The Real Estate Records in a Record-Breaking Year

by Mark Pruner

  1. Total Sales

This year has been a remarkable year. On October 23, 2021, we passed last year’s all-time sales record of 861. So, every sale thereafter, sets a new record. As of the middle of December, we are at 971 sales within striking distance of a 1,000 single family home sales year. To break 1,000 sales, we only need 29 more sales this month. So far in December, we have had 42 sales and the last two weeks of December are usually the busiest.

2021 Single Family Home Sales in Greenwich, CT

Greenwich real estate attorneys dread the last week of the year. At a time when many employees here in the U.S. take off and many European countries and Canada practically, shutdown, our real estate attorneys are doing back-to-back closings. At the end of October, we looked like we weren’t going to make it, but then sales jumped 30% in November as we got a small spurt of new listings. We need 29 sales to reach 1,000 sales in the next two weeks; it’s looking like we may make it.

2. Highest Sales Price

A. Greenwich

i. Listed on Greenwich MLS

Our highest sale for the year is 100 Field Point Circle which sold for $50,000,000 on December 1st after being on the market for 201 days. It started out at $55,000,000 and hence sold for 90.9% of original list price. It is a special property with 2.46 acres of land with direct waterfront views of the sunrise every morning.

We also had the sale of Tommy Hilfiger’s house for $45 million in backcountry. It sold in only 61 days on the market for 94.7% of its original list price. Next on the list is 23 Smith Road, which sold for $27,750,000 after 627 days on the market. Bill Andruss also here at Compass had a $15,088,000 sale in Belle Haven. This was the second highest sale ever in Belle Haven and the fifth highest out of 971 sales so far.

ii. Private Sales

Non-public sales are notoriously hard to track, but my fellow Compass agent, Shelley Tretter, sold a Conyers Farm property on Lower Cross Road for $19,250,000 which comes in as the fourth highest sale of the year. (If anyone has a higher private sale, please let me know.)

B. The Gold Coast and the Rest of Connecticut

Greenwich is part of the Gold Coast of Connecticut, which is traditionally Darien, New Canaan, and Westport and sometimes Fairfield. This year Fairfield made a bid for permanent inclusion in the CT Gold Coast with the highest non-Greenwich sale in Fairfield County and the whole state. Set on only 1 acre, 1093 Pequot Ave sold for $10,900,000. In Greenwich it would have been our 12th highest sale price.

After the Town of Fairfield, the Gold Coast high sales by town were a $10 million sale in Westport, an $8.2 million sale in Darien and a $7.85 million sale in New Canaan. Stamford was not far behind with a $7.5 million sales.

2021 Connecticut Sales over $7 million (Source: SmartMLS)

The highest sale in Connecticut outside of Fairfield County was in the only town with a mill rate lower than Greenwich’s mill rate, Salisbury, Connecticut, where a 239-acre property sold for $7.4 million. This would place them in 43rd place in Greenwich, of course 239 acres would be a large part of backcountry.

Even within the Gold Coast, Greenwich stands outs for high-end sales.

Highest Sales by Town Outside of Greenwich

3. Lowest House Sale Price in Greenwich

We only had one house sell for less than $500,000 in Greenwich; 15 Highland Place in Pemberwick, which sold for $450,000. The next lowest price was 11.1% higher at an even $500,000 at 196 Byram Road.

Both Byram and Pemberwick are two of our fastest appreciating areas in town. If you are looking to invest and past is prologue, it’s not a bad place to invest. Anybody who bought in pre-Covid is doing well in these areas.

4. Largest and Smallest House Size

In extreme northeast backcountry, 4 Cherry Blossom Lane was listed at 16,802 s.f. and sold for $7,500,000 or $446/s.f. It was followed closely in size by 857 Lake Avenue at 16,775 s.f. This house sold for $9,710,000 or $578/s.f.

Our smallest house sale this year was at 66 Pemberwick Rd, where this 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with 760 s.f. sold for $870,000. It was listed for $800,000 so it went for 109% of list and $1,145 for each of those 760 s.f.  Coming in second was 196 Byram Road, a 960 s.f. house also with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, that sold for $500,000.

