Riverside, CT – A Popular Place to Live

22 Years of Riverside Real Estate History in Greenwich

In 1999, the average sales price for a single-family home in Riverside, Connecticut was $956,121. By 2021 the average sales price in Riverside CT was $2,614,485. An increase of $1.66 million or 116%. The Riverside price per square foot did even a little better going from $346 per square foot to $678 per square foot or 119%

Pre COVID, at the end of April 2019, you would have had a choice of 83 different houses in Riverside. As of this week you have your choice of 15 houses a drop of 82%.  Given that 30 houses have sold so far this year in Riverside you’re looking at the lowest months of supply of any neighborhood in Greenwich with only 1.9 months or supply. (OK, the North Mianus area does have 0.8 months of supply but this area only has one listing and is one of our smallest areas of town.)

YearSales Sales Volume Avg Sales Price Avg SP/SF Avg SP/Assmt
1999143 $      136,725,285 $         956,121 $      346          2.35
2000143 $      153,386,712 $      1,072,634 $      376          2.79
2001116 $      128,854,702 $      1,110,816 $      403          3.18
2002114 $      149,634,700 $      1,312,585 $      451          3.00
2003116 $      151,397,619 $      1,305,152 $      468          1.96
2004151 $      314,300,423 $      2,081,460 $      638          2.33
2005120 $      229,981,432 $      1,916,512 $      602          2.50
2006119 $      224,356,629 $      1,885,350 $      606          2.38
200788 $      199,725,000 $      2,269,602 $      631          1.60
200880 $      218,775,565 $      2,734,695 $      683          1.53
200954 $      110,690,161 $      2,049,818 $      574          1.28
201088 $      160,860,811 $      1,827,964 $      542          1.35
2011106 $      196,796,379 $      1,856,570 $      499          1.36
2012122 $      260,516,550 $      2,135,382 $      536          1.54
2013145 $      284,545,237 $      1,962,381 $      547          1.60
201496 $      192,088,300 $      2,000,920 $      599          1.73
2015114 $      259,442,482 $      2,275,811 $      635          1.82
201693 $      197,310,338 $      2,121,617 $      601          1.64
2018107 $      251,834,350 $      2,353,592 $      595          1.54
201986 $      167,284,962 $      1,945,174 $      543          1.56
2020135 $      349,360,029 $      2,587,852 $      619          1.50
2021163 $      426,161,125 $      2,614,485 $      678          1.77
2022 Anlzd93 $      191,949,094 $      2,063,762 $      760          1.96
Grand Total2530 $  4,828,005,424 $     1,908,303 $      555          1.98
New assessment are redone every five years and become effective on July 1 of the following year

Growing up here. I played in a lot of Old Greenwich Riverside Community Center leagues from football to baseball to soccer. If you would have asked me then where the border was between Old Greenwich and Riverside, I couldn’t have told you. I knew the west side was the Mianus River and south side was Long Island, but the other two sides were kind of murky and didn’t matter as the two areas seemed much the same.

As a Realtor, I know the northern border of Riverside is at Palmer Hill Road, with two minor exception/cul-de-sacs in Palmer Circle and Apple Tree Lane. So, Palmer Hill on the north side from west to east borders a little stretch of Cos Cob east of the Mianus River then the two cul-de-sacs of Riverside and Hillcrest Park in Old Greenwich

2022 YTD Riverside Homes Sold2022 Riverside Inventory

The east side of Riverside is a little more complicated. The east side runs up Riverside Ave through the circle at the foot of Summit Road and along the west side of Binney park. The dividing line then turns left and runs up Sound Beach Ave before crossing the Post Rd. You continue briefly on Sound Beach Avenue Ext, then you take right on Bonan Drive to Mary Lane, then right on Amherst Rd, left on MacArthur Drive, a right on Florence Road and then up to Palmer Hill. All in all, not a big area, but zoning wise it is very diverse.

Greenwich Planning & Zoning map of the Riverside section of Greenwich, CT

Riverside 5 zones starting with the R-12 zones in the north (12,000 s.f. or .275 acres), what is often called our quarter-acre zone. These R-12 lots with a floor area ratio of .315 means you can build up to 3,780 s.f. (12,000 s.f. x .315 = 3,780 s.f.). Of course, this FAR limitation doesn’t apply to the basement, if it isn’t a walkout basement, nor to the attic, so you could have over 6,000 s.f. for new construction on four levels.

