November 2021 Greenwich Sales Up 30% M-o-M

by Mark Pruner

203-969-7900 – mark.pruner@compass.com

Our market is like a car running on a quarter tank of gas and we are not sure where the next filling station is. Our gas tank/inventory continues to remain very low and in November it gained some net listings at the beginning of the month only to drop a little more by end of the month. Luckily, we seem to have a Herbie, the Love Bug type of market. It doesn’t need a lot of gas to move really fast. Even though our inventory was way down to another record low by the end of November, our sales were up in November 30% compared to the prior month and some of the sales were spectacular.

We had a $50 million sale and a $14.5 million sale both on Field Point Circle. We also had four sales between $5 and $7 million in Riverside in one month. Overall, we had 56 sales, which meant that a quarter of all our inventory at the beginning of the month was sold by the end of the month. (It’s a little more complicated than that, but without regular inventory refills we would be out of inventory in a couple of months.)

Inventory as of 12/1/21InventoryContractsLast Mo. SoldsLast Month Solds+ Contracts YTD Solds YTD+ ContractsMonths of SupplyMoS w/ ContractsLast Mo. MoS Annlzd
< $600K2000882.83.1#DIV/0!
$600-$800K952737422.72.74.5
$800K-$1M71151656671.41.31.4
$1-$1.5M18187251471651.31.42.6
$1.5-$2M21157221271421.81.83.0
$2-$3M302813412312591.41.42.3
$3-$4M29196251361552.32.34.8
$4-$5M21961564733.63.63.5
$5-6.5M2545961654.54.85.0
$6.5-$10M27831154625.55.49.0
> $10M19426121617.414.89.5
          
TOTAL2081215617793310542.52.53.7

For the year, out inventory peaked at 342 single-family-home listings in June. In a normal year, we should have peaked around 700 listings in May. After our June peak, which was really like more like a low hillock, our listings dropped for the next 4 months, down to 229 listings by the last week of October.

November 2021 vs. November 2020

Fortunately, the slide stopped in early November and inventory rose slightly to 243 listings in the first part of November. Increasing inventory meant that for the first time in 4 months, listings were coming on faster than properties were going to contract. By the end of November, the spurt in contracts and sales in November meant that we started the first day of December with only 208 listings.

For the year, the number of outstanding contracts followed the same pattern as inventory. Contracts rose steadily from the beginning of the year and by June we peaked at 263 contracts. After that, the number of outstanding contracts dropped steadily until there were only 101 contracts by the end of September.  This is a fairly typical seasonal pattern, just shifted a month forward. Part of this shifting was the result of the Covid vaccines kicking in March which meant more buyer activity just delayed a month. As a result, contracts peaked in June rather than May as in most years.

 Last month’s uptick in listings led to an immediate increase in sales. In November 2021, we had the aforementioned 56 sales compared to our 10-year average of 43 sales. What’s remarkable is that we are doing this with very low, and often stale, inventory. This late in the year 77% of the inventory has been on the market for more than two months and 20% has been on for more than 9 months. We only have 26 “fresh” listings that have been on for less than a month, which is only 13% of the market. Any properties, under $10 million priced to market, that are in good shape will have a contract in the first two months and probably the first two weeks.

Part of the low inventory is that my brother Russ and I, and I’m sure other brokers, were pausing new listings until after the Thanksgiving holidays. I expect a bunch of new listings this week. If listings stay up, our sales will continue to grow as older listings are generating buyers’ interest. I’ve got a backcountry contemporary that has been on for 6 months and needs updating. The seller has come down in price and we’ve had 5 showings in the past week with one and possibly two offers coming in next week when folks get back from extended Thanksgiving vacations. We still have lots of buyers and if we had more inventory, we’d have lots more sales. Our median sales price is now $2.3M compared to $1.87 million at the end of 2019 or an increase of 23% in two years.

Some folks have argued that people are abandoning the New York metro area. Clearly, folks from Greenwich and NY Metro area are moving to Florida and other warmer climes, but we’ve always had that. Post-recession, the movement from Greenwich to the South slowed as people waited for house prices to recover after the Great Recession. All the owners of this “shadow inventory” have now sold with many moving south, though, not necessarily full time. The downtown condo market, a classic location for Greenwich downsizers and snowbirds is very tight as our Geenwich sellers want a foot in their hometown and their warmer clime.  

I also think a bunch of people have accelerated their retirement and relocation plans because of Covid and listed their houses earlier than they might have without the pandemic. This has been great for our market, as we needed a record amounts of new listings to get a record number of sales. Our 863 sales of single-family homes in 2020 was an all-time annual sales record. That record was eclipsed by October 23rd of this year. Each subsequent sale this year sets a new record. As of December 1 of this year, we are up to 933 sales.

  We had a bunch of high-end sales in November, but we are not done. We have 4 properties under contract that are listed over $10M and 16 contracts for listings over $5M waiting to close.  For successful young families and downsizers looking in the $1 – 4M price range they are finding a fierce market.  Our inventory in that price range is down 105 listings from what was an already low inventory last year. The result is that our sales for November 2021 are down 34 sales from November 2020.

For the year, we are still up in sales for every price range from $800,000 to $10 million, with the glaring exception of $1.5 – 2.0 million. In that price range, our sales have dropped 10 sales from 137 sales in the first 11 months of last year to 127 sales through November this year. Our months of supply for that price range dropped from 2.2 months of supply to only 1.8 months of supply this year. Of course, buyers in that price ranges should be glad that they are not trying to buy a house from $800K – $1M. In that price range you have 7 listings and 1.3 months of supply.

Overall, it’s an interesting time to be in the market. It is one of the few Decembers where we are telling folks that it is a good time to list a house.

Negotiating Contingent Contracts in a Tight Greenwich Real Estate Market

Plus, the Mid-November Greenwich Market Update

                Greenwich R.E. Market Update

If we did not sell another house this year, 2021 would still be our best year for sales ever. As of mid-week, we have sold 905 single family homes. Add in the 111 contracts that are waiting to close and you have 1,016 transactions so far this year. We need another 95 sales this year to reach 1,000 sales in Greenwich and there are some weekly indicators that we may make it.

                                Inventory

Our real estate engine has been running on less than half of tank of gas all year. Our highest inventory  level all year was only 342 listings in the first week of June. We then slid steadily down to only 229 listings in the last week of October. The fear was that this five month’s slide would continue, and our market would essentially die.

The good news is that our inventory has ticked up by 6 listings at the end of last week to 235 listings and as of the middle of this week we added 3 more houses to the listing. Now 9 listings may not seem like a lot, but what it does is take a declining line and actually turn it up a tiny bit. Our inventory normally drops as we approach the year-end holidays, but the normal year’s low was this year’s high.

