Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mid-Term Real Estate Activity

2011 Midterm Results*

Now that we’re past the July 4th weekend and its aftermath, it’s time for a quick rundown on real estate activity. County-wide the median sales price has been practically unchanged at $430,000 in the past two quarters of results provided by the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service.
For those looking at homes in Southwest Connecticut these numbers may not seem reflective of local pricing, but bear in mind that Fairfield county extends well beyond the Mid-Fairfield area that I primarily cover. It is one of 8 counties in the state, but it is worth noting that it is the only county that saw positive growth in 2010 in both number of sales and volume of sales.
I usually use average pricing in my quarterly results, and use median pricing when looking at yearly results, comparing both average and median prices. The first two quarters of 2011 have seen increases in average pricing in most of the coastal towns including Westport, Fairfield, and Darien as well as inland towns such as Weston, Wilton and New Canaan.
This mid-term report covers the period from January 1, 2011 to June 30th, 2011. However, I wanted to note some of the more recent activity since July 1. There has been a mini burst in activity which reflects buyers and rentors looking to be settled before the beginning of the school year. Westport has seen 13 binders since July 1 for single family homes, and 12 rental binders during that time (as of July 15). The single family home asking prices averaged $1,142,421. This is about $200,000 below the average sale prices year to date (which I will speak about below)-an indication of recent activity under $1,000,000 in Westport.
Weston is only showing 2 recent binders since July 1, but a number as of yet unreported activity will increase these numbers in the weeks ahead. Wilton has showed increased strength in the past couple of weeks with 12 new binders on single family homes and 4 rental binders. The single family homes averaged listing price of $875,000 is slightly below sales averages in the first six months and confirms the lower end activity seen in Westport.
The ‘sweet spot’ of Fairfield real estate falls into the range under $1,000,000 as well, but the 17 recent binders had an average ask price of $783,682 which is actually higher than the average sales prices year to date (see below), as Fairfield has the most offerings at this price point. There were also 10 rental binders in the past two weeks.
In the first two quarters Westport has continued to outperform the surrounding towns in mid-Fairfield with 170 single family home sales in 2011 vs. 146 in the first 6 months of 2010. The average sales price was $1,362,070. Sales numbers have fallen in Wilton, Weston, and Fairfield, although the average sales prices have actually increased. Looking beyond mid-Fairfield, activity in Darien has decreased in the first two quarters, while New Canaan sales have increased. Combined sales in Darien and New Canaan was 179 compared to 170 in Westport, but their combined population of 38,000 is 10,000 more than Westport. Average sales prices are considerably higher in Darien and New Canaan, with a huge spike in the first two quarters in New Canaan to over $2,000,000 due in large part to 38 homes that have sold for over $2 million year to date.
2011 Weston sales have been similar to 2010 results with 54 sales in the first six months of 2011 vs. 59 in 2010. The average sales price has increased to $832,978 from $808,484 in 2010. Wilton sales were off as of June 30, but recent binders mentioned above have put in back on pace to match 2010 sales levels with average sales prices jumping to $917,081 as of June 30th, about 13% higher than the previous year.
Fairfield has taken the biggest ‘hit’ in sales volume in 2011 with only 254 single family home sales in the first six months vs. 303 in 2010. The most recent sales activity is a good sign for Fairfield, and there has been increased activity in the past month or so in the beach area.

*Statistics as per The Consolidated Multiple Listing Service

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