Almost 2 weeks after a simple Facebook post, I have since received close to 200 requests for short term rentals in Greenwich by families who want to escape New York City and hope to evade Covid-19. Most have young children and they’ve been cooped up in their apartments for days with no end in sight. Some are bored and some are scared.
It’s been suggested by both medical professionals and government officials that anyone leaving NYC should self quarantine for 14 days. I can’t speak for everyone but I myself have been reminding my clients that it’s important for anyone relocating from NYC to Greenwich to self quarantine for 14 days.
The reality is that only a handful of short term leases were reported on the MLS this week and there aren’t many short term rentals on the market to begin with so I don’t believe that Greenwich has to worry about an influx of NYC residents coming here right now.
There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty ahead. We don’t know when schools will reopen or when we will all be able to get back to the lives we were accustomed to just a few weeks ago. Just one week ago, I wrote that I wasn’t confident that this would be a catalyst for real estate prices increasing in Greenwich. Obviously, the economy has been and continues to be greatly effected.
I have since changed my thought process after receiving another 100+ requests from NYC residents who want to leave the city. Will prices increase immediately after this health crisis is over? Maybe not but I do believe that many people will want to move here from NYC and I believe people will once again value and appreciate the backcountry of Greenwich, CT. People will likely want more space, larger yards and a greater ability to distance themselves from their neighbors. There is currently incredible value in backcountry Greenwich real estate and I do believe that both buyers and sellers will realize this and prices will increase, perhaps sooner rather than later.
I also believe that many more people will be telecommuting which will make it easier for home buyers to consider backcountry real estate. I have always explained to my clients who are considering backcountry that living north of the Merritt Parkway generally does not add much if any time to the drive from backcountry to central Greenwich as compared to, for example, someone who lives in Old Greenwich or Riverside. This is somewhat dependent on time of day as there is very rarely any traffic in addition to there being no traffic lights coming from backcountry to central Greenwich. There is really not much that will slow people down except the occasional deer crossing the road. Check your maps app to see that although the mileage is slightly higher, the driving time is about the same.
I’m looking forward to the days when we can once again hold open houses in Greenwich but for now, virtual tours will have to do.
This week’s highlights in Greenwich real estate:
- 21 new to market listings
- 12 sold properties
- 9 price reductions
- 10 accepted offers
Stefanie Lacoff is a licensed real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties in Greenwich, CT. Text/call: 203-536-9403 email: [email protected]