Devonshire sets new price record
A 101-acre compound in New Castle sold for $21.5 million in late December, becoming the most expensive sale ever recorded in Westchester County, the Journal News reported. Known as “the Devonshire,” the estate was acquired by an undisclosed international buyer. Listed at $26.5 million, it had been on the market since 2007. The deal topped the record set in 2003, when billionaire George Soros paid $19 million to buy a house in Katonah from author Michael Crichton. Houlihan Lawrence, which handled both sides of the transaction, would not name the buyer or seller, but the New Castle tax-assessment roll lists the previous owner as James Rubin of Carmel. “We are incredibly excited,” Houlihan Lawrence senior vice president Anthony Cutugno told the Journal News. “Obviously in this price range, there aren’t that many transactions.” He noted that the influx of foreign buyers into New York City is starting to spill into the northern suburbs. Devonshire’s eight-bedroom Georgian manor has some 21,000 square feet of interior space, the Bedford Daily Voice reported. The property also has equestrian stables and buildings for staff and guests.
LI sales down 56 percent from 2005
Home sales activity on Long Island has plummeted 56 percent in the past eight years, while the number of foreclosures has doubled, according to a Newsday analysis. The number of home sales fell from nearly 49,000 in 2005 to 21,487 in the first 11 months of 2012, the paper reported. Sales volume has declined every year since 2005, despite a brief uptick in 2010. Long Island reported 13,132 foreclosures in the first 11 months of 2012, more than double the 6,249 foreclosures in 2005. In Nassau County, it will take 23 months of sales at current levels to clear the backlog of foreclosures and 29 months in Suffolk.
Glimmers of hope for Connecticut market
The pace of falling Connecticut home prices has slowed, the Hartford Courant reported. Hartford County asking prices in 2012 fell 1.6 percent from 2011, according to the real estate website Trulia.com, but that’s an improvement from 2011’s 3.4 percent drop from the prior year. Similarly, New Haven County asking prices in 2012 fell 2.2 percent from the previous year, in contrast to a 5.5 percent year-on-year decline between 2011 and 2010. The year-over-year slide in Fairfield County was 1.6 percent in 2012, compared with 3.6 percent in 2011. Still, Connecticut is lagging behind improvements in the rest of the nation; according to Trulia, national asking prices rose 5.1 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year. The number of sales of single-family houses in the Greater Hartford area, meanwhile, posted double-digit gains in 2012, but the average sale price is still declining. In 2012, there were 8,711 closed sales in the Hartford area, up nearly 21 percent from 7,255 in the previous year, according to data from the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors. But the median sale price for the area was $218,000 in 2012, down 1.6 percent from $221,500 in 2011. “Although the closed sales numbers are encouraging, I will feel even better about the housing market recovery when prices stabilize or increase,” Jeff Arakelian, the association’s president and CEO, told the Courant.