.0 37.1
$5-10M 98 9 3 12 4 13 49.0 26.4
> $10M 48 0 1 1 2 2 48.0 84.0
TOTAL 438 80 36 116 59 139 14.8 11.0

Sales Slower Under $1 Million – Little Inventory, Even Less New Inventory

Greenwich is a great place to live and as a result we never have enough inventory under $1 million. Usually we see 3 – 5 months of supply in this price range. Now we have 3 – 13 months of supply even though we only have 31 houses listed under a million. Most of the listings we do have were put on last year or even before and are selling slowly. In this price range days on market are normally measured in days and weeks not months.

Feb2015.MosSupply.030615

Clearly our cold, snowy winter is keeping owners from putting their houses on the market. Normally, listings start coming on after Super Bowl, but this year owners have held off waiting for better weather.

The problem with this price segment as I wrote in the 2014 annual report is that low inflation and single digit house appreciation is slowing the equity build-up needed for the move-up market. Sales under $1 million dropped last year despite strong demand from buyers due to the lack of sellers.

Families are not only staying in their start homes longer waiting to build up enough equity to make a down payment on their next home, they are also renovating and expanding. Both actions are reducing market inventory and this trend continues all the way up to $2 million in Greenwich.

The High End Market – Harsh Winter, Slow Sales, Contracts Starting to Perk Up

Last year was a good year for high-end sales in Greenwich, in fact the best year since the recession. With Wall Street up, good 2014 bonuses and prior years of deferred bonuses vesting, we should be looking at good sales in 2015. So far this year we have had only 7 sales of houses on the GMLS over $4 million plus we have had 2 private high-end sales over $10 million. We still have a ways to go with an inventory of 199 houses over $4 million.

Over5MMSales.K.1-2.2015.mp.030615

On the good news side 24 of the 80 contracts are for over $4 million so months of supply will be dropping as the red bars show in the chart above. Sales in the $5 – 10M price range and $3 – 4M will perk up over the next couple of months as the 20 contracts in these price ranges close.

Inventory, Sales and Contracts

The hard winter has effected inventory at all levels. We only have 438 listing when we should be closer to 500. Clearly, there is a shortage under $1 million and the market is tightening rapidly all the way up to $2 million.

Feb2015.Inv.Sales.Ks.030615

Sales have really only been strong in a narrow range of $1 – 3 million, but there they have been very strong, when compared to prior years. Start with the light blue bars (sales) and stack the red bars (contracts) on top and compare the height to the dark blue bar (inventory) and you can see how fast inventory is disappearing in only two months.

The distribution of the red bars, contracts, are the most interesting with only 7 contracts under $1 million. We’ve got 13 contracts between $4 and $7.5 million and none above. Three-quarters or 60 of our 80 contracts are between $1 million and $4 million.

Percentages & Pie Charts

Another way to look at the market is the size of the pie pieces. In 2015 they look much different than in prior years. If you look at the YTD Solds pie you can see how big the $1 – $3 million market is compared to the inventory. You can also see from the contract pie that it will continue strong. The contract pie chart also shows that the $3 – 10 million market will also be getting better.

Feb2015.Inventory.030615 Feb2015.SoldsYTD.030615 Feb2015.Contracts.030615

 

Summary

It’s early in the year and this market is not indicative of what we are likely to see once the snow melts. Sales over $5 million should pick up nicely as the year goes on. I’d expect a sudden surge of new listings when the snow melts as pent-up listings are put on the market.

Hopefully, 2015 is the year that we see the end of the skittish, post-recession market of two good months followed by a poor month. Our biggest market risk continues to be a dysfunctional Washington. We have had major sales dips when Congress has reached major impasses. The fall of the Euro is a concern, but at the same time it makes the U.S. and particularly Greenwich real estate look like a good place to invest.

Mid-country should stay strong this year and backcountry’s recovery should accelerate. Old Greenwich and Riverside, and particularly SoTra (south of the tracks) will command an even greater premium price. This means that Cos Cob and Glenville will also continue to appreciate as the best combination of square footage, acreage, schools and price for many families priced out of or not willing to pay the SoTra premium.

Builders are going to be much more active both for teardowns and custom built houses and for spec houses. In fact with financing for spec houses finally coming back the builders could see major growth this year.

Now if we can just get this snow to go away, we can a have an excellent 2015.

38 Open Houses in Greenwich on Sunday, 3/8/15

Open House Map.030815

Daylight Savings-Spring Ahead! Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Hopefully, we had the final storm on Thursday and the forecast is for spring-like temperatures—clear skies in the 40’s to 50’s!! There are 38 Open Houses this weekend with many of them on Saturday. Pay particular attention to the days and times to make sure you plan properly.

