Tag Archive for: Luxury Homes

It’s Going To Be A Fabulous Fall in Ridgefield!

It’s been a busy few months with vacations, the start of school and lots of activity in the Ridgefield Real Estate market! I feel fortunate to have been able to help many buyers and sellers during the month of August and would just like to say thank you for your referrals and continued trust in my services. I’m also pleased to welcome my marketing manager, Jana Williams, as the newest Realtor to my team. She joins Sally Walter and myself in offering the best customer service in the business. As always, we work hard to stay abreast of market trends and conditions, and you can’t beat the exposure you get through our personalized international, national and local marketing plans. Below is a list of the properties my buyers or sellers closed on in August and a couple of properties that are currently under contract. If you, or someone you know is in the market to buy or sell a home, the best compliment I can receive is a referral.



Ridgefield Market Report For August 2014

August 2014 saw both the number of sales and the median price drop as compared to the same time last year. However, when you look at the year-to-date figures, the median price is still $40,000 higher than last year, even though unit sales are lower. Inventory, days on market, new properties listed and the number of properties under contract (entering escrow) remain fairly constant – a good sign that the market is stable. I’m looking forward to a continued positive market, and maintain that with record low mortgage rates still in effect, its a good time to buy or sell.

The number of closed sales decreased from 50 in August 2013 to 37 this year, representing an 26.0% decrease over last year. Total closed sales to date figures also follow this trend with 287 sales in 2013 compared to 236 in 2014.

The August median sales price decreased 18.4% from August 2013 with the median price being $633,500 compared to $776,500 last year. Overall, year-to-date figures however, show an increase in the median sales price from $637,500 in 2013 to $677,500 this year. That represents a $40,000 or 6.3% increase.

Encouragingly, the number of properties under contract in the month of August was substantially higher than during the same time period last year. 48 properties are currently under contract compared to 34 last August–an increase of 41.2%. In the year-to-date figures, 273 properties have opened escrow since the beginning of 2014, as compared to 285 over the same time period last year.

The days a listed home spends on the market continues to decrease in 2014 with properties spending an average of 124 days on the market during August 2014, as compared to 142 days last year. Overall, in year-to-date figures, the days on market has decreased by 21.9%. The months supply of inventory has also decreased to just 7.4 months, from 10.3 months during the same time last year.

Interestingly, the number of new properties for sale has not changed significantly from last years figures with 34 new properties coming onto the market in August 2014, compared to 35 last year. Overall, 496 new properties have been listed in Ridgefield in 2014 compared to 506 by this time last year.

For a full graphical analysis of Ridgefield’s August 2014 real estate market, download the report. You can also take advantage of my complimentary Comparative Market Analysis to find out what your home’s worth.

Ridgefield Market Report : 2014 Mid-Year Review

The Housing Recovery Continues.

At first glance it appears the momentum over the past two years has stalled. We need to remind ourselves that 2013 was a breakaway year for the local real estate market here in Ridgefield. We experienced a 37% increase in unit sales when comparing the first 6 months of sales in 2013 vs. 2012. We ended 2013 with a 45% increase in unit sales over 2012. Those are signs of significant shifts, further demonstrating the market is in recovery mode. The 15.2% decrease in 2014 sales for the first 6 months is a direct reflection of an extremely harsh winter. Q1 2014 unit sales were 27.4% below the same three-month period in 2013. Typically, by March the Spring Selling Season should be in full swing, but we did not start to see business pick-up until mid-late April. Unit Sales from April through June 2014 fell short 7.8% when compared to the same period in 2013, proving that fewer buyers were in the market this winter, and resulting in fewer Q2 closings. Most promising, however, is that the Median Sales Price for a home in Ridgefield increased by nearly 17% to $690,000 when compared to the median price of $590,000 in the first 6 months of 2013. The Unit Sales by Price Category Chart reveals that we are selling a greater number of higher priced homes than we did in 2013 indicating consumers are confident about investing in Ridgefield.

Supply and Demand.

Inventory is down slightly when compared to June 2013. Many predicted there would be a significant number of new homes hitting the market this spring, but this did not materialize. With lower than expected inventory levels in the more popular price segments, homes that were priced properly, updated and show ready sold quickly.

Going Forward.

