Market Trends (F)

Ron Howard's Home - Conyers Farm (Greenwich, CT & New Castle, NY)

My team's newest listing is getting a lot of press. Come take a look:

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.47.03 PM


Scott Elwell Fieldstone Group of Sotheby 's International Realty Stevens, Toepke, Kencel & Elwell One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808



Fed Tapering & Interest Rates

It is, without question, a fantastic time to buy a home.  I know, I know, I'm a realtor and you expect me to say that. I don't have time right now to dive into why I feel it's a great time (market, cyclical, etc...) to be a buyer, but if you are interested, give me a call.

What I do want to talk about quickly is interest rates and the news yesterday of the Fed tapering.

While it was a surprise that the Fed will be tapering its monetary stimulus, the market was pleased to hear that the Fed pledges to keep interest rates low until unemployment falls under 6.5% (currently US unemployment stands at 7%).  This was considered by many as very positive news for the residential real estate market and I agree with them for the most part. The difference I have in opinion has to do with my own market in Greenwich Connecticut.

In our small, but very diverse, town here we have seen some areas of real estate that can't sell quicker (Old Greenwich and Riverside priced under $3m) and areas that are fairly stagnant (back country between $2m and $6m).  We have seen cash, well financed, builders sweep in and buy land close to the town centers (downtown Greenwich/Greenwich Avenue & Old Greenwich/Sound Beach Avenue). In addition, inventory is rock bottom - though this is mid-December and that is fairly typical.

All signs point to a great 2014.



One area, though, that I am concerned about are those buyers who have been sitting on the fence (in some case for years) waiting for the right home, the right time, the right everything.  When asked why they haven't jumped the quick response has been "because we haven't found the right home." But upon further conversation you hear - "market isn't moving the way that it did years ago and interest rates are holding low, so Ill just wait another year, keep renting and save up more money." Saving up more money is always a good thing, though this post is about the real estate market and what is happening to prices.

You see, these on-the-fence buyers consists of a fairly large section of the Greenwich real estate demand. I may be in the minority here, but I believe that a quick sharp uptick in interest rates (just enough to scare many off the fence) could be a great thing for real estate in Greenwich.


Mortgage Advice - First Time Buyers

I found a great article listing tips that real estate experts had for first time buyers looking for financing.

32 Mortgage Experts Reveal Top Tips for First Time Buyers

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 8.33.10 PM

One piece of advice that I have always given is to find a mortgage broker you trust and work well with together.  Spend the time early on with that broker to figure out what you can afford and what product is best for you. Then, when he/she gives you their pricing, shop around their offer.  Out of curtsy, you should give them the chance to match your best offer. That being said, this is business and a huge financial commitment, I would almost always go with the best rate/payment/plan.

SothebysLogoScott Elwell 

Sotheby's International Realty- (MBA) - One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 | Licensed in CT & NY Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email:



  1. Brad Yzermans on

    Scott, That was a great list of home buyer tips.....thanks for sharing. I agree, a buyer really needs to trust their loan officer. What I have found though is that people obsessed with getting a rate lower than anyone else in the world will spend way more time than what benefits them. Chasing a rate often leads to rate lock reluctance because they are waiting/hoping rates will improve, and often miss out on the lower rate, which has everything to do with the financial markets influencing treasuries and bond market.
    • Scott Elwell on

      Thanks for the comment Brad. I agree that the rate lock game is a dangerous one and frankly, unless you are an expert, one that buyers shouldn't spent too much time on.

      Warren Buffett - Investing Residential Real Estate

      Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) talking about investing in residential real estate. Towns like Greenwich, CT (since this video) have seen a fairly strong spike in activity within the market. We have seen a very strong influx of buyers gravitate towards downtown areas such as Riverside, Old Greenwich as well as gated communities like Belle Haven.




      Scott-011smallerScott Elwell 

      Sotheby's International Realty- (MBA) - One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 | Licensed in CT & NY Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email:




      The Most Expensive Home In The U.S. Is In Greenwich, C.T. (VIDEO)

      The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/21/2013 3:18 pm EDT

      We recently rounded up ten homes from across the country that are on the market for over $100 million and we're still reeling from the thought of these palatial estates. So, you can imagine our shock when we came across this new listing for the most expensive home in the U.S. -- a Greenwich, CT mansion worth a whopping $190 million.