The prices range from $299,000 to $6,595,000. Come out and enjoy these beautiful homes.

Please click here for the interactive map. The static map is below.

Thanks to Rob Pulitano for preparing the list of Open Houses and the interactive map and to Pam Toner for the hot links and the Word document attached.

Address Town Price Time
50 Lafayette Place  #1i Greenwich $299,000 1-3 PM
1465 E Putnam Avenue  #311 Old Greenwich $324,500 1-3 PM
147 Putnam Park  #147 Greenwich $500,000 1-3 PM
30 Almira Drive Greenwich $649,900 2-4 PM
16 Idar Court Greenwich $850,000 1-3 PM
15 Strickland Road Cos Cob $879,000 1-4 PM
285 Bruce Park Avenue  #B Greenwich $1,195,000 1-3 PM
1 Northfield Street  #A Greenwich $1,295,000 1-4 PM
11 Suburban Avenue Cos Cob $1,350,000 1-4 PM
41 Leonard Avenue Riverside $1,395,000 1-4 PM
405 W Lyon Farm Drive  #405 Greenwich $1,650,000 3-5 PM
16 Mackenzie Glen Greenwich $1,699,000 1-4 PM
233 Milbank Avenue  #6 Greenwich $1,795,000 Sat  1-3 PM
233 Milbank Avenue  #8 Greenwich $1,795,000 Sat  1-3 PM
43 Riverside Lane Riverside $1,849,000 1-4 PM
30 Chapel Lane Riverside $1,895,000 1-3 PM
39 Oval Avenue Riverside $1,897,000 1-3 PM
233 Milbank Avenue  #5 Greenwich $1,950,000 Sat 1-3 PM
82 E Elm Street  #B Greenwich $1,950,000 Sat  1-3 PM
112 Taconic Road Greenwich $2,000,000 1-4 PM
233 Milbank Avenue  #2 Greenwich $2,050,000 Sat  1-3 PM
40 Riverside Lane Riverside $2,095,000 1-4 PM
233 Milbank Avenue  #3 Greenwich $2,100,000 Sat  1-3 PM
270 Palmer Hill Road Riverside $2,250,000 1-3 PM
38 Byfield Lane Greenwich $2,395,000 1-3 PM
11 Meyer Place Riverside $2,888,000 2-4 PM
75 Dearfield Drive Greenwich $3,000,000 1-3 PM
44 Cedar Cliff Road Riverside $3,400,000 2-4 PM
1 Reynwood Manor Greenwich $3,495,000 1-3 PM
38 Bramble Lane Riverside $3,895,000 1-4 PM
70 Sherwood Avenue Greenwich $3,975,000 1-4 PM
14 Sherwood Farm Lane Greenwich $3,995,000 1-3 PM
8 Willow Road Riverside $4,095,000 2-4 PM
10 Esther Place Old Greenwich $4,295,000 1-3 PM
26 Stillman Lane Greenwich $4,850,000 1-3 PM
22 Stillman Lane Greenwich $4,995,000 1-3 PM
591 Round Hill Road Greenwich $5,990,000 1-4 PM
3 Dunwoodie Place Greenwich $6,595,000 1-4 PM

The Greenwich Real Estate Market – 2014 Year End Report

FINAL NUMBERS FOR 2014 GREENWICH REAL ESTATE SALES

Well we made it; 700 real estate sales for 2014 according to the numbers from the Greenwich Town Clerk’s office via SearchGreenwich.net. This compares to 607 single family home sales reported through the Greenwich MLS. The 700 sales is a good year for Greenwich real estate and when you look at the sales volume the year was even better.

Year Count Total Sales $ As. Factor Average Median
2014 700 $    1,846,507,939               1.64  $        2,637,868  $     1,768,750
2013 724 $    1,600,328,821               1.56  $        2,210,399  $     1,650,000
Change -24 $       246,179,118 .08 $           427,469  $        118,750
%Change -3.3% 15.4% 5.1% 19.3% 7.2%

Our unit sales may be down 3%, but our sales volume is up 15.4% to an amazing $1.8 billion which is a lot of house sales in a town of 61,000. Now some people would point out that the averages are skewed by the sale of one house, Cooper Beech Farm, for $120,000,000, but even if you take out that house we still had a sales volume increase of $126,179,118 or 7.9% without it.

Average Price is Up

When sales are down and volume is up you expect the average price to jump and it did just that with the average sales increasing $427,469 or 19.3%. Even if you take out the Copper Beach Farm sale the average sales price in Greenwich for a single family home is still up 11.3% or $260,000. Now as you’ll see below in the price range analysis this double digit percentage increase was due to a shift to higher-end home sales.

