Purchase strategies

The real estate market in Greenwich has been the focus of recent media attention.

Recently, it was reported that 62 Sterling Road (which was built between 2007 and 2008) found a buyer over the summer for $3,850,000. It had been on the market since it was built as a development opportunity. It had been rented during the economic downturn.

But this is more than just one sale. This home is representative of properties listed during the peak that were ambitiously priced (i.e., $5,695,000) and slowly adjusted to finally sell at market value, according to Greenwich MLS. Since there is now a shortage of available new and relatively new construction, buyers are taking a closer look at these relatively new homes — if they’re appropriately priced.

Although Greenwich may be known as the hedge fund capital of the world, many buyers represent other business sectors. In New York City, for instance, technology represents the fastest growing job segment, as was previously reported.

There are many factors that contributed to the softening of the higher priced real estate market common to other areas in the country. Often these buyers are looking for new homes, and construction has been limited. Many of these buyers prefer waterfront, and Sandy had an effect on these home sales. But even this segment shows sign of improving. A case in point is 73 Club Road, which is on the water. There has been an accepted offer and it will likely be under contract when this prints.

It went in less than a month and its asking price was $9,500,000.

Another factor is that many high-end properties were purchased during the peak of the market and the owners are waiting for more price appreciation before listing. Others are listing, but are hoping to cover financial obligations. Since the beginning of this year, six properties sold between $9,050,000 and $15,000,000.

Another six properties have an accepted offer/contracts, under contingent contract or executed contract and were listed between $11,750,000 and $26,500,000 according to GMLS. Foreign buyers continue to be interested in acquiring Greenwich properties.

We are also seeing an increasing number of buyers wishing to downsize. The baby boomers are getting older and seeking homes that more accommodate their needs.

And younger buyers want less to maintain while also preferring high-tech, efficient and convenient homes. Banks are still being conservative in their lending policies and home buyers needing loans recognize they have to be conservative as well.

Riverside continues to have the most sales, with over 80 homes sold within the last 12 months, followed by Old Greenwich with about 70 sold. In Cos Cob there were about 60 sold, downtown Greenwich had about 50 sold and the other towns ranged from five to slightly over 30 sold.

Realtors realize that they have to price properties well in order to sell them.

Many properties have received multiple offers and some have sold above ask, as has been previously reported. This is especially true in the under-$2-million market segments.

Realtors understand that properties priced higher than comparables will only slow the recovery of the market by languishing on the market and adding to inventory. Buyers seeking bank-owned properties are finding many banks are holding out for the appraised value, as was the case in the recent sale of a Byram Shore property.

Banks, like any other homeowners, are looking for qualified or cash buyers.

Buyers need to be aware that in the various markets (towns and price points) of Greenwich, purchase strategies differ to be successful.


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]

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