What happens when thousands of New York millionaires suddenly realize their hometown has gone back in time to the 1970s in terms of both crime and taxes, and it is finally time to get the hell out? Why neighboring Greenwich, long an enclave for the ultra rich, throws a party.
After years of stagnant demand growth for its multi-million dollar mansions as a result of the secular decline of in “active” asset management, the hedge fund capital of the world is having a real estate renaissance. And it only took a pandemic.
According to a new report from Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman, In February, 14 contracts were signed to buy single-family houses priced at $5 million to $9.99 million, a 600% jump from just two a year earlier, before Covid-19 swept across the U.S., Bloomberg reports. It wasn’t just the ultra luxury segment enjoying the influx: the report found that across all price points, single-family contracts in the posh Connecticut town soared 157% to 108..
Those with a taste for the ultra-luxury have turned their attention to Greenwich’s older estates outside the town center, which had fallen out of favor in recent years. Two homes listed at $20 million or more found buyers last month, compared with none in February 2020.
With most people still working from home, “the location of the office is not holding you back,” Scott Durkin, president of Douglas Elliman, said in an interview. “The whole family can live there, work there, play there, educate there.”
One reason prices are soaring is the plunge in supply: new listings for single-family houses dropped 23% from a year earlier as Greenwich’s homeowners stay put.
“They’re not selling,” Durkin said. “They have an apartment in Manhattan, they have a home in Greenwich and they have a home in South Florida.”
The suddenly tight inventory of single-family houses in Greenwich has forced buyers to move fast and often pay above list price.
As Bloomberg notes, this is yet “another sign that well-off New Yorkers tired of being confined to tight quarters during the pandemic are seeking relief among the backyards and spacious homes of the city’s nearby suburbs.”
Of course, all those millions who would also like to flee the Big Apple but don’t have the funds to do so are stuck, ensuring that New York’s descent into socialist paradise started by mayor Bill de Blasio is only just starting.