Greenwich Luxury-Home Discounts Winning Over Hesitant Buyers

(Bloomberg) -- Some of Greenwich’s longest-lingering luxury homes found buyers in the third quarter after their owners agreed to deep discounts.

The 22 high-end homes that sold in the Connecticut town had been on the market for an average of 261 days before going under contract, a jump from 130 days a year earlier, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It took price cuts of 10% on average to seal those deals, up from 6.2%.

Sellers in the wealthy New York suburb are lowering their ambitious price expectations as they come to terms with what buyers are willing to pay. That recognition helped put a dent in the single-family inventory across all price ranges, which declined for the first time in six quarters, the firms said. The drop was much steeper for luxury properties, the priciest 10% of the market. Listings in that tier tumbled 22%, the most since the first quarter of 2018.

Greenwich Luxury-Home Discounts Winning Over Hesitant Buyers

“We’re seeing a clearing” of properties that had been piling up, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “We’re getting closer to sellers understanding the market.”

Among the most-expensive homes that sold in the quarter was the 7,180-square-foot (667-square-meter) ‘Rocklyn” estate at 41 Binney Lane, first listed in June 2018 at $14.95 million, according to Greenwich’s Multiple Listing Service. After more than a year on the market, the waterfront home’s price was reduced in August to $11.75 million. One month later, a buyer came through who agreed to pay $10.14 million.

Greenwich Luxury-Home Discounts Winning Over Hesitant Buyers

“Buyers have staunchly put their feet down and are demanding value -- and they’re not doing anything until they get it,” said David Haffenreffer, manager of the Greenwich office for brokerage Houlihan Lawrence.

For this year through September, the biggest decline in Greenwich home listings -- 19% -- came for properties priced from $8 million to $9.9 million, Houlihan Lawrence said in its report. Following was the 15% drop for the $4 million to $4.99 million range.

Sales of single-family homes are still down 12% from last year, thwarted in part by would-be buyers from New York City who would like to trade up but are having trouble selling their homes in that slowing market, according to Haffenreffer. They still might commit to a suburban purchase if the price is compelling.

“We haven’t seen the bottom yet,” he said. “When buyers come out here to look, they say ‘Maybe I’ll wait and see if this house price comes down further.”’

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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