02-08 RE Residential Sales Jan 28

There were 483 single-family residential homes on the market as of Feb. 1 in the Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average asking price was $668,583 and the median price point was $324,900.

This inventory level represents a four-month supply of homes on the market. That’s pretty low, so if you have a home to sell, now is a great time to consider it. It might be freezing out, but there is less competition and that means possibly a quicker sale for you.

I was surfing the internet the other day and stumbled onto the CNBC real estate news site. There was headline after headline for all these short video news stories on how dire the national real estate market was doing at the end of 2018. Here are just a few of the them:

• 2018 new home sales end weaker

• Southern California home sales plunge 20% in December to the lowest pace in 11 year

• Pending home sales see lowest December since 2013

• Pending home sales drop in December despite much lower interest rates

• The unusually large drop in home sales has real estate agents baffled

• Existing home sales drop sharply, down 6.4 percent

• There are 'serious problems' in US real estate

And then comes a headline: "Billionaire Ken Griffin buys New York penthouse for $238 million, the most expensive US home ever sold."

And another: "Citadel's Ken Griffin buys most expensive home in the U.S."

And, yet another: "Billionaire Ken Griffin buys $122 million London mansion."

Right next to "Billionaire Ken Griffin buys New York penthouse for $238 million," the most expensive US home ever sold, was the headline and story "How the affordability crisis is impacting the housing market." Really? You put those two headlines side-by-each and expect people not to laugh?

Obviously, Ken Griffin doesn’t have an affordability crisis in his world. The word “dire” does not apply to him. The penthouse he just purchased comprised the four top floors of the highrise condo building at 220 Central Park West which obviously overlooks Central Park. It has a total of 24,000 square feet of unfinished space. Yup, unfinished! He is expected to spend many millions more in designing and completing the residence. Maybe he will stay in his less expensive London mansion while he has his penthouse pad finished.

Am I jealous? Not a bit. After all, we live in the Lakes Region, and I get to see lots of beautiful homes on and off the water that I would much rather have.

Who is Ken Griffin anyway? He is a hedge fund manager that started the investment firm Citadel in 1990. The company currently manages $28 billion in assets for its clients. In high school, he really, really excelled in math and was president of the math club. Damn it … that’s where I went wrong! He is also a big philanthropist who has given over $700 million to various organizations. So he’s probably a good guy to boot.

So what is my point with all of this, you might ask? Well, I just wanted to let you know about the most expensive home ever sold in the U.S. and that the real estate world is not really that “dire” despite the news organizations’ zest for gloomy headlines. And, again, I am not jealous of Ken Griffin. I am upset about the fact that I wasn’t the president of our math club.

Feel free to visit www.DistinctiveHomes.NH.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and sign up for a monthly newsletter. Data compiled using the NEREN MLS. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty. Contact him at 603-677-7012.

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