Wisdom From Real Estate’s Wisest

Our expert realtors have once again reported robust markets and optimism abound for their classy New York and Connecticut enclaves. Our professionals—Brad Hvolbeck, Robert Johnson, Mark Madonna and Jeffrey Phillips, Peter Klemm, and Daniel Ginnel—expect the strong activity to continue through the summer, driven largely by a vigorous low-end market as young buyers get off the sidelines and look for value investments. Here we take a closer look at the advice and news our experts have
to offer, and highlight some of their exciting listings.

Brad Hvolbeck
Sotheby’s International Realty / 203.940.0015 / brad.hvolbeck@sothebyshomes.com

What is particularly exciting about Greenwich right now?
We have just received the year-to-date volume numbers from the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service, and they are terrific.  The report notes that the dollar volume of sales is up 26% over last year. This is great news in the beginning of the spring/summer market. Although the prices have not gone up, the increased number of sales is a good indicator of what is to come. This is also the time of the year that many Greenwich organizations are busy hosting their events, and some of my favorites are the Greenwich Town Party, the Greenwich Riding & Trails Horse Show, and the beginning of the Greenwich Polo Club’s season.

What patterns are you seeing from buyers as the market transitions into summer?
Buyers are doing their homework and are more informed now about the market than ever before. They do their research on the internet prior to even looking at any houses. They know what value is.  In the past, a buyer might have visited a home they were interested in two or three times.  Now, buyers are much more apt to visit a home many more times.

What do you expect from the market this summer? Why?
Considering the market reports we have just received regarding the spring market, we are hopeful that the increase in sales volume will continue into the summer. However, we don’t have a crystal ball.

Tell us about your listings.
Aside from 16 Old Mill Road (below), which features a pool, tennis court, and guest cottages, I have a 14,000 square foot stone and clapboard colonial for $9,988,000, and a shining jewel in the heart of Round Hill for $9,400,000.


Robert Johnson

Halstead Real Estate/ 203.979.2360/ robjohnson@halstead.com

What is particularly exciting about Greenwich right now?
After a quiet year last year in mid-priced waterfront, we have had three deals close in the $5-7m range and expect a few more. When interest rates bumped earlier in the year, we saw a lot of activity in the lower end. New construction in Mid Country has seen a pop of activity up to the $6m mark. Away from real estate we have a host of activities to look forward to in the next few months, from the Greenwich Town Party to the Greenwich Film Festival.

What patterns are you seeing from buyers as the market transitions into Summer?
As it warms up, we generally see the waterfront market pick up pace. Last year we saw a couple of significant transactions between $15 and $20m by the end of the season. While the market is more confident than in 2016, buyers are still in the driving seat on many transactions.

What do you expect from the market this summer? Why?
I’d expect to see further pick up in the waterfront land market with good, well-priced inventory being scarce. Elevated and oversized lots are especially interesting, and tax changes may influence the rest of the Summer market. The threat of stock market volatility gives buyers pause for thought.

Tell us about your listings.
12 and 14 Marlow Court are adjoining properties that combine to make a very rare 2.4 acre parcel of Riverside waterfront land. The main property at 14 Marlow includes a four bedroom house, and 12 Marlow includes three additional bedrooms. The overall property also features your own private island, a dock, and a pool. Please check my website for further opportunites: robjohnsongreenwich.com.

Mark Madonna and Jeffrey Phillips
Madonna & Phillips Group at Sotheby’s International Realty /860.800.3344/ mp@williampitt.com

Jeffrey and Mark have emerged in Washington, Connecticut as a well-calibrated team, with Mark pivoting his prowess for client strategy and negotiation toward his longtime acumen and love for real estate. With a sell-side focus, he’s adept at showcasing a property’s best attributes—drawing upon his post-finance experience as a marketing consultant. He and Jeff spent the last 16 years making their home—and their name—in this insular community where celebrities and world-class artists come to hide out. Jeff’s personable manner and entrepreneurial background set him apart as a buy-side agent, investing hours researching the market so his clients not only stay informed but have the inside track on the best deals at every price point. Their monthly newspaper has something of a cult following.

What is exciting about Litchfield right now?
We’re seeing much higher demand and shrinking inventory than in previous years. A whole flock of new buyers is coming to the area in droves—young tech entrepreneurs, fashion and media folks, and Brooklynites in particular. Instead of investing in a one-bedroom apartment, they’re realizing the smarter money is to have a three-bedroom country home with a pool on several acres.

What do you expect from the market this summer? Why?
When people think of this area, they picture quintessential New England homes—traditional shingle style colonials and such—but this summer we’re seeing a refreshing crop of contemporary homes with cool features that the younger urban sophisticate might appreciate: beautifully designed “smart” homes with oversized windows and all the high-tech amenities they’re used to in the city.