Friday, November 06, 2015

Steady as She Goes

October activity outpaced 2014 levels in all 4 towns that I regularly cover in this blog.  Contracts were up in many towns 100% or more throughout Mid-Fairfield towns.  Meanwhile, the number of closed sales has been a little less vibrant, with most sales running at levels similar to 2014, while a few are ahead.  The New York Metropolitan area, as seen by the Case-Schiller index, is also following a similar trend, up just 1.85% compared to 2014.

Westport had 51 properties go to contract in October compared to 35 in October ’14.  Year to date there have been 357 homes that have gone to contract compared to 341 at this time last year, though there have been 333 closed sales compared to 334 through October in ’14.  The volume of homes coming to the market is up 7%, representing 9.8 months of inventory.  In a more even real estate market we would expect to see 5-8 months of inventory.  The median price in Westport has actually seen a slight dip of 2.1% to $1,295,000.

In Weston there were 21 homes that went to contract compared to only 9 in October 2014. Contracts are up 12.1% year to date, though closed sales are lagging slightly 130 vs. 134 at this time last year.  2014 was a nice bounce back year for Weston, which had seen some softness in sales.  The median price is up 2.5% to $827,000 for the year, though marketing time is still over 180 days.

Our laggard this year appears to be Wilton.  Closed sales are down 10.4%, from 201 at this time last year to 180 thus far.  Yet October was also an excellent month for Wilton with 20 properties going to contract compared to 18 last year.  To add to the mixed results we see an increased median price of $845,000 (+5.6%), yet inventory is up 13.4%-while at 9.1 months, it is more favorable than Weston and Westport levels.  Marketing time has also decreased 8.4% to 142 days on average.

Our volume leader continues to be Fairfield with 667 closed sales, an 18.5% increase.  The median price, though, is practically unchanged at $575,000, compared to $573,000 in 2014.  Clearly entry level homes continue to drive the Fairfield market.  High end sales are up slightly, with 17 sales over $2 million in 2015, but way behind Westport, with 80 thus far this year. The inventory level of 8.4 months is somewhat deceptive, with higher end homes sitting and homes under $1 million continuing to sell at a much more brisk pace.

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Early Autumn Sales

By the end of September, it now looks like most towns have caught up to 2014 levels with the exception of Wilton.  In Wilton there have been 167 sales thus far compared to 181 at the end of September 2014, representing a decrease of 7.7%. There was a bump up in September of 20 homes going to contract compared to 15 in September 2014, and the median price has increased approximately 4.7% to $853,000 through September.

Weston’s median price of $850,000 is nearly identical to Wilton’s.  Weston has slowed slightly.  There were 14 homes that went to contract compared to 11 during the same period in the previous year.  The 123 homes sold thus far is one more than through the first 9 months of 2014.

Westport saw a significant jump in September activity, with 45 homes going to contract compared to 30 in September 2014. The median price slipped slightly to $1,300,000, a 3.5% dip.  Closed sales are slightly ahead of 2014 with 296 compared to 292.

While the median price of $580,000 is holding ‘steady’, sales volume is increasing rapidly in Fairfield.  September saw 113 properties go to contract, compared to 45 in September, 2014.  Year to date there have been 607 closed sales in Fairfield compared to 524 last year, a 15.8% increase.  I would expect to see continued gains throughout the year.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Late Summer Surge

As we look back on the hot summer of 2015, we see that August activity was heated in all Mid-Fairfield towns as well.  In the town of Fairfield the number of homes that went under contract in August was more than double what it had been in August of 2015.  Interestingly in Fairfield the marketing time of homes remains very steady at 145 days compared to 146 days last year, which is the shortest average of all of the towns included in our regular overview.  Closed sales in Fairfield are up 14.9% to 539 thus far this year, and there have been 599 properties that have gone to escrow, so end of year sales should be significantly higher than in 2014.  With all of those impressive numbers,
one might expect to see an increase in the median price in Fairfield, but it remains at approximately
$580,000-the same figure as the 2014 Median price. The trend of lower priced homes continues to
make up the lion's share of homes going to contract.  Entry level buyers continue to see the value of Fairfield's Silver Ribbon schools and outstanding amenities.

Westport also saw a nice jump in August activity, with 53 single family properties going to contract compared to 34 last year. Through the end of August there have been 290 single family homes that have gone to contract compared to 276 during the comparable period in 2014, a 5.1% increase. Current closed sales (through August 31) are at 260 vs. 266 in the previous year, and the marketing time of properties has increased to 182 days compared to 167 in 2014.  The median price in Westport has dipped slightly (-2.8%) to $1,312,505.

Weston had a solid August  with contracts up to 21 compared to 11 in the previous August, and the median price increasing year to date 5.2% to $852,000.  Yearly escrows are up 9.9% from the previous year, though closed sales stand at 115, down 7 from the previous year, and marketing times have increased to 191 days compared to 173 at this time last year.

