So far this year, a third of the way through, twelve houses priced at $4.5 million and up were sold, eight of which were spec houses. That compares to forty-six in that range sold in 2007, twenty-one of which were spec. As of today, we have sixty-one spec houses actively listed at $4.5 million or above. If no more come on (dubious, if you look around town and see all the houses nearing completion), we have only 2 1/2 years inventory. Of course, not all those houses have to be sold – a number of the more solvent builders are renting their projects out, hoping for better times to come, when (they hope) a used house will be worth more than it is today. Maybe.
Tag Archives: spec houses
This spec project on Riversville is reported as under contract today for around $4.75 million. A client of mine almost had it for a price that would make this one look like a gross overpayment, but regardless, this sale is not going to be good news for other spec builders. Six acres, 8,000 sq. ft. above ground, at least 3,000 more in the walk-out, finished (with fireplaces, theatre, nanny quarters, etc. basement), high quality construction and all in all, a very nice house. When a spec house on Beechcroft sold for $2 million less than another spec house across the street, the agent for the higher- priced house was furious at my suggestion that his listing had just taken a serious hit. Well, that higher-priced house isn’t quite so high now – it was reduced a week or so ago, and it remains unsold. And now comes this. Appraisers have to use actual sales when calculating the value of a specific property, and as sales like this join the data bank, they’ll crowd out all the hoped-for asking prices of similar houses available from other builders.
By the way, at this price, the builder will be lucky to pay off his $4 million mortgage and recoup a tiny fraction of the extra millions he put into the project. He’s got another house, also listed for sale, at 223 Stanwich Road and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if that, too, goes at a very low price. Which again, isn’t going to help prop up Greenwich house prices.
1 Indian Spring Road, Stillman Rockefeller’s 1931 estate, was listed for $26 million in 2005 and finally sold for $13 million in 2007 (nice pricing estimate, eh?). The buyers have completely restored and renovated it and now offer it for $23 million. Go for it, you big spender you.
This new spec house by York Builders came on today at $4.250 million. York is a great builder and this is bound to be a fine house, but with what I guess is 5,000 sq. ft. above ground and just 1/3 of a hillside acre, I’m not sure that the quality of construction or the presence of Binney Park down the street will stir buyers into action at this price. But we will see. York must expect a faster turn around in our market than I do.
477 Riversville Road, a 12,000 sq. ft. bit of new construction on 6 acres was listed today for $4.795 and already has a buyer, according to the broker, so she’s just posting it for the record. Or she’s setting up a short sale,by listing it at that price, scaring away buyers by telling them it’s sold and then selling it far cheaper herself. But that would be unethical, so lets assume it came on and is gone.
$4.795 is a daunting price for this house, originally projected to list for $9 million, but I’ll let you in on a secret: we (Farricker and Fountain) had a deal on if for much less. This sale is just one more in a series of spec houses hitting earth with a thud. As that movie would have it, “there will be blood”.
This spec house on Birchwood sat unsold for a year but never dropped its price from $5.995 and now it’s gone to contract. There’s a house and a street for everyone, I suppose (I should make you look up John Gochnaur, but here you go).
Or I think there is, anyway, because this Riverside house was reported under contract today by an agent who often represents builders. Despite the glowing description in its listing, I thought it was tired old place whose disappearance would only benefit the neighborhood and that’s what I suspect its fate will be. I had my own strong opinion of its price of $1.29 million but either the buyer disagreed or did some strong bargaining. We’ll find out when its selling price is disclosed. Still, a sign of life.
8 Colonial Lane, right through this one’s back yard, more or less, is new construction that came on the market today for $3.595 million. That’s $876 per sq.ft. for the 4,100 above ground (it has another 1,600 or so below grade) which seems a tad aggressive, but the market, not I, decide things like that, so no angry emails, please. Good looking house.
Another new house whose location I was asked not to disclosed will be reported as sold today for $1.850 million. That’s something like $750,000 below its asking price so someone got a very nice at cost or below. There are good deals out there, if you look.