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Monthly Greenwich Real Estate w/ SCOTT ELWELL

Although this is my December 2011 post, it is really more reflective of the previous month, so I'll leave my high level conversation about 2011 to next month's post when I have the opportunity to review the year in its entirety.  That doesn't mean we can't celebrate the month of December, so have at it and enjoy your holidays!Over the past month I have spent a lot of time trying to improve upon my I've been building all sorts of pages describing the town and adding posts about real estate activity in Greenwich.  Please feel free to take a look at the site if you have any interest in what I have to say and offer.  At the bottom of this email I have included some links to posts and areas of the site that I thought you might be interested in checking out.Last month I wrote about the surprisingly low "true" inventory level and while I could go on and on about that issue, I'm going to try to change topics here to something that I've been dealing with for a long time, which is the lack of data/information.  Residential real estate is a funny animal as there is never enough good data out there to price a home perfectly.  The problem is two fold.  First, and obvious, is that there just aren't enough houses trading to come up with the proper data set to run a full blown analysis (you might be able to do this in large cities with more commodity level real estate like apartments and condos) regardless of what is happening in the market.

The second reason that the data we have isn't perfect is because pricing fluctuates dramatically depending on imperfect and sporadic demand supply.  For example, several houses traded in the past year for well above the asking price.  Had there only been one buyer interested at the time (very common) all of these homes would have sold at or below the asking price.  The addition of a second buyer shouldn't mean that the house suddenly gains 10% (for example) in value, but it ends up selling for that much more. This can, and does, easily happen on the opposite end when a seller just wants out and doesn't care to market or clean the house properly so they sell well under the normal market. The result is sales data that is not perfect and should always be taken with a grain of salt.

The closest analogy that I can come up with is the auction world.  No matter how well Christie's or Sotheby's price an item they are still commonly way off because people either get excited or the right buyer just isn't at the auction.  The final sale price doesn't mean the item suddenly gained or lost value, it just means that this isn't a perfect market.  Real estate, just like auction items, needs to be valued within a fairly large range because of this human/imperfect-market factor.

With enough data these numbers become more and more accurate.  This is a problem for smaller areas of search, like a specific street or price range within a small town, as there will simply never be enough data over a certain period.  For this reason I like to get as much data as possible and most times look at the year over year numbers in explaining what is going on within the Greenwich Real Estate market.

As I'm asked nearly every day what is happening to the market right now, I keep coming back to my broken-record response that we are bouncing along the floor.  I don't think much has happened to pricing over the past year.  Yeah, we're down a couple percent, but nothing of significant notice. I'm sorry not to have more exiting news.  If you look at the year over year numbers I have attached, you'll see that the average sales price, median sales price and even average list price are all within a couple percentage points of where they were a year ago.  We have seen a fairly significant up-tick in transactions, which I like, but as far as pricing, we are bouncing along this floor.

As always, PLEASE feel free to contact me or refer my info over to anyone who is interested in real estate in Greenwich, Rye, or some of the neighboring towns.

Have a wonderful Holiday!

Warm regards,


Here are some of my monthly posts that I thought you might be interested in:

Greenwich Sales in November 2011 Cos Cob Sales North Mianus Real Estate Old Greenwich Sales Round Hill Road Real Estate North Street Real Estate Lake Avenue Real Estate Greenwich, CT town page.

Scott Elwell Real Estate Agent - MBA- Greenwich Fine Properties 191 Mason Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.940.0444 : Email:

My 2011 Activity - Bio

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