A friend sent me a link to Greenwich Magazine's spring real estate issue. I don't think its article on "the state of the market" tells us anything you haven't already read here: Riverside and Old Greenwich are hot, big mansions are not (one interesting statistic, though: in 2014, 15 homes priced above $10 million sold, while only 5 sold in 2015 and 5 more in 2016). David Huffinpuffer, manager of Hooligans & Lawyers, points out what's also been posted here for years and years: overpricing kills a house's prospects. Huffinpuffer points out that the practice of the old days of overpricing a house, then pulling it off the market and trying again, no longer works, because buyers have access to the internet, and can discover stale listings that have been recapped and put back on the road (or they can just read this blog, where I've been disclosing those sorry histories since I starting writing on the market back in 2002).
I'm a little amused to read other agents admitting to the sorry state of the high end of the market, because I've heard from brother Gideon that I've been accused of killing that market by writing about its woes - to report on a bad market is not to cause its demise, which I guess these agents have finally conceded.
If I sound like I'm gloating, I suppose I am: until I learned to ignore it, it was tiresome to be attacked, almost always behind my back, as some sort of destructive force on the Greenwich real estate market; way back when I started this, I broke some cardinal rules of the profession [sic] by telling the truth about practices and policies of our local firms, and that generated - well, "hostility" is probably the term I'm searching for. I was fired from the local newspaper because of pressure from some of those firms, and while that turned out to be a blessing - by moving to the internet I reached a whole new, far larger audience - it rankled. So screw 'em.
Another thing we've also written about and is discussed in the article: today's buyers don't know the claw end of a hammer from its head, so turn-key condition is the key to success. In fairness to those buyers, who are after all, my on clients too, a lot of them have no interest in working with tools and better things to do with their time, and unlike my generation, seem to have the money to hire someone else do what they consider drudgery. God bless 'em - keeps a lot of contractors busy.
The meat of the issue begins on page 90 or so, and you'll have to plow through a lot of advertising to get there but again, that's good news for Donna and Jack Moffley, who own the magazine - they're old family friends going back decades, and I'm pleased for their sake that their creation is still drawing a healthy advertising base. That's rare in publishing these days.
UPDATE: There's also an article on "smart homes", in the issue, quoting several realtors claiming that "today's generation" wants to turn on their lights with their iPhone, and that having the new-fangled technology is a real plus. I have yet to have a client, of any age, who wants this stuff - just like those $100,000 Questron systems, which they're either indifferent to, and wouldn't consider paying a penny more for a house with one, or they're techies themselves, and have their own ideas of what they want so they, too, won't pay extra for someone else's system. My own concern about a "smart house" would be the susceptibility to hacking, but then, I'm a paranoid when it comes to stuff like that. So I'm curious: any of you have opinions of the subject? Is it a desirable feature, or just another builder's delusion, like whirlpool tubs and home theaters?