Wilton is now slightly lagging 2014 levels.  The 150 closed sales are 15 behind end of August, 2014 single family sales figures, though the days on market of homes dropped 7% to 147 days on average. The median price increased 7.4% to 860,000 ($8000 higher than its neighbor Weston).   Year to date 170 homes have gone to contract compared to 168 through end of August, 2014.  There are signs of increased activity in September, so yearly levels may yet catch up.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Multiple Offers

              This charming farmhouse colonial in Greens Farms had not
                            been on the market in over 25 years. It had originally been a caretaker's  cottage
                             that was expanded the expanded by the current owners. It features 4 bedrooms,
                                     3 fireplaces, 2.5 baths,  a sunken sunroom, dining room, office and family room on a beautiful flat acre, with a deck, patio and hot tub.
                         The house went on the market late on a Saturday afternoon, and by
          Sunday evening there were 3 offers over the asking price.
            The very organized owner had prepared the house for sale
           starting the previous year and the house had worked with
              the experienced team at Show to Sell to make it look its best.




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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Hot July

As the weather improved we continued to see improvement over what had been a late spring market. The number of homes that have gone to contract have increased in all the Mid-Fairfield towns, though the coastal towns showed more activity than our landlocked neighbors.

Westport had 29 homes go to contract in July, a 74.4% jump over the previous July. On a year to date basis there has been a more modest 5.8% increase in properties that have gone to contract.  Year to date sales through July stood at 220 single family homes compared to 216 the previous year at this time-a 1.9% increase.  Inventory levels at 8 months have decreased, but are not at levels one would
expect in an active market.  These levels are somewhat influenced by new construction and other high end properties on the market which are selling more slowly than properties below $1.5 million.
The median price is currently at $1,295,500 ( off 2%) through July, but some higher priced sales should see those levels rise.

Weston continues to have a solid though not spectacular year.  The median price now stands at 852k compared to 820k at this time last year.  Homes that have gone to contract are up 6% and inventory has been dropping, though at 11 months it is still too high.  The high end is weighing on those figures.  In terms of sales, the 94 homes sold through July was the exact same number as through July 2014.

Wilton has seen a big jump in median sale's price to $870,000, compared to $790,000 last year, and homes going to escrow have increased 3.4% to 152, but sales have been lagging, with 125 through July compared to 136 through July, 2014.  Inventory levels fall into the middle range of 8.7 months.

Fairfield entry levels sales continue to go strong.  With 458 sales compared to 392 through July 2014,
Fairfield has been an active market.  Homes going to escrow have jumped 24% with 534 through July.  The median price is holding steady at $575,000 compared to $573k last year.  High end sales have also been lagging in Fairfield.

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Sunday, August 09, 2015

National Housing Market Remains Strong

Whether to buy or sell may not seem as black or white following recent housing indicators, which offered contradictory points of view, but Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at® says the residential real estate market continues to show strong signs of health in July. According to®’s ‘Advance Read of July Trends’, which draws on residential inventory and demand trends...

Here is more of the article:

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

At The Halfway Mark

Nationwide there has been a marked uptick in sales, and certain towns in Connecticut have started to see a similar trend.  Mid-Fairfield seems to be less 'hot' than some other areas.

Westport had a solid month of June with 64 properties going to contract compared to 49 in the previous year. This is something we had sensed might come since we had a spring market that started later than usual this year due to a harsh winter, and late spring.  There have been 206 properties that have gone to contract through June, compared to 203 during the same time period in 2014, which represents an increase of 1.5%. Closed sales, however stood at 158 through June (single family homes) compared to 173 through June, 2014.  A 'heavy' inventory of new homes and homes over $2 million may be having an effect on the overall Westport market.

Weston has been a town that has seen a 'bounce back' year, and June saw that trend continuing.  94 properties going to contract vs. 79 in June of 2014 bears testament to the continuing improvement.
Year to date there have been 72 closed sales, an increase of 14.3%.  The median price of $851,000
represents a 2.5% increase.

Wilton has also had a solid year.  The median price of $865,000 is slightly above that of its neighbor, Weston, but June saw a 10.9% jump to $950,000.  June sales were up, 48 vs. 35 in June, 2014, but closed sales are down 98 compared to 109 through June 2014.  The +/- differential indicates a very similar result to 2014.  

Fairfield continues to have a hot/cold market.  On the hot side are homes under $700,000. 200 of the 367 sales recorded through June sold for under $600,000.  This goes a long way in explaining the year to date median price of $560,000, ( a decrease by the way of 2.6%). This entry level range is the 'hot' part of the market.   However, as a whole, only 15 homes have sold so far this year over $1,500,000 in Fairfield. That is a strikingly low number for a town of this size.  This compares to 70 in Westport, and 68 in New Canaan, both with less than half the population of Fairfield.  Sales in Greenfield Hill have been soft, with a median price in that area hovering slightly above $1 million. There have been 39 sales on the 'Hill' through June 30th.  There are currently 130 homes actively listed for sale in Greenfield Hill.

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