      At over 13,000-square-feet, Copper Beech Farm is on 50 waterfront acres with stunning views of the Long Island Sound. The 1,800-foot private driveway leads to not only the twelve-bedroom French Renaissance home, but a 75-foot outdoor pool, a grass tennis court, wine cellar and a private apple orchard. The waterfront property is currently used as a weekend retreat by its owners. We can only imagine what their main home must look like -- the White House, perhaps?

      Built in 1896, the home has been owned by the Greenway family (which developed U.S. Steel with Andrew Carnegie) and more recently by timber tycoon John Rudey.David Ogilvy, the listing agent, told Forbes that, "the $190 million list price is based on numerous comparables for the area, having crunched the average sales prices per acre for close to a dozen nearby properties -- none of which offer even close to the same amount of acreage."

      But perhaps the most surprising aspect of this listing is the fact that it includes -- wait for it -- two offshore islands.

      Watch the video above to check out the estate, and let us know if you are swooning too.



      Sotheby's Homes

      Have something to say? Check out HuffPost Home on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,Tumblr and Instagram.


      Do you have a home story idea or tip? Email us at (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)

      Residential Real Estate Bids Adieu To October 2013

      As an odd October 2013 draws to a close, the real estate market is among the industry sectors quite happy to see it over. WIth interest ratescreeping upward since summer, August and September indicators were already pointing at home financing slowing to a crawl through the second half of the year. On the heels of pending U.S. home sales slowing in August and a 5.6% drop in the sales pipeline in September, the government shuttered its doors. As the full moon rose over a nation back to work on the third Thursday in October, we are all looking for equilibrium, or at least some very good clues for the winter.

      Schizophrenic indicators

      In September 2012, Trulia announced it would discontinue itshousing barometer in its current form introduced 18 months earlier to track housing market recovery. Citing conflicting data in taking the temperature of key market indicators, the doctor has gone into consultation this autumn. "Tracking the recovery's progress as a single number is not the best approach anymore," said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia. While experts struggle to define the new normal, the patient continues to show schizophrenic behavior. Unable to shine a clear light on a confirmed diagnosis, it seems everyone has gone shopping for a new thermometer.

      First, the good news11.30c

      No one is shouting good news from the rooftops, but the news is far from all bad. In analyzing the best and the worst of the housing bust, Trulia says we're two-thirds of the way toward full recovery. However, the National Association of Realtors points at the government shutdown as a new key indicator for October, sure to have a knock-on effect. With IRS offices closed, delays in tax transcripts needed for approval of mortgage loans ground to a standstill. Not only were government and contract workers left sitting it out, but also overall consumer confidence "curbs major expenditures such as home purchases," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Meantime, the question remains the same: what about prices? Funny enough, the government shutdown did not seem to affect asking prices negatively in the first half of October, according to Trulia.

      Location, location, location

      A San Francisco Bay Area-based realtor with Coldwell Banker, Susan Hewitt underscored the topsy-turvy conditions found in the current housing recovery. Hewitt noted, "There really is no such thing as a national response to the very local question on everyone's mind: should I buy or should I sell?" Through three generations in thefamily business, Hewitt has seen lots of ups and downs, but at the moment she cites location as being more pertinent than ever. "We see micro-sized pockets of double-digit price rises with competitive bidding situations happening next to depressed markets just one county over."

      While the old thermometers point to a flat remaining couple of months in 2013, we trust that those shopping for the new thermometers will bring them to market very quickly so that we can properly take the temperature for the 2014 housing market outlook.

      Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things in her adopted San Francisco. A dedicated urbanite, she's a transplanted New Yorker by way of a couple of decades in London as a hotel sales and marketing manager. Follow her work on @ReferencePlease, USA Today, Yahoo! and on

      Bloomberg Video on Investing in Real Estate

      Interesting view of the residential real estate industry and investing in it.




      Scott Elwell 

      Greenwich CT Real Estate

      Sotheby's International Realty- (MBA) - One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 | Licensed in CT & NY Mobile: 203.940.0444 | Fax: 203.930.2808 | Email: