This house on Dairy Road, right across the street from the site of the Andy Kissel Massacree, was built in 2003, sold for $7.3 million in 2006 and put back on the market in April 2008, unchanged, for $10.5 million. Some of us – not just me, but several agents who saw it – weren’t taken by that price, as recounted here, when New York Times reporter Peter Applebome was invited in to take the broker open house tour.
The Greenwich market probably peaked in the fourth quarter of 2005 and has been slowing since, but this is the first time there’s a whiff of panic in the air.
After sampling the quiche and crudités at the lunch buffet in the empty kitchen of one of the new houses in the Golden Triangle area of Greenwich’s mid-country, the brokers wandered around with the air of picky estate appraisers.
Yes, it had the basics: 6 bedrooms, 7 ½ baths (it is practically illegal in Greenwich to build houses in which the future investment bankers of America don’t have their own bathrooms), master suite in the master wing, pool, spa. But at north of $10 million, in this market, well, maybe the closets were a tad small, the fixtures kind of ordinary, the mix-and-match exterior of stone and clapboard generic enough to be best described as neo-neo.
Mr. Fountain figured it would eventually sell for $7 million. Someone else said $7.5. The high estimate was $8, but she was talked down to $7.5 as well.
“It’s going to be an interesting market,” said one.
“It is an interesting market,” said a second.
“It’s going to be a challenging market,” said a third, and the escalation stopped there.
That was then – it took until today, but its price has finally been dropped to $7.750. Catch a falling knife, eh?
Similarly, another listing, this one at 591 Round Hill Road, was purchased for $4.584 million in 1998, placed back up for sale in 2007 for $9.5 million and reduced today (same broker – a busy weekend of client meetings?) to $7.150, a little below its assessed value of $7.277. My point, if I have a point, is that you can list your house at the highest price any agent promises you but in the end, you have to concede to the market. And the market isn’t rewarding silly prices right now. That was then, this is now.