                Contracts & Transactions

We have also seen contracts recently turn up from a low of 101 contracts at the end of September to 111 contracts in the first week of November. Our contracts rose throughout October as our fall market inventory, what there was of it, made a bunch of new houses available for sale. In this market, if we have new inventory, we have new sales.

As a result, we saw a spurt in weekly transactions, the total of contracts and sales that week. To me transactions is the best indicator of how active our market is. However, transactions aren’t quite as straight forward a number as the phrase, weekly contracts plus sales might seem. Contracts come in two types according to FlexMLS, the software service for the Greenwich MLS. You have contingent contracts and pending contracts.

Most contingent contracts become pending contracts once the bank makes a mortgage commitment. As a results contingent contracts are counted twice in the transaction numbers, however, getting contingencies removed another sign of market momentum. In a slow market more buyers exercise their contingency and cancel the purchase contract. A rise in pending contracts indicates not only more people doing all cash deals, but also more people moving forward or what were contingent contract.

                Negotiating the Contingent Contract Offer

Contingent contracts mean that that buyer has an out. (NB: Most of the time a contingent contract is contingent on bank making a mortgage commitment, but there are a wide variety of other types of contingencies, such as a land use approval contingencies; neighborhood association approval contingency, a Hubbard clause where the buyer has to sell their present house before closing on their new house,  and many other types of contingencies.)

If the buyer can’t get a mortgage, they have the right to exercise the mortgage contingency and terminate the contract. The seller’s attorney then returns the buyer’s 10% deposit. Of the 876 single-family home sales in Greenwich through the end of October 2021, 499 or 57% of the contracts had contingencies, the large majority of which were mortgage contingencies.

Sometimes a contract will have more than one contingency. Back in the 80’s when I worked as a real estate attorney, it was common practice for their to be two contingencies. The first contingency was an inspection contingency for a week to ten days, followed by a mortgage contingency of 30 to 60 days. This meant that once the contract was signed, the buyer was in control of the deal. If there was something they didn’t like in the inspection, they could call the deal off. More commonly, the buyer would ask the seller to reduce the price or to make repairs.

Sellers weren’t big on losing control of the deal for their house, so unlike many other places, the Greenwich standard is that the buyer has to do the inspection before the seller’s attorney even starts to draft the contract. If the seller gets a better offer while the inspection is being done or the contract negotiated, they are free to accept it. This gives either party the ability to back out of the “deal”.

Some sellers are of the old school and a deal is a deal and they won’t accept the higher offer. Even so the higher backup offer puts tremendous pressure on the first buyer to accept the house ‘as is” regardless of what the inspection turns up. On the flip side, the seller who accepts a second higher offer runs the risk of losing both deals.

If the second buyer does an inspection and decides there are problem, they can back out. If the second buyer backs out, the seller has to go back to first buyer hat in hand and ask them to go through with their original offer. Often the first buyer has found another place, or they tell the seller to take a flying leap out of pure pique.

One thing, the seller can do to lessen the first buyer’s irritation at being gazumped, as the British call it, is for the seller to offer to pay the buyer’s inspection cost and any other reasonable expenses that they incurred. If the seller does that, it’s reasonable for the seller to ask for a copy of the inspection, since they are paying for it, which often comes in very handy. Be aware that many inspectors consider the inspection to be only for that particular buyer.

Once the contract is signed, the prevailing buyer needs to work closely with their mortgage broker or banker to make sure that every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. In this market you don’t want to be asking for an extension on the contingency.

                Contingent and Pending Contracts

This year contingent contracts have remained fairly steady throughout the year, while pending contracts took a jump up in the middle of April and really took off in May, June and even into July. This period, that I call the “Frenzy” had lots of contracts being signed at all price levels, leading to an all-time record sales month with 143 single-family home sales in July 2021.

This was also the period where $5 million dollar houses were flying off the market just like $1 million listings. If you annualized June sales from $5- 6.5 million we had 2.5 “instantaneous” months of supply, while from $1.5 – 2.0 million we had 3.2 months of supply based on annualized sales. The more expensive the house, the more likely, there will not be a mortgage contingency.

Greenwich October YTD Sales Exceed all of 2020, but Way Down from Prior Months as Inventory Shrinks

by Mark Pruner

On October 23rd, 2021, we matched our sales for the full year 2020, even as single-family home sales in Greenwich dropped 46% compared to September. So far this year we have had 875 sales which makes for a new all-time record, already exceeding last year’s 861 total sales with two months to go in this year.

The Holy Grail in Greenwich real estate is breaking 1,000 sales in a year. We have already done that for the last twelve consecutive months from November 2020 to October 2021. For those 12 months we have had 1,058 sales compared to our 10-year average calendar year sales of 620 home. The question is can we do what Novak Djokovic couldn’t do in tennis and have a calendar year Grand Slam with over 1,000 sales in one calendar year.

The answer is that it is going to be close.  As of the end of October we have 122 contracts waiting to close. If you add that to our 875 sales, you get 997 sales and contracts for 2021. Not all of those 122 contracts will close in the next two months, but a bunch of selling homeowners that are not yet under contract want to close before yearend. (I have two clients, that have told me to do just that.)

The problem with getting to this Holy Grail is that our monthly sales have dropped from July’s all-time record of 143 sales to only 43 sales in October. Our October 2021 sales, for the first time since June of 2020 were a smidge below our 10-year, pre-Covid, average of 46 sales in October. You don’t have to look far to see why this is so.

              Demand remains high

Our drop in sales is not due to a lack of demand. Of our 43 sales in October 63% had been on for less than 2 months or more than 6 months. Most people wouldn’t think of sales that have been on for more than 6 months as a sign of a hot market, but it often is. What’s happening is that houses that have been passed over for half year or more finally sale, because seller overlook the objections that prior buyers had shown previously. Of course, a price reduction, or two, often helps this sale along.

              Little to Sell Leads to Dropping Sales

What is causing sales to drop is lack of new inventory. Our inventory, as of the end of October, set another new record low with only 229 single family homes listed for the entire town. In Old Greenwich, arguably our hottest market, we have only 10 listings on the market. Of these 10 listings, only 1 is under $1 million. Of the other 9 listings only 1 came on the market in October. Six of the ten OG listings, 6 had been on the market for than 5 months with 2 of them on the market for a year or more. The majority of what is available in OG are hard sales.

For the month of October, we had a total of 57 listings with 15 of those 57 October listings already under contract and 3 new October listings are already sold. To be honest, those 3 October listings marked as sold never appeared on the Greenwich MLS. They were off market sales.

