Northern Greenwich Value Trend, 10/1/2010
In the analysis below, we selected a section of Northern Greenwich north of the Merrit Parkway. We limited the study to properties with homes between 4 and 8 acres, to eliminated the possibility of including subdividable properties. For our analysis we chose most of the area north of the Merrit. However, excluded an buffer of approximately a half-mile, along the southern boundary of a our study area (just north of the Merrit) to eliminate any possibly influence form highway noise, as well as the same buffer form King Street and 684. We included a similar buffer along the northern border of the town, the most distant section of town, to further attempt to limit the consistency of the outcome. We did not include a buffer a along the Stamford side of town. We recognize that other study areas might have been selected. This area was our choice in an attempt to limit value variations to a degree, and this geographic area was kept consistent for all years analyzed.
We focused on sales for the first nine months of each year, from 2001-2010. This allows us to compare these same spring/summer/fall markets over the and entire decade. We used data from the public sales record, that could cooborated with the MLS. From the total pool of sales we dropped sales for which square footage was not reported a the time of sale. We used the sale price per square foot as the unit of comparison, rather than the overall sales price. My thinking was that since houses are growing in size, the per square foot analysis was more useful for a year to year comparison. I think it is more useful to look at what is being paid pound for apples, rather that the change in the price of the average apple is.
The purpose of this analysis is not to attempt set a per square foot price that can be applied to all Northern Greenwich homes. As a former appraiser I know this can't be done, since there is wide variation in value per square foot. Homes in Greenwich (and in many towns) are too different in qualities and size to set a single per/square foot unit price that reflects all homes, despite any attempt to choose a reasonably value-consistent geographical area. What the analysis is useful for is detecting a trend from year to year. That is the goal.
As you can see below, the 12 sales for 2010 that feel into our search varied widely on a square foot basis.
Below are the sale price averages for each year charted on the basis of square per of dwelling area (again not indicative of the value of any particular home) charted over the last decade. The violet columns represent the overall average sale prices for each of the years over the last decade. The red trend line approximates price change over the decade. The light blue columns represent the same averages adjusted for inflation (2001 Dollars). The orange trend line approximates relative value over the decade.
Reviewing the violet columns, the data appears to suggest that nominal prices are recovering a bit from the lowest levels experienced in 2009, and pulling toward prices prevalent at the start of the decade. When adjusted for inflation, we see that actual underlying value, measured in 2001 dollars, is less than that at the start of this century.
The chart below reflects the number of sale each year in the study area. As might be anticipate, increased sales volume in the early years correlates with price increases. The sales slowdown culminating in 2009 similarly correlates with the bottoming of nominal prices in that year.
It is difficult to know read the future.
Does this modest upturn mean we that prices may soon be regarded as having stabilized?
There may be room for cautious optimism.
- John Herman Exclusive Buyer Agent
Also See: Riverside Analysis; MidCountry Analysis