Below the R-12 zone is an R-7 zone running along the north side of the Post Road. The R-7 zone really should be called the R-7.5 zone since the minimum lot size is 7,500 s.f. or .172 acres, our “sixth” of an acre zone. With a .35 FAR in R-7 zone, you get an allowed square footage of 2,625 s.f.

Continuing south and crossing the Post Road, you are back to an R-12 zone inside the vast loop of Riverside Ave. Outside of Riverside Avenue you have an R-20 zone of 20,000 s.f., 0.46 acres lots; our so called half acre zone.  The .225 FAR in this zone gets you a max house size of 4,500 s.f. (plus the basement and the attic).

Then you get to something that Old Greenwich doesn’t have, an RA-1 zone whose north boundary is about halfway between the Sound and the railroad tracks. The RA-1 zone properties are one acre lots of 43,560 s.f. which with .135 FAR allows houses up to 5,881 s.f. The Riverside one-acre zone has a series of private associations, some of which are gated and guarded, giving the southwest corner the name of Little Belle Haven to some folks. (It looks good in a listing description.) And, that’s it for Riverside zones and house sizes. Well almost, you have a tiny R-6 duplex zone that only has 2 properties, and several conservation and historic overlay zones.

All this gives you a lot of options in a small area. It also means a 10-fold difference in sales prices. In 2021 we had 157 sales in Riverside and the prices varied from our lowest Riverside sales price of $705,000 in the R-7 to a $7,800,000 sale in the RA-1 zone. Patty Ekvall and my sale in Harbor Point came in 6th. At least it does if you look at the sales reported on the GMLS. There was at least one much higher sale, which didn’t get reported (sorry Gideon).

Greenwich April 2022 Sales by Neighborhood. (Click images for larger version.)

With all these high-end sales, Riverside has one of our highest prices per square foot. The sales price per square foot so far in 2022 has been $763/s.f. up from $678/s.f. last year or a jump of 12.5% in only 5 months. A significant part of that is a change in the mix of what is selling. We only have 3 listings in Riverside under $1.6 million and we have the same number over $7 million, so these higher priced properties when they sell will pull the average up a lot.

Riverside and Old Greenwich also have an average sales price to original list price of over 99%, so most listing go very close to list, and many have multiple offers going for full list or over list.

If you look back over the last 22 years, the number of sales jumps all over the place. Last year, we had the highest number of sales in Riverside that we’ve ever had with 163 sales, this beat the other two peaks with 151 sales in 2004 and 145 sales in 2013. The nadir was in in the Recession year of 2009 with only 54 sales. Over the last two decades, we’ve averaged 113 sales per year in Riverside.

The Great Recession also interrupted what had been steady growth in Riverside prices going all the way back to 1976. We had a couple of down turns, for example in the 1987 recession, but Riverside property has been pretty consistent from 1976 to 2008. During this period, the surprises were mainly on the plus side with the average price jumping 54% in 2004 and 20% in both 2007 and 2008. These big jumps were the result of a couple of big sales and that latter two were bubble years that whose over-inflated popped with slump in the Great Recession. Prices dropped in 2009 with the average down to $1.83 million in 2010 but had recovered to $2.14 million by 2012. 

Then we had a slow increase in prices, but it was a bumpy ride. The SALT tax deduction limits made 2019 a bad year for Riverside and then came Covid. In 2021, our average sales price in Riverside was up to $2.61 million, still not up to the bubble year of 2008 with its $2.73 million average sales price but chasing bubbles should be left to kids.

Going forward, our low inventory will still be putting pressure on buyers. We have seen a little slowing in demand due to interest rate increases and the stock market falling, but it hasn’t affected prices yet. At the same time, there are still a couple of years right-sizing caused by the shift to work from home and inflation spurs sales for those with money as they have traditionally been  thought of as inflation hedges. I expect that we’ll see continuing interest in Riverside houses for the rest of the year.

Now, if we just had twice the inventory, we’d see some real jumps in sales, but sales are going stay below last year unless we get lots more houses to sell.

Stay tuned …

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