The fifth most expensive home, a ninebedroom at 60-62 Oneida Drive in Greenwich, sold for $19.3 million.
Manicured lawns, historic architecture and luxury amenities, not to mention sweeping views, are the hallmarks of what’s come to be known as the Gold Coast of Connecticut’s Fairfield County. And although sales on the high end have slowed, there are still buyers for these oh-so-New England estates — if the price is right.
In many cases, “right” means reduced. The dip in deals isn’t necessarily because the demand isn’t there, but more because the pricing was wrong to begin with. “Activity isn’t improving because demand is increasing — the demand was always there. It’s just that the pricing didn’t reflect today’s market,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
Last year, there were just three sales above $10 million in Fairfield County. But sellers are starting to see the error of their ways — no doubt on the advice of their brokers — and doing a better job of matching asking prices to market realities. Since September, there have been four sales over $20 million in the area, giving brokers some hope for the future.
The housing market on Connecticut’s Gold Coast — home to billionaires from the Rockefellers to the Trumps — has struggled somewhat since the financial crisis. Coming out of the recession, new urbanism boomed and the suburbs suffered as “walkability” and “penthouse” became essentials for buyers. Things have only started to turn around fairly recently.
“About three years ago, we began to see an uptick in sales in Fairfield County, and a big part of that was m上海贵族宝贝交流区 igration from the city. The city reached an affordability threshold, and renters opted to become first-time owners in the suburban markets,” said Miller.
But that was mostly at entry-level and midtier price points in markets closest to the city on Metro-North. “The high-end market is slower. It’s not enjoying the sales boom that the balance of the county has enjoyed,” Miller said. “Part of that is because Wall Street isn’t paying like it was after the financial crisis, as compensation was steered toward salary and away from bonus for risk management. Generally, it peaked in 2007 and has been drifting lower ever since.”
Miller did note the increased traction at the higher end of the market at the end of this year, but it comes with a caveat, he said.
Sellers, who had been pricing their mansions without regard for what’s been happening in the market, have become less aspirational, he said. In other words, prices are being slashed.
Perhaps the best example of that trend is Wall Street billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller’s historic Sabine Farm in Greenwich. Originally priced at $31.5 million in March, Druckenmiller only found a buyer after that ask was reduced to $25 million in November. Still, that deal became the priciest in the county this year.
“We are typically seeing discounts of 20 to 30 percent,” Miller said.
Leslie McElwreath of Sotheby’s International Rea[……]