5. Land

After graduation, Russ and I worked in a family business selling oil and gas investments in the deep Anadarko in Oklahoma and the tight sands of the Appalachian basin back in the early ‘80s. Together we bought the smallest lot in Old Greenwich, a 0.09 acre property at 1 Tait Road around the corner from where we grew up at 46 Tomac. This year’s winner for smallest residential lot has 1 Tait Rd beat by 33%. Both 2 Bolling Place in downtown Greenwich and 18 W. William St in Byram came in at 0.06 acres. They sold for $1,094,300 and $750,000 respectively. On a per acre basis, 2 Bolling Place sold for $18.2 million per acre. Trying to build affordable housing near the central Greenwich train station is not a good idea unless you have big government subsidies.

Our largest land sale was up in northwest backcountry at 39 Pierson, where 36.4 acres were sold to a neighbor to be held for open space. It cost them $9,000,000 or just over $247,000/acre. Bill Andruss had the second highest sale land sale also, for $8.875 million in the very private Indian Harbor Association. Those 3.05 acres went for $2.9 million/acre. People really like Long Island Sound waterfront.

6. Shortest Days on Market

Of our 971 house sales so far this year, 71 houses or 7.3% sold in zero days on market, which is deceptive. These 71 sales were private sales that got reported on the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service as “NON-MLS” sales. Having these Non-MLS sales reported is very helpful, when trying to figure out where the market is going. What’s interesting about off-market sales is that there is a concentration at the low end where people are being as frugal as possible and also at the high-end where privacy is a major factor.

Going beyond off market sales, we had 13 listings that were on the market for less than 5 days. This means that a couple of lawyers were working very fast as listings go from “active” to “contingent” or “pending” only occur when a contract is signed, not when the offer is accepted. As you might expect all 13 of these listings went right to pending skipping any mortgage contingency and at that pace, many buyers likely also skipped an inspection.

7. Longest Days on Market

One of the things that you see in a hot market is that houses that have been on for a while, and I mean a long while, find a buyer. Our 2021 record for listing longevity is 9 Conyers Farm Drive which was on for 2,125 days or 5.82 years. It sold for $8.8 million.

You don’t have to be a very high-end house to be on the market for a while. In second place for days on market is 280 Riversville Road which was on for 1,082 days or just short of 3 years on the market. All in all, we had 11 houses sell in 2021 that had been on the market for more than 2 years and 48 houses that had been on the market for more than a year.

Also, those days on market are LADOM, not CDOM. LADOM is “listing agent days on market” and means that one agent listed the property for all that time without any breaks of more than 90 days off market. CDOM, “cumulative days on market”, counts how long the property was on the market whether with different agents or firms without a 90-day break.

For CDOM, the “winner” is 549 North St. which was on for 6.5 years with various agents. On a cumulative days on market basis, we had 57 listings or 5.9% of our sales that took more than a year to sell.

8. Sales Price to Original List Ratio – Best and Worst

Thirty-eight percent, that’s how much the buyer paid over list for a 2,800 s.f., 1931 house in Riverside to set the 2021 record for highest percent sale over list price. As you might expect it went to contract in 8 days.

2021 SFH Sales at full list or over list price

We have had 234 sales out of a total of 971 listings that went for over list price this year, two of which were my listings. We also had another 159 that went for full list price. In total, 40.4% of our listings sold at full list or over.  

At the other end, we had 25 listings that went for less than 75% of their original list price. Of those 25 listings, the median LADOM was 292 days. After 6 months, and in this market, after 3 months, if you don’t reduce to market price quickly, you risk getting caught in a death spiral.

2021 SFH sales at less than 75% of original list price

Today, we only have 194 listings, when we should have twice that number. Of those 194 listings, 41 have been on for more than 292 days and 139 or 72% have been on for more 3 months.

It’s been an amazing year, stay tuned, the one thing you can be sure of is that 2022 will have it’s share of records too.

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