||Inventory July 2019
||Sales July 2019
|So. of Post Road
So, that’s how the overall market is doing, how are the individual neighborhoods doing. The short answer is things have reversed from last year. Where last year Cos Cob, Riverside and Glenville were hot; this year not so much. So, the bad news first.
Cos Cob so far this year has seen the biggest reversal with sales down from 45 sales through July of last year to only 25 sales this year or a drop of 45%. Inventory is also up from 46 listings to 58 listings. Despite sales being down and inventory being up, the average days on market for sales is about the same as last year with 151 days this year compared to 161 last year.
As always, the people who price their listings competitively are ones that get sales. Homeowners will find that competitive prices this year are lower this year than last year. The sales price/sf, sales price divided by the town’s assessment and the sales price to original list price are all down compared to last year.
Riverside has seen a decline of 17 sales so far this year from 62 sales to 45 sales or a drop of 27%. Part of the reduced sales in Riverside is due to a substantially reduced inventory going from 92 listings last year to 68 listings this year, which is a drop of 26%, which almost exactly matches the drop in sales. As to prices Riverside is telling a mixed story as sales price/sf and the sales price to original list price are both down from last year, while the sales price to assessment ratio is up.
Glenville is a much smaller market, with only 21 listings and 12 sales so far this year, but the 12 sales is down from 21 sales last year. In Glenville, unlike Riverside the inventory is almost the same with 21 listings this year and 20 listings last year. As to the price change indicators, Glenville has the lowest sales price to original list price ratio. This means that houses are coming on higher in Glenville then the market thinks they are worth. Both Glenville and Cos Cob had seen more demand in the last couple of years as Old Greenwich and Riverside had gotten so expensive. It looks like, that bargain premium is down in 2019.
South of the Parkway
South of the Parkway has been a tougher market this year with sales down from 93 house sales last year to 82 this year. At the same time, inventory rose from 194 last year to 212 listings this year. All three price indicators are down though not a lot. Given that sales are down 16% for the town overall and sales in this area are only down 12%, you could argue that this area is actually doing better than average.
I have one of those 212 listings at 108 Pecksland and it is what I consider an amazing value with a list price of $1.65 million. This compares to the Tax Assessor’s FMV of $2.34 million. We are getting showings, mostly by families with school age children, but there is a real reluctance to take on even small renovation projects. If you are a buyer that doesn’t mind doing work on a purchase, you have some real bargains to pick from.
Now despite the fact that sales are down overall, we do have three areas with good news.
North of the Parkway
Deals have gotten so good North of the Parkway that sales are up for the year as is the average sold price per square foot, while inventory is essentially the same as last year. Now this isn’t a big turnaround, but it’s possible we saw the bottom for backcountry at the end of 2018.
Deals are still tough as can be seen from an original list price to sales price ratio of only 86%, but part of this is the large number of houses over $5M, where the traditional SP/OLP is more like 75%. Part is also some houses under $5M that started out too high a while ago have had to really chop their price to generate interest.
For folks in backcountry and mid-country two properties are generating lots of interest and concern. Aquarion Water Company announced that they are consider selling the 80 acres that they own on Lake Avenue just north of the Merritt Parkway. They had previously proposed developing this land in 2006. State law requires the water company to first offer the parcel to the town and then to open space organization and the whole process is likely to take a couple of years.
The other property, Mel Gibson’s old property between Old Mill Road and the Merritt Parkway is up for and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses hearing on Monday August 26th. The developer has proposed 28 houses on 75 acres in what is putatively the 4-acre zone.
Old Greenwich’s inventory is down 13 listings as of the end of July to 68 listings from 81 listings last year. As townwide sales got back to our 10-year average in July so did Old Greenwich, but in Old Greenwich’s case this was not a pickup in the sales rate, but a slowing. OG has sold 51 houses so far in 2019 compared to 52 houses in 2018. The three price change indicators have also turned flat to slightly down, but regardless the activity earlier in the year still gives OG a leg up over other areas of the town due to its good sales earlier in the year.
The other southern corner of Greenwich, this one in the southwest corner, is doing spectacularly well if you look at the percentage change from last year. Sales are up 80% this year, while the market is even tighter with inventory down 33%. Now this is possible due to the law of small numbers which says when you don’t have much of something even a small change makes a big percentage change. The 80% increase in sales is from 5 sales last year to 9 sales this year, while inventory shrank from 15 listings to 10 listings. Two the three price change indicators are up in Byram. The sales price to original list price ratio went from 88% last year to 90% this year and the sales price to assessment ratio is the second highest in town at 1.807 or 27% higher than the Assessors assigned values as of 10/1/2015.
Like May, July was close to our 10-year average and therefore looked good compared to our weak sales in other prior months. Were it not for a slow June, we could call continued good sales in July a turn around. Also, the neighborhoods are spotty with no area reporting stronger sales, lower inventory and the price change indicators all up. We did have an above average number of contracts at the beginning of August and based on the first two weeks August is looking to be another “average” month, which is good in 2019.