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More Young Families Move Into Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. – As the Greenwich real estate market looks to the spring buying season, one of the biggest groups of people continuing to move into town are young families out of New York City, says Prudential Connecticut Realty sales executive Mark Pruner.

“Many people have been frozen in place because they are concerned about housing prices falling,” said Pruner, who is also a Representative Town Meeting member in Greenwich and who runs the realty blog, Greenwich Streets . “However, young families coming out of the city are first-time buyers and renters who are looking to get out of smaller apartments and into a more traditional family neighborhood.” The birth of a second child typically drives these families to Greenwich, he added.

Traditionally, the Greenwich real estate market tends to be driven by financial markets, Pruner says. “With unemployment down and a variety of other good economic news coming out, I think many other areas of the country are doing better. And Greenwich is part of that,” he added.

Other people moving into Greenwich are those who couldn’t afford to live in the town a few years ago and bought farther out in Fairfield and Westchester counties. “Now their income is doing better and prices have dropped in Greenwich, making it more affordable, particularly with interest rates down as well,” said Pruner.

A smaller portion of the market, which at one time almost disappeared, was the downsizers – people who are retiring and looking to move into a smaller property in Greenwich. Also, investors are making a comeback in Greenwich, which had seen few before the recession, says Pruner. “I’m working with more people who want to invest in Greenwich real estate and investment properties for clients,” he added.

The hot areas continue to be Old Greenwich and Riverside, followed by Cos Cob and Central Greenwich. The one area that has been lagging but appears to be making a comeback somewhat is the backcountry of Greenwich, Pruner says.

Overall during 2011, 524 homes were sold in Greenwich, compared with 482 units sold in 2010, according to research by RE/MAX Heritage broker Judy Szaablak, who writes for The CT Realty Blog . On average, homes stay on the market for 211 days.

For homes in central Greenwich, 279 units were sold in 2011, whereas in 2010, 248 units were sold. In Cos Cob, 52 units sold in 2011, up slightly from 48 homes sold in 2010. In Old Greenwich, 76 units were sold during 2011, compared with 91 units in 2010. In Riverside sales of homes increased from 88 in 2010 to 106 units in 2011.

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