The median and the assessment factor change give a better indicator of overall market improvement. The median was up 7.2% to $1,768,750. This is an increase of $118,750 over 2013. The median is still influenced by the shift to higher end sales, so the assessment factor change is probably the better way to look at a general market price rise. The assessment factor is the ratio of the sales price to the town’s most recent assessment on October 1, 2010. When you compare the average assessment factor to 2013 to 2014 you get an increase in the average price in Greenwich of 5.1% over 2013.

When you look at the full 2014 numbers things look smoother than they actually were. Some neighborhoods did better than other neighborhoods. Our assessment factors varied from a low of 1.50 to a high of 1.84 meaning some neighborhoods have seen an increase of only 6% from 2010 while other neighborhoods have seen almost 30% over the same period. You see the same thing when you look at the sales by price range.

Over $3 Million Market Did Well – Under $2 Million Needed Inventory

Sales over $3 million had a stellar year up 46 units and a total sales volume increase of $342 million. Sales under $3 million had a poor year down 70 units and $96 million dollars. The issue under $3 million dollar doesn’t seem to be so much weak demand as it does a shortage of well-priced inventory. I took a look at the under $1 million market where sales were down 22 units over 2013. At the same time the days on market was also down and the average list price to sales price was unchanged both showing good demand on the buyer’s side.

Greenwich House Sales - 2012- 2014 final

Not only was the market variable by price range and by neighborhood, but also by month. January was a good month followed by a bad February and March, then an OK April and May. June, July and August were all good months but they led to a disastrous September. Sales recovered in October and November and ended with an excellent December.

2015 Prospects

So where is the market headed. At the present time we have 405 units on the market a tight supply, but when you look at the days on market only 70 of these listings have been on for less than 90 days. Most of what we have is older inventory that could use a price adjustment. At the same time it looks like a good year for Wall Street bonuses and with concerns of raising interest rates later in the year so prospects for a good first quarter are looking up.

Above $3 million dollars we have good inventory so folks with good bonuses have a bunch of good houses to choose from. Under $3 million and particularly under $1 million sales will be tied to the number of new listings at fair prices.

The one constant in all these ups and downs is that buyers are looking for value. They don’t have to have a bargain, but they won’t even show up to see the house if they think it is overpriced.

Overall, energy prices are way down, interest rates continue to be very low and unemployment is almost back to normal so 2015 should be one of our best years, but only time will tell.

INVENTORY, 2014 SALES, DEC. 2014 SALES & CONTRACTS

The SearchGreenwich.net data above includes all of the sales in Greenwich including private sales, but to do a market analysis you need to look at the Greenwich MLS data which shows houses being actively market. The GMLS data for 2014 is below.

 

GMLS Aa of 1/4/15 Inventory Contracts Last Mo. Solds Tot. Solds+ Contracts YTD Solds YTD+ Contracts Mos Supply Mos w/ Contracts Last Mo. Annlzd
< $600K 9 2 6 8 30 32 3.6 3.8 1.5
$600-$800K 7 4 3 7 54 58 1.6 1.6 2.3
$800K-$1M 11 4 8 12 56 60 2.4 2.5 1.4
$1-$1.5M 42 17 15 32 106 123 4.8 4.6 2.8
$1.5-$2M 33 15 4 19 81 96 4.9 4.6 8.3
$2-$3M 58 14 10 24 119 133 5.8 5.9 5.8
$3-$4M 54 6 5 11 69 75 9.4 9.7 10.8
$4-$5M 42 2 4 6 34 36 14.8 15.8 10.5
$5-7.5M 73 5 1 6 32 37 27.4 26.6 73.0
$7.5-$10M 20 1 2 3 10 11 24.0 24.5 10.0
> $10M 49 0 0 0 15 15 39.2 44.1 -
TOTAL 398 70 58 128 606 676 7.9 7.9 6.9

 

Our inventory as is typical of the beginning of the year is way down with only 398 homes listed on the GMLS. The problem is that sales have been up strongly the last two months and with Wall Street setting record highs we really need more houses on the market now (as of 1/23/15 we were up to 418 homes.)

The one area where we are good is over $4 million dollars where we have 184 beautiful homes and only 91 sales reported on the GMLS in 2014. In the upper price ranges buyers want what they want and have the money to pay for it. The result is that 184 listings can quickly narrow down to a handful of listings when they are filtered by neighborhood, price, style and age.

