Right Sizing and Carrying Costs

The number of days a house is listed on the market before it is sells varies considerably. Of the homes that sold in the most recent 365 days in Townwide Greenwich, the average days on market was 157, varying from less than a week to over 1000 days. The Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon elementary school districts had average days on market of 69 and 77 days, respectively, while Parkway School district was on the market the longest with an average of 233 days. Looking at this one yardstick, one might conclude Parkway homes were less appealing, but in fact, there were far fewer sales in Hamilton Ave (5) and New Lebanon (11) than Parkway (73).

The days on market was probably more reflective of the inventory and price points.  More expensive homes took longer to sell. The average sales price in Hamilton Ave was $600,000 (supply constrained at this price point) and New Lebanon was $1.4 million (popular price point). The elementary school district with the highest average sales price of $3 million was, in fact, Parkway. Homes sell in Parkway, but it does take longer.

Given there is more available inventory north of the Merritt Parkway, many anticipate the slow to sell homes would be concentrated there. Not so. The accompanying map shows active listings that have been on the market for more than 365 days are located throughout Greater Greenwich. So what gives? Why are some homes slow to sell?

To be fair, every house is different by virtue of its location and throughout Greenwich there are great variations in age, size, acreage, floor plans, neighborhoods, access and views. Some will sell or lag based on aesthetics, functionality and other qualitative features. Likewise, some sellers are more anxious to sell than others and will price more aggressively while others will hold on to peak market pricing. There is no doubt these factors affect timing. I also looked at the quantifiable differences between those homes that sold in the prior 365 days and those that have been listed for at least 365 days but have not yet sold. The difference is list price.

Homes that sold averaged a $2.5 million list price verses $7.6 million for those still on the market. This is not to say that expensive homes don’t sell or are mis-priced. Many are well worth the asking price.

The most telling quantifiable distinction of the pricing within these groups is the size of the home. Baby boomers are downsizing and millennials are not quite ready for the largest estates in Greenwich. Carrying costs weigh into decision making more when either living on retirement income or saving and caring for a growing family. For homes on the market over 365 days the annual taxes average $42,866/year for a six bedroom 7,200 sf house. As for the homes that sold, annual real estate taxes are $16,154 for a 3,830,sf 4 bedroom home. Right sizing and carrying costs matter.

(Contact me for access to Open House reports).

Call me soon to prepare for listing your home in the Spring Market, which starts in February.

Warmly,
Mary-Stuart G Freydberg
20 years professional real estate advice
Mary Stuart G Freydberg, Sotheby's International Realty
SIR Web Signature Block

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