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Greenwich, CT Real Estate Market - FEB 2011

***If you want to receive this email on a monthly basis you can sign up on the HOME page on the sidebar to the right.***You have no doubt heard news saying that the real estate market is up and gaining speed.  While I agree that there are many positive signs, I remain cautiously optimistic.  As I have mentioned several times before that I do believe we are bouncing around on the floor of the market here.  Pending any major crises in the financial market (knock on wood), I don't see any reason for the real estate market to drop significantly more.  This uptick is great, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The press aren't very good at writing, and for that matter selling, cautiously optimistic reports, which is why I'm here.I want to take a closer look at what's happening.  Although it's raining outside right now, the weather is improving and we are starting to see signs of spring.  Bonuses are out and buyers are starting to think of moving.  The recent upticks in the mortgage rate have helped to push tentative buyers off the fence.  In addition, sellers are more motivated than ever. We have seen more houses come on the market as people want to move for the same reasons buyers want to buy.You're probably looking at the chart and wondering what the heck I'm talking about.  Or maybe you are looking at the chart and wondering why the papers (Greenwich Time included) are yapping so much about the market heating up.  Well, numbers do not lie, but they don't always tell the whole story - especially if you don't read them often. While February 2011 looks a lot like February 2010, there are a couple numbers I want you to pay close attention to.  The first is the 89.3% (sales to list price ratio) number showing that February transactions closed with a 3.3% lower sales to list price ratio.  This number speaks volumes. It basically means that sellers are now willing to take lower bids this month vs. a year ago.  3.3% might not mean a lot, but it is huge when it comes to dollars. On a $3M house, that means sellers are willing to take nearly $100,000 less now than they were a year ago.  I'm not talking about the actual closing price, as values have come down significantly over the last couple years, I'm saying that relative to the ask price sellers are willing to take less.  Houses now are selling for (on average) over 10% less than ask.The other numbers I'd like people to pay attention to are on the second chart.  Take a look at the 198 and the 231.  Maybe I'm being a little dorky here, but I feel that these two numbers also speak volumes.  Normally I don't put much weight on Market Time numbers, but in this case, I feel that it is showing something important. When looking at market activity in Greenwich for the first two months of 2011 vs. 2010, we have a longer period for houses that have sold (198 vs 173) and a shorter period for our actual inventory (231 vs 351).  I read this as a good sign where sellers, who have had their houses on the market for ages, are now coming to grips with what pricing is appropriate for their house.  Every day I look at market activity in Greenwich and can tell you, without supporting data, that there have been many more price adjustments.As you know, in order for a sale to occur, you not only need a buyer, but you need a seller. Due to the time of the year (weather, bonuses, school end in sight) the buyers are coming back, so having realistic sellers completes the story. If I'm right, we will see many more transactions over these next couple months.  I'm not saying that prices will start to immediately come up, but in order for that to happen we need to see activity.  Hopefully this momentum will continue.PLEASE feel free to email me if you want to talk more and please feel free to send this to anyone who might be interested. I make a living off of referrals, so I obviously appreciate them.Regards,ScottMY LISTINGSGreenwichCT.comScott P. ElwellAl Filippone Associates @ William Raveis45 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT 06830Cell:  203.940.0444scott@elwell.comWant to search Greenwich, CT?     Go to elwellsc.grw.mlxchange.comWant to search Fairfield County?   Go to scottelwell.listingbook.com

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