Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Westport Real Estate

I will be monitoring the following statistics in our local Real Estate market in order for my Sellers and Buyers to understand what is happening in the market: The number of listings in a given town (inventory), number of homes 'Under Binder', number of homes 'Under Contract' and yearly sales year-to-date. Using the above, we shall have a better idea of what is currently happening in the local real estate markets.

There has been much written in the local, Metropolitan, as well as national media about Real Estate in the past year. Some of this information has been accurate. Much of it has been incorrect. Last Autumn, many pundits were espousing ideas that the Real Estate markets would collapse, or see major market corrections. Let me preface here, that I will only be referring here to the markets with which I am familiar, (or the markets of my immediate referral network, made of top agents in Connecticut and Westchester and Manhattan, with whom I am in regular contact.)

There are currently 375 active listings in Westport, which compares to approximately 250-275 listings in previous years at this time of year. That is an increase of roughly 30%. In the past week the activity in the Westport market has seen some very positive changes with an additional 25 single family homes going to contract compared to the previous week. Of those properties, 20 were at list prices over $1 million, and 10 were listed at over $2,000,000.

Year to date sales of Single Family on the Multiple Listing service is now at 110 homes. The average sales price of homes that have sold in 2006 is over $1,600,000. This figure may not be an accurate indication of what the year end market figures will show. A number of 'high end' properties have brought up the average sales price, which was approximately $1,421,000 in 2005, with an average list price of $1,475,944.

The average sales price of single family homes in Westport has increased 36%
from 2001 to 2005. That would indicate an average yearly increase of 9%. However, in our market there is often a direct correlation between what happens on Wall Street and our own property transfers, since many of our new buyers come from the Financial Services sector. The stock market corrections of High-tech in 2000 and 9/11 in 2001 flattened those increases. Increases post-2002 were more than 10%.

However, in 2006 we initially saw pricing in January and February that reflected 10% increases over 2005. Many of these homes have been either sitting on the market with no movement, or had their prices reduced, sometimes dramatically, by more than 10%. The actual increases appear to be in the range of about 3%. Homes that have been listed with those numbers in mind, have been selling in relatively short time spans, though with less interest than in the past couple of years. Buyers seem to be holding back, waiting to see and understand the price correction that the market is going through.

Changes in the past week, along with improvement in the weather conditions may be an indication that we are entering a 'late' spring market.