A real estate gold rush may be in the offing in Greenwich, Conn., as buyers are increasingly stepping up to the plate to take a swing at buying a home. While they are ready to get into the game, the are looking to save money and are negotiating on price.
According to a Bloomberg report, sales have increased 29 percent during the first quarter from the previous year, according to a recently report by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Scott Durkin, chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman, told Bloomberg sellers are enticing buyers to jump in the fray by dangling discounts that typically average nearly 8 percent off the latest price.
“Buyers are now realizing, ‘OK, I’m watching these properties and I’m going to make a play for it. Let me see how negotiable they are.’”
Neatly situated along the Long Island Sound, Greenwich is just a short commuter line ride from Wall Street, making it a popular home for wealthy Manhattanites. The luxury market has experienced an increase in transactions as sellers offered discounts of about 11 percent, on average. The discounts haven’t countered the sale of high-priced homes, which fueled an increase in the median price of $1.87 million. Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said prices in Greenwich are 20 percent below the high-water mark in 2006, when the median price was $2.33 million.
“That kind of market no longer exists. If it comes back, it’s not tomorrow.”
There also is some pent-up demand in Greenwich, with Douglas Elliman noted that first-quarter sales edged up to 125 houses and properties on the market were up 13 percent to better than 960 properties as of last month. Mark Pruner, an agent in the Greenwich office of Douglas Elliman, pointed out that the jump in March sales came on the heels of a so-so February.
“January often has good sales as people want to move their capital gains into the next year to put off paying taxes to the following year. March also traditionally has had a rebound as the financial community spends their year-end bonuses. As more bonuses are given in stock and deferred compensation this spring, bump up has been smaller and we see the same thing this year.”
The sales trends continued in March. According to the Greenwich Association of Realtors, there were 53 single-family residential closings reported during March, according to figures provided by The Greenwich Multiple Listing Service Inc. The number of single-family residential closings increased by 82% compared to March 2016 when there were 29 closings. BK Bates, president of the Greenwich Association of Realtors, 2017 began with fewer active listings than in past years and the number of new listings in 2017 is less than the year-to-date in 2016.
“With pent up demand, you can see that houses that have been on the market for a while have sold. This spring is going to be a strong market. Sellers should be prepared with clean, updated spaces if they want to compete for top-dollar multiple offers. Buyers should be ready with finances and offers in order to acquire their preferred homes.”