Dec.2014.Sales.Inv.Cur.Ks.010415

Sales have been good all the way up to $3M. Above $3M sales are up over 2013 so even though we have the inventory, the buyers are buying in the high end.

YEAR END MONTHS OF SUPPLY STATISTICS FOR GREENWICH

A combination of good sales, very little new inventory, and owners taking their house off of the market forhe winter has drastically dropped our months of supply. We have less than 6 months supply all the way up to $3 million dollars.

Dec2014.MosSupply.010414

This is not a good situation, particularly if we have a mild winter. With the economy turning up due to lower energy prices, the stock market up and the Fed cutting back on quantitative easing the smart buyers will be looking early before prices and interest rates go up further.

Take a look at the white bars which is months of supply based on annualized December sales. In most price ranges sales were actually pretty good. The two exceptions are over $10 million which did well for the year, just not in December, and $5 – 7.5M which has appeared slow all year, but in 2014 one out of every five sales in this price range was private.

THE UNDER $1 MILLION MARKET

Unit sales of houses in Greenwich is down this year primarily because our under $1 million market has been “ailing”. In fact since peaking in 2012 with 159 sales of house under $1 million have dropped the last two years (orange line) to only 131 houses. The question is why sales are down.

Under1MM.Sales.Inv.sales.mp.010515

When you look at the supply the answer is clear. New listings of Greenwich houses peaked in 2010 at 237 listings and have dropped to only 174 listings in 2014 on the GMLS. When you look at the ratio of sales price to original list price you can see that this percentage has climbed from 86% in 2009 during the recession to 93% the last two years.

Prices of homes under $1 million are up 27% in the last four years at a steady clip of about 6% a year. Now you would think that that would encourage more listings, but the price appreciation also pushes houses out of the under $1 million dollar category. A house worth $800,000 in 2011 is no longer under $1 million so when listed it not going to be in the stats.

When you look at just the average price of sales under $1 million (orange line) the story is not quite as clear as the mix of houses changes from year to year. The average price jumped up in 2010 after falling for two year. The price per square foot tends to be less volatile but still isn’t quite as clear as ratio of sales price to the tax assessor’s assessment.

Just how hot the market is can be seen from the cumulative days on market. In 2014 a house under $1 million was only on the market an average of 116 days. In the boom year of 2007 houses under $1 million were on for 121 days.

So we have good buyer demand, but homeowners aren’t putting their houses on the market at the same rate that they did in 2010 when they put on 237 listings compared to 2014 174 listings. Now one factor as mentioned is that the potential universe of houses available has actually shrunk as houses have appreciated above $1 million, but another factor is the slowing in equity growth for many homeowners in this price range. The appreciation cuts both ways so that for homeowners that want to move up they need more down payment and our appreciation while good in a low inflation environment has not been anything like the double digit increases that we saw in many years before the recession.

Under1MM.Sales2013.010414

The result is that homeowners can be locked into their first home, waiting to get enough appreciation to move up to a larger home. With banks being strict about lending requirements, moving up can be even more difficult. The result is people staying in their homes. The government and banks are starting to look at easing some of the overly-strict lending requirement so this problem may ameliorate in 2015.

2015

This year should be a good year, but it is also likely to be another of a skittish market with good months and not so good months. It’s the type of year where a good Realtor makes a big difference.

December 2014 Greenwich Real Estate Sales on Pace for a Good Month and Good Quarter

The last quarter of 2014 is actually starting to look good. The final November numbers are in from SearchGreenwich.net the gold standard for sales and we had 46 sales last month. Five of these sales are private sales which added to the 41 GMLS sales puts us at the same level as the very good year of 2013.  The 46 sales are also 10 units above the 8 year average of 36 sales.

Sales 2012 - 2014 NovFnl.121414

So far in December what have had only 26 sales versus the 8 year average of 46 sales, but December is always a screwy month for sales. December being further into the winter and the heart of the holiday season you’d expect to have lower sales, but it’s also when tax motivated sales get done and many of these get done between Christmas and New Years so there is yet hope for this December to continue the streak of good sales.

Price Range No. of Dec. Sales
<$1M 6
$1 – 2M 11
$2 – 5M 7
>$5M 2
Total 26

We have fallen to 77 pending contracts down from 85 just a week ago. Inventory is down to 445 active single family homes and will continue to fall. Of those 445 listings only 33 have come on in the last 30 days and only 52 in the last 45 days.

Through November we have 635 sales, If we get another 26 sales in the second half of December, we will end the year with 687 sales; better than 2012’s 660 sales (even with its record 86 sales in Dec. 2012), but not as high as 2013 sales of 724 houses sold. So the year should be down about 5% over last year, but total sales volume will be the highest post-recession year as over $3 million has done so well in Greenwich.