I predict that the current trend of steady, reasonable growth will continue through the end of the year. With consumer confidence at its highest since 2007, and interest rates remaining historically low, buyers still feel the urge to buy – especially those properties which reflect good value. Ridgefield continues to attract families looking to settle in a community that offers a wonderful quality of life, award winning schools and a vibrant downtown center with many new destinations.


A Day In The Country – 8 Exquisite Ridgefield Estates

Calling all brokers!
On Wednesday, May 21st, join me for a Spectacular Broker Event celebrating eight of Ridgefield’s most beautiful properties. Two of my incredible Ridgefield Estates will be featured.

44 King Lane
10:00am -12:30pm
This beautifully updated & expanded residence sits elegantly behind its distinctive stone wall. featuring 8,500 Sq.Ft. of refined living space including a spectacular gourmet kitchen, family room with exposed beams, handsome library, incredible billiards room, master bedroom suite with His & Her baths, 5 ensuite bedrooms, exceptional wine cellar, fitness studio, gunite pool, distinctive landscaping & more!

109 Old Branchville Road
1:30pm – 4:00pm
A perfect blend of classic & modern design with an open floor plan featuring floating walls, dramatic vaulted ceilings & an abundance of windows in a sophisticated mix of high quality woods & stone. Rebuilt in 2001, the home includes sophisticated formal spaces & comfortable private rooms. Features a half-mile walking trail, spectacular indoor & outdoor pools, 7.58 acres, guest house, tennis court & terraced outdoor living room. The perfect marrying of romantic classicism with modern minimalism, this zen- like masterpiece is simply magnificent!

Click here for a description of all of the magnificent properties on the tour, and a map of the event.


Copper Beech Farm Sells for $120 Million

We are proud that Christie’s Exclusive Affiliate, David Ogilvey & Associates, has brokered the largest transaction in U.S history for a single-family home, showing once again that Christie’s International Real Estate and its affiliates have the widest reaching marketing program in the world. As an Exclusive Affiliate ourselves, Neumann Real Estate takes advantage of this incredible resource as well, reaching out to our other affiliates and marketing our properties to an incredible scope of people.

Copper Beech Farm, the magnificent estate situated on more than 50 waterfront acres in Greenwich, Connecticut, has sold for $120 million to an undisclosed buyer. Offered by David Ogilvy & Associates with international marketing services provided by Christie’s International Real Estate, the sale represents the largest transaction in U.S. history for a single-family residential property.

This property with spectacular views across Long Island Sound is the last waterfront parcel of its size in Greenwich or anywhere along the coast from Greenwich to New York City and boasts a rich and distinguished history. Built in 1896, it was purchased by the Lauder Greenway family, co-founders of U.S. Steel with Andrew Carnegie who lived there for 75 years. Their heirs sold it in the 1980’s and it has been used as a weekend retreat since then.

“High-end sales at this end of the spectrum are compelling indicators of the continued growth of the luxury residential real estate market,” said Kathleen Coumou, Senior Vice President of Christie’s International Real Estate. “I congratulate David Ogilvy on this splendid achievement.”

“We’re delighted to have listed and sold this incredible property,” said David Ogilvy. “Copper Beech Farm is the ultimate waterfront property in Greenwich on the fabled Connecticut coast and there simply are no more in existence like it. The property’s new owners will truly enjoy the total privacy, exclusivity, and unparalleled waterfront location just 45 minutes from New York City.”

From its vantage point 40 feet above mean high water, the main residence offers panoramic vistas across Long Island Sound including Island Beach, a public offshore island park given to the town by the Lauder Greenway family. The estate also includes two offshore islands and together, the property has almost a mile of shorefront. Copper Beech Farm is easily reachable from New York City by car or train in Greenwich, has easy access to all major New York airports and is a short drive from Greenwich’s many world-class shops, restaurants, schools, and recreational offerings.

Although not quite in the same price range, Ridgefield has some incredible luxury properties on the market as well. Some of my own offerings are Strawberry Ridge, Deer Run, Homewood Estate and 44 King Lane. If you’re in the market for a luxury home in the area, start your search here or contact me.