Many of these off-market sales are at the upper end of our market. Of the three off-market sales that were reported, I represented the buyers in a sale at $4.9 million and another sale, in OG, closed at $7.4 million. Most off-market sales, are not reported, so were you to add in these sales, we would be well over 1,000 sales for the year.

When you look at a table of inventory, you’ll see that none of our price ranges have over 40 listings. Two years ago, every price range from $1 million to $10 million had 40 or more listings. (OK, from $5 – 6.5 million we had 38 listings, but absolute statements always look more dramatic and 38 is very close to 40.)

In 2019, we had 120 listings from $2 – 3 million, now we have only 37 listings. Lower inventory and higher sales bring months of supply way down. From $2 – 3 million we only have 1.7 months of supply, while only two years ago, this price range had 11.9 months of supply. Said another way, we went from almost a year of supply to less than 2 months of supply in the last two years.

              Buyers Want Larger Houses

All of this is part of the Great Upsizing. Our median house size sold was 3,669 s.f. in 2019. In 2021 our median house size sold is 4,000 s.f. That is an increase of 331 square feet or 9%. This might not seem like that much, but the square root of 331 is just over 18 so you are looking at people adding a nice size bedroom or two offices. As an example, the master bedroom at 15 Laub Pond Road, a 7,400 s.f. house, is 18’7” x 18’4” (open house this Sunday ;).

As people are spending more time at home due to Covid and the rise of WOOFH, Working Occasionally or Often From Home, people need more space. Our median sales price is up from $1.87 million in 2019 to $2.3 million in 2021 or an increase of 23.2%. Greenwich homes are appreciating nicely, but we are also seeing an increase in the size of houses that people want. When you look at just the increase in price per s.f., which factors out the increase in house size, we are up 17.6%

              Will Housing Inventory, and sales, continue to fall?

Connecticut has done an excellent job with 71% of our residents vaccinated. This bodes well for not seeing a repeat of last winter’s jump in infections and will certainly result in fewer deaths this winter. So, the Covid pressure to move is shrinking.

                            WOOFH is here to stay

The majority of the working populace really like WOOFH. The Jamie Dimon CEO’s that want everyone back in the office on 9 – 5, five days a week are seeing major pushback and employees voting with their feet. WOOFH means that people are spending less time commuting so buyers that used to want a 30-minute commute are looking at towns with 45 minutes to an hour commute. Also, technology for telecommuting is now ubiquitous and free or low cost. (Zoom really deserves a medal for providing connectivity for billions of free video conferences.)

What’s going to happen next year? Have most people who have wanted to move already moved. Will we reach the Holy Grail of 1,000 sales? The big factor pushing us there is the Great Upsizing’s surge in intra-Greenwich moves. For an intra-Greenwich move our sales increase by two, while our inventory remains unchanged as the buyer of the bigger house also sells their smaller house.  

                            Will our inventory fall to zero?

Is our inventory down, because most of the people that have wanted to move have moved? Realize that even with 1,000 sales, we are only looking at around 5% of our housing stock. The other 95% of homeowners are still in the same house. We will always get life cycle inventory as families get bigger, couples divorce, kids leave home, people retire, and homeowners pass away. Inventory will never go to zero.

The result of all this is that unlike any other year, November is a great time to list your house.

Stay tuned, this quarter is going to be like nothing we have ever seen before.

Mark Pruner is a sales executive with Compass at 200 Greenwich Ave. He can be reached at mark.pruner@compass.com or 203-969-7900. He would also like to thank everyone who voted for him and his fellow candidates on the Board of Assessment Appeals.

All Greenwich Neighborhoods do Well, Some Very Well in First 3 Quarters of 2021

Contracts Down, but Recently Rising

by Mark Pruner

Greenwich had an amazing first nine months with sales up 44% and sales volume up 66%. These big increases are even more amazing, because they were increases over our record setting 2020 home sales. Last year was a great year, but so far 2021 has been an even better year and that is true for every neighborhood. So, let’s give out the awards for most amazing performance by a neighborhood on a year over year basis.

              Biggest Percentage Increases from 2022

                            Award: Our smaller neighborhoods

When you look at neighborhoods by percentage increase in sales, one neighborhood jumps out, Pemberwick, with sales up 250% on a year over year basis. Pemberwick’s sales increased from 4 sales in the first 9 months of 2020 to 14 sales this year. An increase of 10 sales may not seem like much, but it’s the first time in a while since we’ve seen Pemberwick home sales break into double digits. It’s a small neighborhood and the people there love it. They tend to buy and stay, meaning even fewer houses come on for sale.

It’s not just Pemberwick, Byram saw sales increase from 13 to 19 and North Mianus went from 5 sale to 10 sales. Banksville also saw its sales jump 67% from 3 sales to 5 sales. These are small numerical increases, but together they total an increase of 23 sales and tell us something about the market. There is a tremendous demand for houses in our most affordable neighborhoods.

Lots of people who live in apartments in the NYC metro area would love to have a house in Greenwich and the most affordable houses in Greenwich are often their first choice. While, we can’t know whether there are thousands, of even tens of thousands of people, that fall in that category, we can say that at least 23 homeowners found new homes in these neighborhoods worth buying, even with price increases up to 25% in one year.

              Our Hottest Neighborhood

                            Award: Riverside, close runner-up Old Greenwich

In Riverside, we had 134 sales in the first nine months of 2021, this is up 41% from the first nine months of 2020. This a lot of sales in a small geographical area, but it’s a highly desirable area of Greenwich. Driving around with a real estate app you felt like every third house had sold, is under contract or is about to be. In Riverside, the median days on market was only 44 days and prices appreciated by 17.8% based on the year-over-year increase in the sales price to assessment ratio.

Not everything went to contract quickly. One waterfront house took 429 days to sell, and I co-listed another waterfront home that took 299 days to get to contract. Now both were well over $6 million and high-end negotiations often get tricky, but long sales times aren’t de rigueur for high-end Riverside houses. The highest sale in Riverside went for $7.8M, in 23 days. The listings that stay on the market for months make the Riverside average of 85 days on market very understandable and impressive.

Some people, (mostly those who live in Old Greenwich), would argue that Old Greenwich was the hotter market. Yes, Old Greenwich “only” had 126 sales to Riversides 134 sales, but it’s median days on market was a highly competitive 26 days to contract. Also, if you look at Old Greenwich’s price appreciation on sales price/s.f. it’s at 21.3% compared to Riverside’s 11.7%, but that’s more an issue of a few outliers for Old Greenwich. Often, this is due to a new construction replacing a teardown, but the square footage of the old house is still on the tax record, which leads to a very high sales price/sf.

