photograph: bob capazzo
For nearly as long as this magazine has been around, April has been our annual real estate issue. Each year we have looked at the various indicators of change, taken the temperature of Realtors and lenders, and explored the number of homes sold, mortgage rates, and average home prices. Most of the time it was a happy subject to discuss because the news was well, frankly, always good. God bless the bubble over Greenwich.
But come 2008 the story changed dramatically when that proverbial bubble burst. What followed was fear, finger-pointing and financial heartache for many. But the clouds have parted and the outlook is far from what it was five years ago. Sales are up, inventory is down, new houses are being built and the spec house has returned. In short, the news is good again.
In “The State of Real Estate in Greenwich” (page 88), veteran real estate writer Chris Hodenfield explores the questions and issues influencing the market today. Where is the big money being spent? Does that $90 million penthouse on Park Avenue affect Greenwich prices? How does the influx of foreign buyers impact your home value? It is an interesting look at where we’ve been, where we’re headed, and how we’re getting there.
Amidst the great news that things are looking up, it’s important to also remember that no matter what the market is doing, a house is more than a brick and mortar investment. It is the place we go to recharge and regroup—it welcomes us after long days and serves as a place of refuge when life is less than easy. So in this issue we also showcase a portfolio of gorgeous homes that make a jaw-dropping first impression (“A Grand Entrance,” page 78). Homes that say: Everything is going to be just fine.