Karla Murtaugh Chosen To List $5.25 Million Zen-Like Estate

Recently featured in Ridgefield Magazine, Strawberry Ridge, located in the desirable town of Ridgefield, Connecticut, is a large, private estate owned by investment banker and NYU professor, Gerald Rosenfeld and producer, Judith Zarin. Offered at a price of US $5.25 million, the property is being presented by Christie’s International Real Estate, the world’s leading luxury real estate network, and exclusive affiliate Neumann Real Estate. Featuring a mid-century modern design by architects Donald Billinkoff and Yvan Prokesch, the structure accentuates a series of wings that encompass the best of living in every season.

“When we designed this home we had two goals, “ says Zarin. “First, to turn the traditional Colonial residence into a contemporary home that still looked appropriate in its location, and second, to have a home which provided fun and comfort in all four seasons of the year.” The owners also renovated and recently sold a modern, 6500 square foot townhouse in the West Village and are currently renovating a new apartment on the Upper West Side in preparation for the move back to Manhattan.

“It is rare to find a property that so perfectly marries modern minimalism with such warmth and comfort,” says Karla Murtaugh, who is brokering the property for Neumann Real Estate. “Strawberry Ridge is a perfect country residence for someone who appreciates clean, uncluttered lines in a bucolic setting, yet still wants to remain close to the action and accessibility of New York City.”

Located in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in beautiful Fairfield County, the wonderfully renovated and expanded 11,272 square foot residence sits behind natural privacy walls in one of Ridgefield’s premier enclaves. A striking front entrance opens to reveal a central reception area offering access to both wings of the home. The contemporary, vaulted design of the “summer” wing includes a sleek European kitchen, which seamlessly gives way to a breakfast area, and a large family room with multiple large-pane glass doors. An expansive great room and elevated gym lead to a stunning indoor pool with a spa and waterfall. Off the great room, the sumptuous screened porch with a built-in grill acts as a living room during the warmer seasons, and the recent addition of a stone fire pit and treehouse add to the unpretentious, zen feel of the property.

The “winter” wing can be defined as romantic classicism married with modern minimalism. The glass sunroom provides views of the beautifully terraced, outdoor living room designed by landscape architect Diane Devore of Fairfield, Connecticut. The formal living room features wall-to-wall views, while the large dining room – at once formal and elegant – is made equally soft and inviting with a plethora of maple paneling and a warm, stone fireplace. A relaxed library will satisfy the most discerning of book aficionados, while the original glass finial at the bottom of the circular stair to the private living quarters reflects the home’s three-century heritage.

The private, upper level spaces of the home continue to impress. The master suite is positively breathtaking with its exposed beams, comfortable fireplace, and incredible views of the guest house and woods beyond. The manicured 7.59 acre property has been meticulously sculpted to reflect the roots of contemporary design in Puritan tradition. The grassy stepped living room, and cedar and gravel walking path meandering around the perimeter of the property blend seamlessly with the outdoor pool, sport court and tennis court.

See more information about this spectacular home here. Contact me directly at 203-856-5534 for a private showing.

How Do You Know You’re A Luxury Real Estate Agent?

For me, a key indicator of my achievement as a luxury realtor was to receive the distinction of being awarded “Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Specialist for 2014.” I was honored to be the recipient of the Christie’s International Real Estate and Christie’s Education specialist designation when I recently attended the Top Agents Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Along with 140 other Realtors from around the world, I was lucky enough to be invited by Christie’s International Real Estate to participate in the conference focused on luxury real estate marketing. Criteria for the invitation included a requirement that each attendee be among the top 10% of sales for his or her Affiliate brokerage.

The two-day networking and educational event featured seminars led by top industry experts and senior executives of Christie’s and Christie’s International Real Estate. Topics included how to position a listing to attract buyers worldwide; negotiation strategies in the luxury end of the real estate market; how to take advantage of state-of-the-art global marketing techniques; and Christie’s perspectives on the art market and its connection to the luxury real estate sector.

I’m looking forward to implementing the new concepts and strategies garnered from my experience at the conference. My recent 2013 Year In Review Market Report showed that in 2013 Ridgefield experienced almost double the number of sales of luxury homes as compared to 2012, and I expect this segment to also show steady growth as the overall market value increases in 2014. I’m always striving to improve my knowledge and my marketing options for my clients, so this conference really gave me a leg up – networking with like-minded individuals and expanding my horizons in terms of marketing.

I’m so pleased to have had this opportunity. As the spring market gets going, call/text me or sign up for my weekly emails to keep abreast of market trends. I’d also be happy to give you a complimentary What’s My Home Worth evaluation.