To decide the hottest market of these two, let’s go to the tiebreaker, the most houses sold over list price. Old Greenwich had 41 houses that sold for over the house’s original list price, while Riverside had 48 houses that sold for over OLP. Riverside is the winner for our hottest market for the first nine months of the year. Let’s see how it plays out for the full year.

The High-End Award

              Backcountry vs. Mid-Country vs. the Waterfront Associations

One of the things that make Greenwich so attractive is that we have a variety of communities and at the high-end Greenwich gives you a lot of choices. Over $5 million, you have your choice of Backcountry with 4 acres and excellent privacy; mid-country with one and two acre lots and closer to downtown; and the waterfront associations; Belle Haven (including Field Point Circle), Indian Harbor and Mead Point.

So far, our highest reported sale is for $45 million in backcountry. I say reported sale, because the market over $5 million and particularly over $10 million is very private with many sales going unreported. (This award is only based on the publicly reported listings on the Greenwich MLS.) Even though this sales price is almost twice the sales price reported in the Belle Haven area, it’s only a single sale and one of only two sales over $10 million in backcountry.

South of the Post Road, in Belle Haven, we have 6 sales over $10 million and an additional 10 sales over $5 million. All the sales are part, of the great reshuffling in Belle Haven as we have a good number of listings in one of our nicest areas and good demand for these listings. Below the Post Road you can throw in an additional 4 sales for a total of 20 sales over $5 million south of the Post Road. This compares to 19 sales in backcountry a much larger area.

If you want to talk about larger areas, South of the Parkway runs from the Merritt Parkway to the north side of the Post Road and has the by far the largest number of properties of any Greenwich neighborhood. For the first nine months of 2021, we have had 58 mid-country sales over $5 million and 3 of these were over $10 million. Compare that to the first nine months of 2020, when we had less than half that number with 28 sales over $5 million. Townwide our sales over $5 million are up 265% from 2019 our last pre-Covid year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sept2019ytd.sales5m.gmls_.102021.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sept2020ytd.sales5m.gmls_.102021.pngThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sept2021ytd.sales5m.gmls_.102021.png
Sept 2019 YTDSept 2021 YTD Sept 2021 YTD

Sales in Greenwich, CT over $5 million for the first nine months of each year

The biggest percentage increase in sales over $5 million and highest sales YTD goes to backcountry. Greatest increase in number of sales goes to mid-country and greatest increase in sales in a single association easily goes to Belle Haven.

              What about the Fourth Quarter

                            Update

At the end of the third quarter, things were looking bleak for Q4 2021. Our contracts had reached a low for the year with only 102 contracts and inventory was at record lows. Our contracts were 41% below last year and the number of contracts had been dropping for 4 months. Last year was an excellent year all the way through year-end, so being below last year in contracts is not that bad. To see a really terrible slow down go back to September 2019 when we had only 69 contracts at the end of September.

Overall, our contracts, in just about every part of town, had been dropping for 4 straight months. Luckily that stopped in October. We are now up to 118 contracts as our fall market sales kick in. The uptick is even more heartening when you consider that our inventory is at an all-time low with just 246 listings. Of those 246 listing, I bet 10 – 20% already have an accepted offer and are just waiting for contracts to be signed. In addition, a quarter of the listings are more than 6 months old, so our “active” active listings are something like 130 to 150 listings, which means buyers often have only a handful of options in a particular price range in a particular neighborhood. (Our otal listings between $1 and 1.5 million in Riverside comes to only one listing.)

The concern is not low inventory, we’ve had that all year. The concern is dropping inventory. This is like watching the gas gauge on your car dropping to “E”. We can go a long way on a quarter of tank of gas, if we keep putting in a little gas here and there, but without continuous replenishment of our low tank, our market is going to sputter, and contracts are likely to resume their fall.

It is the second half of October, but arguably this is the best time to list your house with good demand and very limited inventory.

 Stay tuned, the 4th quarter promises to be particularly interesting….

Mark Pruner is a sales executive with Compass real estate in Greenwich. He can be reached at 203-969-7900 or mark.pruner@compass.com.

GREENWICH Q3 & YTD 2021 ARE ALL-TIME RECORD FOR SALES

Inventory at Record Lows

by Mark Pruner

Overview

              Greenwich Home Sales up 44% to New Record

Greenwich just had an all-time record third quarter with 319 sales which is higher even than the prior record in the Covid-driven third quarter of 2020. For the first 9 months, we saw 832 homes sold, up 44% over 2020, the prior record 9 months.  Those 832 sales are more than a full year’s sales for any year, but 2 of the last 22 years.

       Value of sales up almost $1 billion

Our total sales volume for the first nine months of 2021 increased by almost $1 billion from last year’s $1.495 billion sales to this year’s $2.478 billion, or an increase of $983 million. Last year total sales volume for the entire year of 2020 was $2.300 billion, so we are already $178 million ahead of total sales for last year, with 3 more months to go in the year.

       All while inventory was low

Our inventory has been low all year as houses priced right went to contract almost as quickly as they came on. We had 993 new listings, which fueled our record sales in the first 9 months. Our sales are slowing down as listings are coming on at a slower rate. Our shadow inventory of people who had waited years to sell is gone, but luckily, we are getting listings from lots of upsizers in Greenwich selling their “smaller” houses.

       WOOFH driving sales more than Covid

Once vaccines became available in the first quarter, you might have expected sales to decrease, but this didn’t happen. In the second and third quarters, WOOFH (Working Occasionally or Often From Home) has been a major factor driving the market. While NYC is not getting any closer, the time spent commuting is shrinking, often down 60% to 100% for Greenwich buyers as people don’t have to go into offices as frequently or at all.

       Sales over $5 million up 265% in two years

Our over $5 million sales have increased 91% over last year. Our over $5 million sales are up a huge 265% in the last 2 years from 35 sales YTD in 2019 to 128 sales in 2021. Off-market sales are also very busy, many of which are high-end, private sales, but are hard to calculate, as these are not tracked well.

The Greenwich rental market for single family homes is even hotter than the single-family home market as many people want to “try out” Greenwich and still aren’t certain about how often they will have to go into work.

       Third quarter Greenwich SFH sales and first 9 months

The first nine months of 2021 was an all-time record for Greenwich with 832 sales. The previous 9-month record was only 655 sales in 1999. Since 2021 isn’t over yet, 2020 is still the all-time record holder for annual sales with 863 sales, but 2021 will surpass that as we have 101 contracts waiting to close.

