The Greenwich housing market appears to be a tale of two circumstances at opposite ends of the scale, but the latest second quarter market report issued by Five Corners Properties indicates that the town's overall market values are improving.
The Greenwich housing market saw fewer sales despite higher prices in the second quarter, as the lack of inventory priced under $2 million curtailed sales volume for entry-level home buyers, according to the firm, which has an office in Greenwich on Putnam Avenue right across the street from Whole Foods Market.
Single-family home sales declined 15 percent in the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2013, while the median sale price was up 12 percent to $1.7 million, Five Corners reported. The slowdown in sales was concentrated in the under-$2-million price range, where sales fell 32 percent and inventory was down 13 percent. But the $3-million- to $5.99-million market jumped 90 percent.
The Greenwich market luxury high end is showing a comeback this year, Jonathan Lerner, Broker/Owner, said in the market report. Buyers continue to see real value in our area and motivated buyers are stepping up to the plate and enjoying a wide range of wonderful properties to choose from"
New construction continues to be sought after, according to Five Corners. While buyers today lack some imagination when it comes to renovations buyers willing to do a little work on a home can make a great deal and purchase a house at a discount.
While inventory continues to be difficult for the many typical brokerage firms that are new to the Greenwich market, Five Corners Properties continues to use its existing contacts to help locate the right properties for it's many buyers. "We receive multiple calls daily from buyers wishing to work with our trusted advisers because at the end of the day its about results" reports Jonathan Lerner. "Our unique blend offering boutique white glove service to our clients has earned Five Corners Properties a independent certified Customer Satisfaction Rating of 96%"
Debra Chamberlain, president of Connecticut Realtors, which counts nearly 15,000 members in its ranks, attributed much of the improvement in the higher-end real estate market in Greenwich to confidence in the economy and improving conditions in the New York City financial market.
"Greenwich is so closely aligned with New York City. When things are good on Wall Street, they are good for Greenwich real estate," said Chamberlain, "Things are good on Wall Street so people are willing to spend for things like homes. People are feeling more secure."
Typically there is a correlation between inventory and price, so as house prices rise, home owners become more willing or able to sell and inventories will rise, said Katherine Pancak, professor in-residence of finance and real estate at the University of Connecticut.
"The current strong stock market together with still low but possibly rising interest rates are likely adding fuel to demand for housing in Greenwich, and low inventory means that buyers will compete against each other and drive up prices. Eventually rising prices will encourage more homeowners to sell which would help alleviate the inventory constraints," she said.