Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Still Transitioning

Most recent Westport statistics show that we are still in a transitional period. Year to date there have been 360 sales of single family homes in Westport, compared to 488 at this time last year, 501 in 2004, and 424 in 2003. We had been keeping pace with 2003 until the end of October, and then the gap widened considerably. There are currently 32 pending sales and 15 binders in Westport, which puts us on a pace of over 400 sales if the above homes close before the end of the year.

Weston continues to lag far behind 2003, 2004, and 2005 sales. Year to date sales in Weston stand at 122, compared to 188 last year, 209 in 2004 and 198 in 2003. There are currently 9 pending sales and 3 properties under binder.

The Federal Reserve has begun to speak about the housing market, which will probably be beneficial in the long run. Donald Kohn, the Fed's vice-chairman recently stated that we are in a 'correction' period-a cyclical rebalancing of the marketplace that got too hot for too long in some parts of the country, and is now heading back towards more 'normal' conditions.

Not all home sellers have fully grasped the altered realities in their own local markets, pricing homes at above last year's prices, and these homes are not selling. Re-priced homes, more in line with 2005 figures, should stimulate more buyers to get off the sidelines and make offers. The unexpected 4.3 percent increase in the latest monthly number of pending home sales contracts heading for closing nationwide reported in October by the National Association of Realtors could be a sign that Kohn's prediction is starting to take root.

It would seem, from what I can determine, that homes prices started to fall in April about 1% per month. Many Realtors will be looking to see if the spring market changes that course, starting in January 2007.