To see how really remarkable the first 9 months of 2021 have been just look at the first 9 months of 2020 where there were only 579 a far cry from the 832 sales in the first 9 months of 2021. (It really the last quarter of 2020 that made it a record setting year. We will have trouble matching it this year unless we get a lot more new listings. As a result, expect to see a bunch of headlines in the fourth quarter about sales being down in Greenwich, when they are still well above our 10-year average.

As to the third quarter itself, in 2021 we had 319 sales with only last year’s third quarter even coming close at 311 sales. Prior to 2020, the previous record was 273 sales a couple of decades ago in 1999. In fact, every quarter in 2021 was the highest sales quarter ever in Greenwich. This led to the first 9 months sales of 2021 breaking the previous record first nine months of 1999 by double digits, 27% higher.

              Sales by Months: The Ups and Downs of 2021

For the month of September 2021, we had 80 sales which is 47% above our 10-year average of 54 sales. However, this year’s sales are down 31% from September 2020 sales of 118 houses, which doesn’t sound good. However, September 2020 was the all-time highest month’s sales of any month until this year. But for, the record sales in September 2020, this September would have been the record for the month of September.

You have to be particularly careful of year-over-year comparisons for the rest of the year as the 4th quarter of 2020 was outstanding, so a drop in sales from last year doesn’t mean that we didn’t have a good sales month. Sales will likely be down from 2021 for October, November and December, but they still may be well above our 10-year average indicating a good to very good month just not a record month.

Factors for the jump in sales include people getting vaccinated and feeling more comfortable looking for houses and the flip side, owners getting vaccinated and being more comfortable with strangers in their house.  WOOFH is also making for much less weekly commuting time. As a result, buyers who might have been daunted by a 10 – 15-hour weekly commute, may find 4 – 6-hours weekly commuting very doable.

Another factor driving our peak sales months in June and July could be expiring 12-month leases that were signed last spring and summer at the height of Covid fear. We also had a huge number of summer rentals in 2020, many of which were extended as tenants didn’t want to go back for the accurately predicted fall and winter infection surge as people spent more time indoors. As these leases expired, many tenants decided that Greenwich was the place for them to buy.

              Contracts, Inventory, and Transactions all dropping and for the same reason

Transactions, which are contracts plus sales, had been trending up for the first half of the year, and then took a sharp jump in the first week in May. Our weekly average in 2021 is 28 transactions per week, but in the first week in May we jumped to 57 transactions followed by 54 transactions the next week. These 111 transactions represent 13.3% of our 832 sales YTD and happened in just those two weeks. Personally, I’ve been calling that period The Frenzy as it was continual showings, contract negotiations and working with inspectors, appraiser, bankers and attorneys to get deals done.

During the Frenzy, we actually saw listings tick up a little bit as April and May were when we saw our most new listings. This is unusual as we normally get lots of new inventory in February and March. This year, many listings were delayed, partly Covid and partly weather related. We also saw owners who had rented their houses to folks getting out of NYC, listing their houses after the one-year lease was up.

The last few weeks have not been good for new listings with a much smaller number of houses coming on than we normally see in our fall market, which starts right after Labor Day. Post Labor Day we got just above 20 listings per week, but with an equal number of houses going to contract, the best we could do was to keep inventory flat.

The problem is that this stabilization is at very low numbers. Just before Labor Day we reached an all-time low in inventory with only 260 listings. Last year in a hot market, we had 477 listings at the beginning of October 2020 and in October 2019 we had 622 listings or 140% more choices for buyers in 2019. Once again when comparing numbers, you have to be careful of the base. We weren’t having a great market in 2019, a more average number would 550 listings for the fall market, but any way you look at it our listings are way down in 2021’s fall market.

The low number of new listings leads to a dropping level of inventory, which leads to reduced sales and that is what we are seeing now. September 2021 sales was a very good month historically, but well down from the all-time high in July of this year. If we had had more inventory, we would have had more sales, the buyers are out there.

Our low inventory and high demand make for some incredibly low months of supply. We have less than 3 months of supply from $600,000 all the way up to $3 million dollars indicating a very tight market, since anything below 6 months of supply is considered a seller’s market. Even more incredible is that we have less than 6 months of supply all the way up to $10 million. These are price ranges that used to be measured in years of supply. Our market continues to be a very hot market, just not as hot as during the Frenzy.

In Greenwich, the heart of the market is from $1 – 4 million and that’s where you see 64% of our sales, 66% of our contracts, but only 52% of our inventory. This market has been strong all year, with the strongest market being from $1 – 1.5 million. I put a house on at $1.3 million in July and we got 6 offers in 3 days, 5 of which were over list price.

 We are also seeing quick sales in all of our price ranges. I had a client that was looking at a house that came on around $2.5 million last Thursday. My clients couldn’t get out to see it until Sunday, when an open house was scheduled. Unfortunately, by Sunday it was gone with multiple bids and a cancelled open house.

The other price range that has done incredibly well this year, particularly, if you look back several years, is our over $5 million dollar market. We have had 128 sale this year, up from 67 sales last year and way up from only 35 sales over $5 million in the first nine months of 2019. Over $5 million, sales have increased 91% over last year and increased by 265% in 2 years.

Our months of supply for our high-end price ranges have also dropped drastically from 2019, when we had 29 months of supply from $5 – 6.5 million and now have an incredibly low 4.7 months of supply. From $6.5 – 10 million we have gone from 34.1 months of supply in 2019 to 5.6 months of supply in 2021. Greenwich is seen as a good place to invest at the high-end.

The Fourth Quarter and Inventory

The key to sales in the fourth quarter is clearly new inventory. Out of the 267 listings that we have on the market, 61 or 23% have been on for last than 30 days. The median days on market is 106 days. Only 67 listing or 25% have been on for more than 6 months, the old standard for when a listing was considered stale.  On the flip side, 167 listings that have been on for more than 6 months have gone to contract or been sold. So being on for awhile doesn’t mean the property won’t sell if the buyer and seller are reasonable.

The bottom line is that three quarters of our inventory is not old, i.e., been on the market for more than 180 days. Of that “old” inventory, more has been sold than is remaining on the market. However, you cut it, our inventory is selling. For the last 6 weeks inventory has stabilized at record low levels of around 265 listings, but it is holding stable, so we are getting listings on at the same rate that they are selling.

The question is how long can this keep up? Stay tuned. We may have a fourth quarter like no one has seen before.

Greenwich Sales Up & Inventory Down in Every Neighborhood

August 2021 is the inflection point when the fuel that drives the market, listings was finally choked off. At the beginning of the week, we hit an all-time low of 259 single family homes on the market. In the first couple of days of September, the beginning of the fall market, we have not gotten a burst of new listings, hopefully that will come next week when we get back to a 5 business day week.