Greenwich Open Houses for Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 – 15 Open Houses from $585K to $10.85M

It is not too late to find the perfect gift – a new home! There are 15 Open Houses in Greenwich this weekend! The homes for sale range in price from $585,000 to $10,850,000. The times vary so plan your tour carefully.

Please click here for the interactive map. The static map is below. The December market report is below.

Thanks to Rob Pulitano for preparing the list of Open Houses and the interactive map and to Pam Toner for the hot links and the Word document.

Address Town Price Time Broker
246 West Avenue Stamford $585,000 1-3 PM Berkshire Hathaway
57 Richmond Drive Old Greenwich $895,000 3-5 PM Coldwell Banker
14 Cat Rock Road Cos Cob $965,000 1-4 PM Berkshire Hathaway
285 Bruce Park Ave Greenwich $1,195,000 1-3 PM Weichert
23 Sound Beach Avenue Old Greenwich $1,249,000 1-3 PM Shore & Country
51 Glen Road Greenwich $1,395,000 1-3 PM Berkshire Hathaway
61 Hillside Drive Greenwich $1,475,000 3-5 PM Sotheby’s
17 Lincoln Avenue Greenwich $2,795,000 1-4 PM Sotheby’s
106 Patterson Avenue Greenwich $2,850,000 1-4 PM Raveis
11 Meyer Place Riverside $2,888,000 1-3 PM Coldwell Banker
50 Lockwood Avenue Old Greenwich $3,495,000 11-1 PM Raveis
1 Reynwood Manor Greenwich $3,599,000 1-3 PM Coldwell Banker
22 Stillman Lane Greenwich $4,995,000 1-3 PM Coldwell Banker
20 Langhorne Lane Greenwich $5,995,000 1:30-3:30 PM Raveis
21 Midwood Drive Greenwich $10,850,000 1-3 PM Coldwell Banker

Open House Map.121414

Greenwich Real Estate Sales for November 2014 – Buyer & Seller Recommendations

SUMMARY & RECOMMENDATION

Our market over $3 million has had the best year since the recession. Sales are improving, particularly in the 4th quarter. Sales have fallen under $1 million due to inventory shortages and sales over $3 million are up so the average price is up. The result is a deceptive increase in the average and median price house price in Greenwich.

When you compare the sales to assessment ratios year over year, we have a 7.1% increase in house prices. Old Greenwich, Riverside and Central Greenwich continue to be hot markets as does new construction at any price. The increase in building can be seem from the fact that teardowns are up 57% in the last fiscal year as many people want to build a house to their specifications.

Buyers

Under $2 million we don’t have a lot of inventory and much of what we do have is the leftovers from the summer the market. When new inventory does come on you need to be ready to move quickly by being not only being pre-qualified, but also being pre-approved. If you are pre-approved most of the loan process complete and you only need appraisal. Being able to close quickly gives you a major advantage in the market.

From $2 – 5 million we have good inventory and now is a good time to be looking. With quantitative easing ending interests rate will most likely go up in 2015 and prices are appreciating so now is a good time to be looking.

Over $5 million we still have good inventory, but buying sooner rather than later is still a good idea. Each property in this price range is unique. For many buyers at the high end with fixed criteria the inventory often narrows quickly to only a handful of listings. If you are flexible on what you want, you can still get a deal, especially if you can close before year-end.

If you are thinking about building now is the time to buy so that you can do your design and permitting in the winter and be ready to break ground in the spring.

Sellers

Historically, winter listings were few and far between as the thought was that there weren’t any buyers looking in the winter. I don’t think that will be the case this winter. Reduced oil prices are injecting a $100 billion into the U.S. economy. Unemployment is back to normal levels and people are starting to feel good about the economy.

In 2013 we had a very good fourth quarter which continued through January 2014 even with a bad winter. This year seems to be shaping up the same way and be above the average for the last decade.

Another factor for an earlier listing this winter rather than waiting for the spring market in March is that Wall Streeters are now “fully bonused”. They are getting not only a third of this year’s bonus, but also a third from each of the two previous year’s bonuses. These high-end bonus buyers also close earlier in the year meaning they are shopping earlier. Greenwich real estate sales normally peak in June, but over $5 million April is historically the month with the most sales.

One of the other advantages of putting a listing on in the winter is that the people who show up are serious buyers and we should see even more of them this winter. Last year we had a very good December and a good January and there is a good chance that this pattern will repeat itself this year.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the market for your house.

Mark Pruner, 203-969-7900