The 2017 Greenwich single family market was intense despite flat sales. According to the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service (MLS) 2017 single family sales compared favorably to 2016:
- 572 single family sales
- $1.47 billion in sales volume, up 16%
- $2.6 million average sales price, up 17%
- $1.8 million median sales price, up 6%
Townwide Greenwich includes the areas of Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich. Much of the good news was in Central Greenwich, which constituted 65% of sales volume in 2017 and enjoyed the highest average sales price of $2.9 million. Riverside followed with a 16% market share and $2.4 million average price. Old Greenwich contributed 13% to sales volume with an average sales price of $2.5 million. Cos Cob represented 6% of sales volume and 11.6% of the number of sales given its lower average price of $1.3 million. Greenwich had nearly five times the number of sales as Cos Cob and over ten times the sales volume. See the Table below.
While the sales volume was supported by higher end sales, it came at a time consuming cost to some sellers. For example, some of the higher end trades at year end were the result of years of marketing – apparently at a price too high for the current market – and resulted in trades well below original list price. The price discovery was heart wrenching for sellers. It may have been warmly welcomed by astute buyers.
The Greenwich Area is by far the largest in town and includes western and central Greenwich from estates on the Long Island Sound and Back Country to more intensely zoned properties along the New York boarder and in town. It is divided geographically by both the Post Road and the Merritt Parkway, creating additional related sections. Of particular note, Glenville surged 80% in the number of sales, clearing 45 sales and an average sales price of $1.2 million. North Parkway, also with 45 sales, felt split with fewer sales, but a higher average price point of $3.8 million.
While the Greenwich MLS numbers are useful yardsticks, they should only be interpreted by someone who knows the market well and not relied upon in a vacuum. For example, by the summary numbers alone South of Post Road appears to have lost some appeal, given that the number of sales declined 25%. Not so. The decline is more likely the result of available inventory and tougher comparisons. Spreadsheets, data and online comparables are only useful starting points. Real estate agents add the value, insight and power in negotiations. If you are looking for tract housing of uniform age on flat uniform land that can be valued online or through summary reports, then don’t look in Greenwich.
There were 64 residential closings in December. With due acknowledgment to intense differences between buyers and sellers in some cases, one must also note that of the eight closings over $4.5 million in December, all but one cleared $1 million or more over assessed value. While assessed value is a lagging indicator and by all means an imprecise tool, the point is to ground expectations and mark below-grade floors sustaining the incredible value found in Greenwich. (Contact me for access to Closing Reports).
Personal Note: Years of Presentations and Reports
I have been in the real estate industry for over 20 years, and I spent over a decade of that on Wall Street. For years I presented market commentary and opinions on roadshows or at industry conferences. It’s a habit that I continue. Sharing knowledge builds trust, prepares clients and reinforces the team effort required to achieve real estate goals. To that end, I prepare reports and power point presentations to be shared with clients and at client building meetings. If you would like to learn more, then reach out to me and/or inquire about having a presentation or lunch and learn at your office, book club or other invested group. I will look forward to hearing from you!
Mary-Stuart G Freydberg
20 years professional real estate advice