The concern is that most people who wanted to sell have done so, but never underestimate supply and demand. The demand is definitely there, it’s driving up prices which should elicit more supply. It’s just we had over 1,100 sales in the 12 months from July 2020 to June 2021. July 2021 was the all-time sales month with 143 sales, while we “dropped” back to 96 sales in August 2021, still 43% above her 10 year average.

So here are 10 bullet points about what is going on in our market comparing pre-Covid 2019 to a Covid and WOOFH (Work Often or Occasionally From Home) driven market.

(Click on any table for a larger version)

OVERALL

  1. Inventory is way down from 585 listings at the beginning of September 2019 to 267 listing in 2021 or a drop of 54%
  2. Solds are up over 100% from 393 in 2019 to 752 in 2021
  3. As a result, months of supply have fallen off a cliff from 13 months of supply in 2019 to less than 3 months of supply in 2021
  4. Total Sales volume is up by $1.37 billion in town of 63,000 people
  5. Days on market have gone from an average of 235 DOM to 129 DOM or a drop of 45%

NEIGHBORHOODS

  • Old Greenwich has had 117 sales in 2021 vs 55 sales by August 2019, an increase of 89%
  • Cos Cob (157%), Glenville (129%), South of the Parkway (122%), Pemberwick (120%), Riverside (105%), South of the Post Road (103%) and North of the Parkway (100%) have all seen sales double or more from 2019 to 2020
  • South of the Parkway (down to the Post Road) saw sales volume go from $295 million to $836 million an increase of 184%
  • Riverside saw the average sold price per s.f. increase by 23% in 2 years from $540/s.f. to $666/s.f. in 2021
  • Cos Cob saw the average sales price to assessment ratio increase by 19% from August 2019 to August 2021

It’s been amazing, if we get more listings, it will continue to be that way.

Home Sales Up 63% and Up 43%, Also, Down 11% and Down 33% for August 2021 in Greenwich, CT

by Mark Pruner

Greenwich sales of single-family homes were up 63% on a year over year basis. This means that sales YTD through the end of August have increased from 461 home last year to 752 home sales this year. For all of 2018, our last “normal” year we had 593 sales so even if we did not sell another house this year, we would have a great year in Greenwich real estate.

But we also have a market that is bouncing around like crazy. Our sales are down 33% from last month when we set an all-time monthly record for sales of 143 homes. Instead of last month, if you compare last August sales to this August’s sales, we are down 11% compared from 108 sales last August to 96 sales this August. This is the first month that 2020 sales exceeded 2021 sales, but it is also the first month that we saw a big jump in in 2020 sales, which continued for the rest of last year.

In fact, for the rest of the year, you need to watch year over year comparisons very closely. The last 5 months of 2021 were not normal months. So, comparisons to last year are likely to show a down market, when it could very likely actually be a hot market, just not as hot as last year.

              10-year average comparisons, the better measure in a volatile market

They better comparison is probably how this year has done compared to our 10-year average. On average, we sell 67 houses in August, this year it was 96 houses, so we are 43% above average. For the year, we have sold the aforementioned 752 houses which is 71% higher than our 10-year average. While sales are down from an all-time record last month they are still well above average for just about any other August.

              Whither our 2021 inventory

When you compare our sales so far this year to last year, this year blows away last year in just about every category, at least if you are a seller. All year we have had lower than normal inventory, but we are getting to unheard of low numbers. As of the end of August, we only had 267 listings. I’ve never seen inventory this low. We briefly got up to 342 listings, but inventory has been in steady decline since the middle of June. Our inventory is 47% below the 505 listings we had at the end of August last year.

Our year-to-date sales are up 63%, but it looks like our lack of inventory is finally costing us sales. All year, we have had extraordinarily low inventory, but total 2021 listings put on the market were actually much higher than we saw in the first eight months of 2020. You don’t get 63% higher sales without having more listings, it’s just that these “extra” listings went to contract almost as fast as they came, so inventory barely rose during the course of the year and inventory has been drifting down for 2.5 months.

              Check out contracts to see what is happening now

To see where our market is going look at contracts. Our 136 contracts are lower by 30% compared to last year’s 196 contracts at the end of August 2020. If, however, you go back to August 2019, you’ll see that we had only 83 contracts, which means that our 136 contracts are looking very good.

This week and next week are going to be crucial for the rest of the year. This is the beginning of our fall market. We need 50 -70 listings, and we could really use 150 to 200 listings which we definitely won’t get.

              Market drivers, Covid, WOOFH, Shadow inventory and babies

Our market continues to be hot. It’s just no longer frenzied. So, what is likely to happen for the rest of the year. The right answer is that no one knows. The big question is whether we’ve blown through all the people who want to sell. The short answer is that as long as people get married, have kids, retire, and pass away, people will list their houses. This is the natural rate inventory.

For the last 13 months we’ve seen a lot more than this. Much of it was the so-called shadow inventory, people who had been waiting years for prices to go up, before they were willing to list their houses. Hundreds of these people have listed their house and we probably don’t have enough left to make a real difference in the market.

What we have seen a lot of this year, and will probably continue to see, are upsizers. The Work Occasionally or Often From Home life/work change will likely continue for several years.  Senior managers now need bigger home offices, we are even starting to see a few home office suites, with an office, assistant’s room, file room and supply closet.

The great thing about these Greenwich people upsizing is that their buying a new house is a zero-sum game. Yes, they buy a house and take it off the market, but they also put their former house on the market. Lots of the explosion in new listings this year were these upsizers, buying and freeing up their present house for another buyer, who might also be freeing up a third house.

Hindsight is 20:20, and it will be a while before these trends become clear, what is very likely is that September 2021 sales will be lower than the stellar September 2020 sales. Having said that, our September 2021 will likely be above our 10-year average of 48 September sales.

Stay tuned, these next two weeks may well set the tone for the rest of the year.

In August sales from $1-4 million made up 3/4 of our monthly sales, but are a smaller percentage of our contracts. We have a supply constrained market.

We have a sellers market all the way up to $6.5 million.

Contracts and annualized August sales indicate that should continue.

Our sales are concentrated between $1 and $4 million, where much of the inventory is.

What’s the Hottest Real Estate in Greenwich’s Hottest Market

I was going to write this great article about what price segments were hot in Greenwich’s hottest year ever, but the numbers don’t support that kind of analysis. It doesn’t support it, because all the segments are hot, if you define hotness as the percent of listings in each price range that sell at or above their original list price. When you look at the pie charts of what price ranges have the most over list, it looks eerily similar to the pie chart of all sales by price ranges.

