Sales and trends

In looking at the sales trends out of Greenwich last year, it’s interesting to see what the numbers tell us.

In Greenwich for 2012, homes under $649,999 comprised 11.6% of the market, homes between $650,000 and $799,999 were 9.3%, $800,000 and $999,999 were 9.25%, $1,000,000 to $1,499,999 were 14.7%, $1,500,000 to $1,999,999 were 15.1%, $2,000,000 to $2,999,999 were 16.3%, $3,000,000 to $3,999,999 were 8.8%, $4,000,000 to $4,999,999 were 3.8%, $5,000,000 to $7,499,999 were 6.6%, $7,500,000 to $9,999,999 were 2.2%, and the balance was over $10,000,000.

When looking at the statistics, you can see that single-family homes sold started to increase in July of last year and condominiums started improving in September 2012.

Greenwich is late in seeing the effects of economic downturns and is also late in recovering from them. Buyers realize homes in Greenwich are affordable as prices have not increased in most price points, but inventory remains low, especially for truly new listings, not re-listed properties.

The median sale price in Greenwich decreased approximately 3% last year when compared to 2011.

Old Greenwich and Riverside home prices have not decreased like those in other towns. Buyers value the proximity to the beach and train, school test scores and sense of community. Also, the homes have town water and sewer.

During the last quarter of 2012, 142 single-family homes sold and the majority sold for over 90% of their sale-to-list price.

Be mindful that reductions may have previously been taken place, but when the price was recognized as being close to market value, a home received a higher percentage of the list price. Most sellers are adjusting to the current real estate market and pricing their homes close to or at market value. People in the western side of town priced their properties to sell, as they realized the highest sale-to-list price ratio.

Another factor is that properties under $1 million comprised approximately one-third of the Greenwich real estate market. This a strong market segment where multiple bids are seen. However, buyers are rarely paying more for these properties. Sellers are able to select buyers whose terms and conditions are more favorable (e.g., cash vs. mortgage, better close date).

Realtors are seeing an increase in activity already this year. Some buyers seeking to upgrade and downsize their homes have returned to the market, as have families and professionals seeking homes in the suburbs close to town, beaches and parks; and others living in surrounding towns are seeking to reduce property taxes.

Buyers are still looking for properties that have been renovated or are nearly new or new. They don’t want to do work and have to allow funds for doing work unless the property is in a desirable location and they can live in it comfortably while doing renovations.

Distressed properties are not without problems in acquiring in town or anywhere else. In some instances, the bank’s appraisers are not providing appropriate value expectations, the banks are taking quite some time in processing acceptances and rejections to offers, and buyers are fearful in taking these properties “as is,” especially if not completed.

The market will continue to strengthen if buyers and sellers are realistic in their expectations and make informed decisions.

 

Mary Ann Clark is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be emailed to [email protected] or she may be reached directly at 203-249-2244.

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