Bloomberg has an article about real estate markets that where once ‘immune’ being hit by the US housing market slump. These are areas with multi-million dollar homes that are not financed by ‘sub-prime’ credit, yet are seeing dropping prices since the beginning of 2007.
The average price in Westport, Connecticut, home of chief executive officers Herbert Allison of TIAA-CREF and Jeffrey Kindler of Pfizer Inc., and actor Paul Newman, fell 8.2 percent to $1.56 million in the first four months of 2007 from the same period last year, according to multiple listing service data. In Chappaqua, New York, where Bill and Hillary Clinton live, properties sit on the market an average of seven months before they sell, up from five months a year ago.
Wealth and excellent credit have until now spared bedroom communities in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York’s Westchester County from declines in home prices. Now the tightening of credit in response to rising subprime defaults has disrupted the real estate food chain, bringing the national housing slump to Manhattan’s doorstep. Prices fell as much as 18.8 percent this year in 15 of the 24 areas in which data was collected.
“People who may have bought their first home may not be able to do so now, and that stops some of the movement,” said Doug Werner, a broker at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Darien, Connecticut. “Whales eat plankton. If the plankton disappears, what will happen to the whales?”