With mansions lining streets, agents in Greenwich, Conn., are used to dealing with high-end sellers. However, the inventory for luxury homes plunged 21 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the most in at least two and a half years, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Scott Durkin, chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman, told Bloomberg that the owners of high-end properties which have languished amid competition, have cut prices to get the deal done or pulled their properties from the market.
“They’ve chased the market and they came up without selling so they’ve retreated for now. Many times, sellers had an unrealistic perception of the market.”
With a population of 60,000, Greenwich is a haven for Wall Street executives and the New York wealthy. However, consumer tastes have trended away from lavish estates across several acres and toward smaller properties closer to downtown. According to the report, the number of luxury-home sales, defined for the quarter as priced at $4.25 million or higher was at 21, unchanged year-over-year. Eighteen of those deals were for the seller’s asking price. Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, pointed out that the typical reduction was 8.3 percent, or a $498,889 discount.
Perhaps sellers got tired of waiting. Luxury homes that changed hands in the quarter spent an average of 319 days on the market, compared with 218 days a year earlier. The average reflects only the duration of a property’s last listing and doesn’t account for any previous times the home may have been offered unsuccessfully. Miller noted it doesn’t take into account previous unsuccessful listings.
“When expectations are lowered, properties sell. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. This is now the reset.”
Even in Greenwich itself, there seems to be a shift. The high-end pricey homes are eschewed for newer homes, such as townhouses. Central Greenwich has become a hotter market for real estate in recent years, attracting newcomers who like the proximity to Greenwich Avenue and easy access to the train station. Numerous older homes on Havemeyer Place and Milbank Avenue have been torn down in the last few years to make way for larger new homes selling in the $2 million range.
This trend can prove to be an option for agents in the market.