Greenwich House Prices Take a Dramatic 22% Jump in Q1 2024

Greenwich House Prices Take a Dramatic 22% Jump in Q1 2024

The 1st Quarter  2024 Greenwich Real Estate Market

by Mark Pruner

When you have been doing the Greenwich real estate statistics every month for years, you get used to significant changes happening gradually month to month. That’s not what has happened in 2024. The changes have been so dramatic, that I went back and checked them and then I checked them again to see if they were right. So far in 2024, our median sales price is up 21.2% over last year. While mathematically accurate, anyone who read my article two weeks ago about “How to Lie with Real Estate Statistics” knows that those numbers can’t be representative of the actual market. 

Yes, the median sales price in Greenwich jumped from $2.52 million in 2023 to $3.05 million this year, which is the aforesaid 22.1% increase, but the value of all houses in Greenwich didn’t jump by 22% in one year. So, what gives? One more high-end sale can’t affect the median sales price in the middle. So why the heck did our median sales price for single family homes in Greenwich increase $534,0000 in one year.

If you go back two years and look at the change from March of 2022 to March of 2023, we see the median price actually  dropped by a tiny bit from a median of $2,525,000 in March 2022 to a median price of $2,517,750 in March of 2023 or a drop of 0.3%. There is no way that prices overall for Greenwich houses are up 21.2% this year, though that’s what the spreadsheet says.

As you know, the median is also affected by the mix of what is selling, though not as much as the average. Clearly, I thought the price per square foot, shouldn’t jump around like that, but I was wrong. The median sales price went up 21.2% while the median price per square foot went up 22.0%. What??? How could the price/sf go up even more than the median price. More worrying is the numbers are almost the same 21.2% vs 22.0%, which seems to confirm this jump in Greenwich house values. Did our prices really go up 21% in one year? If so, that would be the biggest jump in prices ever in Greenwich, if this continues for the rest of the year.

Our sales are down slightly from 84 sales in the first quarter of last year to only 77 sales in the first quarter of this year. Lower sales don’t lead to higher prices unless the supply is even lower, and it is! Inventory was down from an all time low of 154 listings at the end of March 2023 to an even lower all time low this year of only 118 listings. That’s a drop of 23% year over year, but it’s a drop of 80% from the inventory at the end of March 2019, our last pre-Covid year. When numbers get small averages tend to jump around much more as a few sales can have a big effect.

Also, our median sales price to original list price ratio went from 98.0% last year to 100.0% this year. This is a clear indicator of a tighter market, but it’s only a 2% change, so not that dramatic.

What is a dramatic change is our median days on market which went from 58 DOM in the first quarter of last year to only 29 DOM so far this year. Many of the deals were even quicker. Russ and I have had 5 of our deals this year go from listing to contract  all in exactly 8 days. That’s fast in anybody’s book. Our supply is down sharply, and our demand is staying high. The result is that months of supply is low all the way up to $6.5 million. When you throw in contracts the price range from $6.5 million to $10 million is also low as we have 9 contracts waiting to close in that price range.

Still does that account for a 22% jump in median sales price and price/sf? If you look at what is selling you can see that sales under $2 million are down 36% from 33 sales in the first quarter of 2023 to only 21 sales in the first quarter of 2024. We still don’t have any sales under $800,000 this year compared to 5 sales in the first quarter of 2023. That’s a dramatic difference and it explains some of the big jump in average and median sales price.

Over $2 million, our sales are up 10% from 51 sales last year in the first quarter to 56 sales this year. Our average sale over $2 million went from $4.32 million last year to $4.57 million this year. Also, our last year we had only one sale over $10 million for $13.5 million, while over $10 million this year we have two sales over $14.5 million. When you add up lower sales under $2 million, with higher sales over that price and throw in a smaller number of sales, and have people willing to pay more in price per s.f. that’s how you get to our dramatic jump in median sales price.

It is very unlikely that we will see anything close to that by the end of the year when you look at the increase in sales price per s.f. Right now, our contracts are down with all of that drop attributable to contracts over $2 million where we are down 19% from 66 contracts last year to 54 contracts this year. However, under $2 million, the number of contracts is up 30%. In the next couple of months, we will likely return to more balanced sales by price range.

What we will not return to is anything close to average inventory numbers. Right now, our inventory could triple, and we would still be well below average. If you are a buyer, there has never been a better time to have a good real estate agent on your side. If you are a seller, having a good agent can result in a much better sales price. So far this year, we have had 6 sales that went for more than 20% over their list price.

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