So far, we have had 733 sales for the year through this week. Of those sales, 131 went for full list price and a similar number, 161 houses, went for over original list price for a total of 292. That’s 40% of our sales going for full list price or over list. Let’s take a look at the very hot $1 – 1.5 million price range. That price range makes up 16% of all sales so far this year and that price range makes up 15% of the at or over list price sales.


Percent of Greenwich Home Sales by Price
at List or Over List for 2021 YTD

Percent of all Greenwich Home Sales
by Price YTD 2021

That’s what we see all the way from $600,000 to $6.5 million with one exception. The only price range that has a more than average list and over list sales is from $1.5 – 2.0 million. That price range makes up only 12% of our 733 sales so far, but it makes up 16% of our list and over list sales.

On the less than very hot side you have to go all the way up $6.5 – 10 million before you see a drop off in hot sales. Above $6.5 million the hot sales are only 3.4% of all sales while that segment represents 5.7% of our sales.

If you compare the hot sales within a price category to all sales in that price category the $1.5 – 2.0 million price range stands out even more. Of the 77 total sales in that price category, 46 or 60% went for list or over list. For the entire market, as noted above, 40% of all of sales went for list or over list. Looked at this way the other very hot price range is $4 – 5 million where 51 of sales, 23 of 45 sales went for list or over list.

Map of Sales of Homes at List or Over List YTD (8/25/21) Map of All Home Sales of Homes in Greenwich

The over $6.5 million price ranges stand out on the lower end of over list bidders. There only 24% of the 45 sales are going for list or over list but think about that. You come to Greenwich wanting to buy a house for around $8 million. The odds are 1 in 4 that you are going to have pay full list price or over list for that $8 million house. This is in a market segment that only a few years ago was seeing the over $5 million market going for an average 76% of original list price.

BTW: When looking at other people’s stats be very careful as to whether they are using the sales price to original list price (SP/OLP) or the most recent list price (SP/LP). Markets can be made to look hotter if you use SP/LP. This means that if a listing started at $4 million and was grossly over-priced and then over 2 years , the list price was lowered to $2.5 million dollars and then sold for $2.6 million it would be counted as a hot property, when it was really just a badly price property that took 2 years to sell.

2021 Highest Sale Over List by Percent

We have 18% of our sales going for full original list price, but we have 22% going for over list price, but how much over list price? Reporters like going for the records, the most extreme we have is 32 Wesskum Wood. It was listed on April Fool’s Day (my brother’s Russ’ birthday by the way) at $1.6 million and 8 days later it was under contract for $2,200,000 or an amazing 38% over list. A few years back, I sold a property for 22% over list, a record that stood for several years, but this year we have another listing that sold for 29% over list. We have a total of 4 houses that sold for 20% or more over list, but this is out of 161 sales that went for over list price.

Hot $ ranges>= list% of over listAll sales% of all sales% hot
< $600K10.3%50.8%20%
$600-$800K103.4%264.0%38%
$800K-$1M186.2%406.1%45%
$1-$1.5M4314.7%10315.7%42%
$1.5-$2M4615.8%7711.8%60%
$2-$3M7726.4%16925.8%46%
$3-$4M4114.0%9414.4%44%
$4-$5M237.9%456.9%51%
$5-6.5M227.5%507.6%44%
$6.5-$10M103.4%375.7%27%
> $10M10.3%81.2%13%
TOTAL292100.0%654100.0%39%

When you look a little closer, these over list price bidding wars are not quite as intense as you might think. The median amount over list for those 161 sales was 5% over list. If you are looking at buying a house with multiple offers that is listed at $1,000,000, the numbers say you have a pretty good chance of getting the house at $1,050,000. At the other of over list sales 25% went for 3% or less over list.

How Much to You have to Bid Over List to Get Your Dream House

It always amazes me that some buyers just refuse to get in a bidding war, it’s just not for them. The point is that you don’t have to go much over list even in 2021 to win the house in many situations. Five years ago, when bidding wars were much less common, my client’s house was in the sweet spot of the moment, and we had 7 bidders. We went to highest and best, one very distinguished gentleman who had initially bid over list refused to participate in the highest and best competition. He wouldn’t even put in his original bid. He should have; he would have gotten the house for no more money than he was willing to pay before the highest and best competition.

Multiple offer competitions are not to be feared. If you lose you are in the same situation you were before, you don’t have a house. This isn’t poker, where if you come in second best you lose everything in the pot.

Also, the best offer is not always about money. I’ve seen lower bidders get the house because the buyer was willing to wait 3 months while the owner found a place to move. This year, I’ve heard of multiple winning bidders who pulled out of the deal while contracts were being drafted. This is why, I always suggest my seller agree to notify not only the winning bidder, but a second and third back-up. There is a much better chance that those folks will have a good taste in their mouth when you go back to them asking if they will honor their original offer now that the winning bidder has withdrawn.

So bid away, you’ve nothing to lose, and you’ll have great stories for the future, win or lose.

July 2021 – Another Record-Breaking Month for Greenwich House Sales

Sales Likely to Fall in August as Low Inventory Limits Sales

The numbers for July are pretty amazing. We just had our biggest sales month ever with 142 sales and $448M in sales volume in one month. That’s more sales than we had in the entire first four months of 2020. This sales number broke also last month’s record of 135 sales and last year’s monthly record of 118 sales in September 2020.

Pre-pandemic you have to go all the way back to June 2011 to find the previous record of 114 sales which was a one-month blip caused by an increased sales conveyance tax increase. The last record for market-driven demand was 109 sales in August 2001.

Prices are up about 18-20% in nearly all price levels. Backcountry and mid-country are seeing the biggest rebounds since these areas are the furthest from town and suffered the most in the post-Great Recession years.

So far in August demand continues to be high, though not as frenzied as in the second quarter of 2021. Contracts are down about 17% from July 2020 when we were seeing a major acceleration in sales as Covid restrictions loosened. Sales peaked two months later in September 2020. 

The drop in contracts is partially due to summer vacation with lots more buyers travelling, often for the first time in over a year. Contracts traditionally fall in July, but what is really driving the drop in sales this year is our shrinking inventory. As of Wednesday, we are down to 290 listings, when were at 555 listings at this time last year.

 While we have had low inventory all year, our total number of listings are up 60% for the year. Listings have just gone to contract as fast as they have come on, which has hidden this jump in total listings numbers. We have even more listings than that as many listings never hit the market. One internal email of a coming listing and a fellow agent contacted the listing agent and said he had a buyer. (That happened twice to me, once on the sell side and once on the buy side.)

