The real estate market of my youth was quiet and gentle with lots old family firms. Many fiercely talented women - Marge Rowe, Sally O'Brien and June Peters owned or were partners in top firms. Slowly their companies faded away or were absorbed into larger entities. Preferred Properties, my former company, was acquired by Coldwell Banker, Simpson, Peters was folded into Country Living and Sally O'Brien sold to Prudential - the times were hard for independents. As the market tightened and business changed other smaller firms left or were sold. Sotheby's acquired Cleveland, Duble & Arnold, a historic Greenwich firm. Greenwich Fine Properties, a wonderful high-end boutique, merged with Coldwell Banker Previews.
A company changed names after a sale - Prudential became Berkshire Hathaway Home Services; some great folks, award name. And others have come into Town, Halstead and the latest Houlihan Lawrence. One might wonder why all the appeal until you read the headline from Thursday's Greenwich Times - “Greenwich grand list shows $24 billion in residential property". That a lot of houses to be bought and sold at some point.
Our market changes. Volume is closing in on historic highs. Prices seem to be relatively stable. Greenwich taxes are low, our students shine in many fields and it's an overall great place to live.
Agents change firms, and the real estate business of Greenwich keeps moving forward. This piece was prompted by Jean Ruggerio's exit from Wm. Raveis. Jean had been their absolute star for many years. Jean, wherever you end up, all your friends and associates wish you the best. 2014 seems to be a year of continued changes.
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