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Thursday, September 24 Real Estate

Real talk: Buyers’ market turning into a sellers’ market

Last week’s 17 real estate sales in Greenwich closed for a total of almost $50 million.

With almost half of the sales going between 95 and 106 percent of asking, it definitely looks as if we have transitioned from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market. While I’m still seeing price adjustments (lowering of asking prices in Realtor-talk) the speed at which even the high-end properties are going to contract tells me we’re in a new market.

My “buy of the week” selection is an English Manor on 4 1/2 acres in back-country on Crown Lane that sold in three weeks at a 20 percent discount from its asking price. With buying pressure coming from mostly New Yorker,s even the back country listings are now seeing action as I reported in last week’s column.

My “sale of the week” selection was tough since there were several that could be argued as the best sale, but selling a $6 million property in 21 days at just under its asking price on Dawn Harbor Lane in Riverside put it to the top of my list.

Sale of the week: 14 Dawn Harbor Lane Photo: Contributed Photo
Photo: Contributed Photo

Sale of the week: 14 Dawn Harbor Lane

Sale of the week

14 Dawn Harbor Lane

This week’s “sale of the week” selection is a colonial on Dawn Harbor Lane in Riverside. It was previously purchased in October 2017 by the now-sellers for $5.25 million and they listed it in mid-May for $6.1 million. It didn’t take long before a buyer snatched this beauty up for an even $6 million.

Real Estate Listings

The home sits on 0.89 acres, has five bedrooms, six and a half baths and is large — 7,438 square feet of finished space. It has all the amenities you might make a mental list of, including, outdoors, a built-in kitchen, living area, pool with spa, two fireplaces and raised copper garden beds.

Inside, there’s a stylish kitchen with a “waterfall” quartz island that opens onto a family room with a fireplace and vaulted ceilings. The lower level is decked out with a lounge, game room, wet bar, sauna, gym and au pair suite.

There’s a wine room with glass doors that will house your favorite vintages. The en-suite master bedroom is joined by three double bedrooms on the second floor along with a laundry room. This house has it all and is in a great Riverside location as well. Sold!

Buy of the week: 18 Crown Lane Photo: Contributed Photo
Photo: Contributed Photo

Buy of the week: 18 Crown Lane

Buy of the week

18 Crown Lane

Another back-country home bites the dust. This one spent 633 days on market before selling at a very reasonable $3.1 million. The seller spent $4.7 million 12 years ago to buy this English Manor on 41/2acres on Crown Lane. That makes it a one-third off sale for this 51-year old home in a very prestigious enclave that I often use as a shortcut from Stanwich Road to Taconic Road.

It’s my “buy of the week” selection and is next door to a wealthy hedge fund manager’s estate. Just to put that estate in perspective, the taxes there are just under $248,000, and that’s in Greenwich! This one has much lower taxes at $36,593.

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The six-bedroom, four full and two half-bath English Manor has a pool and all-weather tennis court on 4.47 acres and, inside, can easily seat 20 people at the dining room table. That wouldn’t work in my house — I’d have to rent some card tables and put them in my living room!

Condos vs. co-ops

A while back I attended a very informative presentation at the Greenwich offices of Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane LLC on condominiums or condos for short and cooperative apartments or co-ops for short. While co-ops are more prevalent in NYC, we have them in Greenwich as well.

We had a co-op home sell last week at Putnam Park that you’ll see in the sale listings. Between Putnam Hill’s high-rise apartments, Putnam Park’s low-profile homes, apartments at 630 Steamboat Road, and 47 Lafayette Place we’ve had 35 sales over the last 12 months. Condominium sales have been a much larger group with 126 sales.

They may share some characteristics with condos but they differ in many important ways.

A co-op is not a real estate interest. Rather it is a proprietary lease and the buyer purchases shares in a corporation to get a stock certificate at the closing. While the stock holder can sell their stock certificate (rights to their apartment), the incoming buyer needs to seek the co-op board’s approval and can be rejected for any reason. They may never even know the grounds for the rejection since the board is not obligated to reveal it.

In addition, many co-ops charge a “flip tax” as an extra cost of the sale typically based on a percentage. This is most common in NY. Condominiums have boards, too, but there’s no interview or board review of the buyer, generally speaking.

Why do people buy condos and co-ops? One important reason is that they no longer have to worry about anything outside their walls. All the outside painting and repairs, landscaping, snowplowing, garbage removal, security, and in many cases the heat and water are provided by the association or board. Co-op boards also pay the real estate taxes allotted to a shareholder’s unit and provide an annual statement to shareholders for tax deduction purposes. Both condos and co-ops can have assessments, too.

When comparing a condo to a co-op offering, remember to include this important tax factor in your analysis along with the common charges or HOA (Home Owner’s Association fees) that condo owners pay. Also, if heat and water are provided, you’ll need to factor that into your analysis, too.

This Week s Success Quote

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune, most of which never happened.” — Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Ken Edwards is the principal Broker for Edwards & Associates Real Estate and has lived in town since 1974. All opinions expressed in this column are entirely his own and not those of this publisher. Comments, questions and suggestions may be sent to K_W_Edwards@Yahoo.com or call or text him at 203-918-4444.

Closings reported June 15-21

Address

Sold for

Days

on

Mkt.

% of Orig. Asking Price

% of Tax Apprsd. Value

18 Crown Lane

3,100,000

633

80%

69%

14 Dawn Harbor Ln.

6,000,000

21

98%

107%

Greenwich Hills Dr., #62

710,000

50

98%

101%

100 Hendrie Avenue

2,400,000

626

92%

89%

9 Knoll Street

2,730,000

10

101%

128%

11 Ledge Rd. & Minerva Pl.

6,350,000

49

88%

97%

36 Lismore Lane

7,575,000

315

78%

127%

10 Mortimer Drive

1,275,000

38

106%

118%

26 Nimitz Place

1,903,125

1,005

95%

90%

61 Orchard Pl., #B

1,018,750

178

93%

92%

53 Park Avenue

2,100,000

404

91%

98%

Putnam Park, #154

410,000

174

91%

*

23 Shannon Lane

1,125,000

232

84%

91%

176 Shore Road

5,700,000

248

97%

101%

45 Stanwich Road

3,300,000

244

87%

93%

21 Stonehedge Dr. S.

1,175,000

77

96%

133%

42 Winding Lane

2,475,000

51

97%

118%

Total

49,346,875

     

Average

2,902,757

256

92%

103%

Median

2,400,000

178

93%

100%

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