Greenwich Home Sellers Are Finally Getting Realistic. Median Price: $1.85 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Some good news for home-sellers in Greenwich: Deals are up, and so are prices.

In the three months through June, sales of single-family homes in the Connecticut town climbed 5.6 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase for a second quarter since 2015, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The median price of the 171 properties that changed hands rose 6.2 percent to $1.85 million, the highest for the period in three years.

Property-tax concerns are weighing on the minds of home-shoppers in the suburbs north of Manhattan, with new rules that limit federal deductions for state and local levies to $10,000. While Fairfield County, where Greenwich is located, had the eighth-highest property taxes in the nation last year -- with an average bill of $10,612 -- it compared favorably with other commuter suburbs. Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties in New York and Bergen in New Jersey all had bigger burdens, according to Attom Data Solutions.

“People don’t buy based solely on property taxes, but you can look at it as giving Fairfield County somewhat of an edge,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “There could be some sort of cross-border competition.”

Greenwich Home Sellers Are Finally Getting Realistic. Median Price: $1.85 Million

Just as significant is a newfound realism among sellers: Their willingness to drop their prices is helping to clear a backlog of listings. Houses that sold in the quarter got average discounts of 6.4 percent, compared with 5.9 percent a year earlier, the firms said. The properties spent an average of 196 days on the market, up from 169, meaning the homes that found buyers are the ones that had been lingering longer.

“The overpriced product is being removed from the market or being priced to sell,” Miller said. “That’s a significant change from just two years ago.”

Transactions increased even in Greenwich’s luxury market, where there’s still a surplus of homes. Purchases in the category -- the top 10 percent of deals, defined in the quarter as those costing $4.15 million or more -- climbed 4.8 percent to 22, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. The high-end properties that sold spent an average of 327 days on the market, and got discounts averaging 8.3 percent.

In the quarter’s biggest deal, film producer Bob Weinstein’s waterfront mansion, with almost 13,000 square feet (1,200 square meters), sold for $17 million. The six-bedroom home at 207 Byram Shore Road, along the Long Island Sound, was listed five years ago for $32 million.

The momentum could stretch into the next quarter. On June 28, there were 14 percent more Greenwich homes in contract than there were on the same day last year, brokerage Houlihan Lawrence said in its own report. The biggest jump -- 35 percent -- was for homes priced from $2 million to $2.99 million. There were eight pending deals in the range of $6 million to $7.99 million, a 33 percent increase.

Condos continued to be popular with buyers seeking homes closer to the train station and the town’s main shopping district. Purchases jumped 21 percent from a year earlier to 47, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. The median price climbed 16 percent to $877,500, the highest for any three-month period since the second quarter of 2015.

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