*Photo : Karla Murtaugh of Neumann Real Estate, Ridgefield, and Lisa Murphy of Houlihan Lawrence, Rye

Ridgefield Market Report : 2013 Year In Review

The Housing Recovery

After the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression, we are back in full force. After 8 years of correction as a result of the “housing bubble”, it is safe to say all the characteristics of a normal real estate market have returned. Prices remain stable, median selling prices are improving and overall market activity is the highest it has been in 5 years. Consumer confidence has increased, which has brought more buyers into the market, and sellers are feeling more confident that they are not selling their home in a sliding market. All price segments posted positive gains, while homes valued up to $800,000 continue to dominate the market. The popular price category of $900,000 – $1,000,000 tripled in volume when compared to 2012. The market for homes priced over $1 million grew 46% – a strong indicator of buyer confidence.

Connecticut’s #1 Town.

Ridgefield unit sales were up 45%. This demonstrates confidence that Ridgefield is a destination for many new buyers, while some sellers are also trading up or down to stay here. Buyers see the outstanding value Ridgefield has to offer – quality lifestyle, cost of living, top rated education and a vibrant community. In fact, Ridgefield experienced the highest increase in annual unit sales when compared to all towns in Fairfield County.

The Road Ahead.

We saw buyers react to the uptick in interest rates this summer, though interest rates are still low by historic averages. Since values are on the incline, we expect the buyer pool to increase in a last ditch effort to catch the market before prices and interest rates rise. Sellers are feeling more confident as they prepare for the Spring Selling Season, but realize that certain fundamentals still apply. Homes in “turn-key” condition will continue to outpace the competition in terms of achieving the maximum selling price and lowest days on market. A fair number of sellers who used this strategy had multiple offers on their home – from wonderful starter homes to sophisticated properties priced in excess of $1 million. Supply and Demand will continue to drive the Real Estate market.

Download Ridgefield Market Report 2013 Year In Review

2013 – One Of Christie’s Best Years In History

We are proud to be partnered with such a forward-thinking and successful company as Christie’s. The luxury auction house is going strong, and the real estate arm – Christie’s International Real Estate – is great supporter of the luxury real estate market through their Bespoke program and other marketing initiatives.

In terms of the parent company, Christie’s announced sales of £4.54 billion ($7.13 billion), up 16% for the year ending December 2013. This figure is the highest sales total for Christie’s or any auction house in the history of the art market. Christie’s sales figures were driven by an increase in new buyers across all geographies coming to the market, including from growth markets such as China and through the Internet. Thirty percent of buyers were new in 2013 and accounted for 22% of the sales total.

Strong results were recorded in all regional sites during 2013, with significant activity in Asia driven by strong Hong Kong sales, up 32% and the company’s historic expansion into mainland China through its Shanghai office. The growth in new clients from China and the potential of this area of the art market was reflected in the firm’s highly successful inaugural Shanghai sale, which totaled £15.5 million ($24.9 million). Sales in Europe totaled £1.33 billion ($2.1 billion), Americas totaled £1.8 billion ($2.8 billion) and Asia totaled £622.6 million ($977.5 million). The increasing power of the Chinese buyer in the global art market was also evident with Chinese buyers accounting for 22% of global sales, a 63% increase on spend during 2012. Christie’s also expanded into India in 2013 and held its first sale in Mumbai in December, which realized £9.4 million ($15.4 million), more than doubling pre-sale expectations and attracted new buyers, including 35% who had never done business with Christie’s.

Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s, said: “With 16% sales growth and 30% new buyers coming in 2013, Christie’s has succeeded again by focusing on the art and connecting it to the ever-increasing audience of enthusiasts and collectors. We continue to see a surge in interest across categories and across the globe, fuelled in large part by the online platform enabling greater connectivity between buyers, sellers and the objects of their pursuit. Our strategy to invest in new markets such as China, new channels such as Private Sales and online sales, and to build on our position at the leading auction house, has enabled Christie’s to grow. Our continuing goal is to provide more to our clients and to convene new clients to enjoy art, be it through auctions, exhibitions or online.”

For information on how we partner with Christie’s on their Bespoke marketing initiatives, or how we can help you market your luxury property to protective buyers, contact me for a personalized consultation. For more market news delivered directly to your inbox each Friday, sign up below.