When you look at where the changes are year over year, the drop in inventory is a very consistent story. We have lower inventory at every price range from under $600K to over $10 million. Our inventory number are not just down by a little the smallest drop is 30% from $6.5 – 10 million from 53 listings in 2020 to only 37 listings as of the end of July this year. Under $600K we are down 75% from 4 listings to 1 listing and most of the year we have had nothing to sell under $600K.

Among major price categories, the biggest percentage drop is from $1 – 1.5 million, where we are down from 68 to 30 listings or a 56% drop in the number of listings. A couple of weeks ago, I put on a house in this price range. We had 6 offers in the next four days, the majority over list. While most price ranges are tough, our entry level houses are particularly tough. We only have 2 months of supply from $1 – 1.5 million and an amazing 1.6 months of supply from $600 – 800K.

Overall inventory is down 46% and months of supply is down 71%. (The months of supply is how many months it would take to sale our present inventory based on the demand rate so far this year). At 3.2 months, we are at ridiculous levels. This ridiculous level continues all the way up to $6.5 million dollars. While low months of supply are not uncommon under $1 million to see months of supply under 4 months of supply for prices over $3 million is just unheard of.

From $6.5 – 10 million, we only have 7 months of supply. Compared to our other price categories that might seem like a lot, but in June of 2019 we had 42 months of supply. We’ve dropped 83% in months of supply in two years, and this is after a long period where months of supply in this price category were measured in multiple years of supply not months.

On a percentage drop basis, the story is almost as good above $10 million. We went from almost 6 years of supply last July or 70 months, to only 20.1 months of supply this year. This is a drop of 70% and the market is getting better. If you take the sales in July over $10 million and annualize them, you come up with 11.5 months of supply.

This last analysis is a bit of fun with numbers as we only had 2 ultra-high-end sales in July, but we only have 23 listings on the market today down from 37 listings in July 2020. And, most of our high-end sales post-recession now happen after August.

What we are seeing is a drop in the number of high-end and ultra-high-end homeowners that are looking to move out of Greenwich. To my mind, our first selectman, Fred Camillo, and our governor, Ned Lamont (also a Greenwich resident) have done a good job navigating the Covid crisis, while many other states have not handled Covid, and particularly, the Delta variant well.

 Stay tuned, August will tell us a good deal about where the market is going …

June 2021 Greenwich Real Estate Neighborhoods Report

Is There a Fly in the Ointment?

by Mark Pruner

Looking at the first 20 days of July YTD, we have 604 sales for the year, which means we’ve already sold 15% more houses in 2021 than in all of 2019 when we only had 526 sales. Of those 604 sales, 93 of them happened in the first 20 days of July, which is already 20 sales above our 10-year average for all of July.

The fly in the ointment is contracts. We have 191 contracts waiting to close in mid-July compared to 208 contracts at the end of July last year. Now 17 contracts is not a lot and sales from week to week are a roller coaster ride. We may still see contracts exceed last year’s numbers, but the trend is not in that direction. Our weekly contract signings peaked in the first week of May at 57 contracts and has been mostly down since then. Last week we were down to only 26 contract signings. The chicken littles may actually think the sky is falling, but this drop in contracts actually, but it probably just shows a return to some level of normalcy, though at a higher level than normal. Our sales nearly always peak in June, or occassionally in July. This means that contract signing are seeds that are planted in April or May, so that closings can bloom in June and July. This drop in contracts, may not be a fly in the ointment, but only a stray flake of pepper.

But since, we are looking for straws in the wind, another shiver down your back can be seen in our inventory numbers. If you look at the inventory numbers they look like a fraternity tug of war between the Betas and the Deltas. The Betas (contract signings) moved the flag slightly down for the first two month of the year to a low of only 273 listing at the end of February. For the first two months, we had more buyers than we had inventory, but only by a smidgen.

Then the Super Bowl came along, the official start of the spring market, and the brothes from Delta (new listings) started moving the flag back as more listings came on than went to contract. Our inventory was like Lindbergh trying to gain altitude on his take-off from Roosevelt Field. We were climbing, but not real fast. By May we were still climbing but we were still flying nape of the earth. Our altitude should have been in the 600’s and even the 700’s listing number, but the best we could do was to peak at 342 listings in the first week of June. Since then we have been on a gentle decline to 310 listings this week. At this rate, Lindberg never would have made it off of Long Island.

For the Greenwich market, this drop in inventory when our contracts are also dropping, means that a bunch of the Betas and Deltas have headed for the bar and of the ones that are left the the Betas are winning. (Beth also hates when you mix metaphors. 😉  This drop in inventory happens nearly every year, but not from such a low altitudes

Where are sales headed the year? If you use a pencil and a ruler to make predictions, then you can take our first half sales of 511 and double them and expect to see our first calendar year with more than 1,000 sales. July sales would say that we are well on their way of hitting that number, but our contracts, and more importantly, our sliding inventory make it look like we won’t break the millineum.

Another sign of slowing market from frenzied to how is the number of expired listings. In the first half of the year with sales up 93% and inventory down 45% making for an incredibly pro-seller market we still had 78 listings expire unsold. These expired listings were across the board in pricing from $749K to $32M. We have some very well informed buyers and pushing the envelope on pricing too far just pops the bubble.

That’s the story townwide, but how are our neighborhoods doing? The short answer is mostly they are doing very well to great and the areas that look like they aren’t doing doing well are mostly victims of the law of the small numbers. For example, the days on market in Banksville is up 90%, but that’s because one of the five sales this year in Banksville had been on the market for 650 days.

Sales in Banksville, Byram, Glenville and South of the Post Road were all up more than 150%. The average price north of the Parkway was up 85%, but that was due to more high-end houses selling. When you look at the average of the sold price/sf that was up 41% and the sales price to assessment ratio was up 27%. Backcountry is definitely back.

Every neighborhood, but Byram, saw the average sales price to the assessment ratio go up by double digits from 12% south of the Parkway to 27% north of the Parkway. Days on market dropped by 44% and the average sales price to original list price was up 9% to 95.6% with several neighborhoods being above 98%. Buyers are not getting much of discount off of list price.

In the first half of the 2021 we sold $1.54 billion of single family homes up 133% from last year’s first half. This number all of the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt as the record breaking months didn’t start until August of 2020. So we are comparing the best half year sales ever in Greenwich to what was actually a slow first half as the Covid lock down slowed everything.

 Stay tuned, this rest of the year won’t all be smooth sailing, but it looks like another America’s cup win for the town.