Friday, March 07, 2014

It may be cold outside, but...

February 2013 Update The spring market started to take off in February. The number of properties that went to contract in February is up considerably in each of the towns. In Westport there were 53 properties that had accepted offers compared to 36 in the previous year. In Fairfield the numbers were even more impressive with the number of accepted offers more than doubling, from 40 in February 2013 to 91 last month. Weston also had an impressive increase, doubling the number of contracts in February compared to the previous year, with 18. The figures were a little less impressive in Wilton, 28 compared to 20 in the previous year, but Wilton had had a particularly brisk January. Interestingly, Wilton was the only town in February that saw an increase in the median price of properties with accepted offers, at $1,200,000 for the month, well above the February 2013 number ($670k), which was explained by the fact that 2 of the properties were listed at over $2 million, and 9 additional properties were listed at over $1million. This was partially a case of the selling off of existing properties, with buyers fearing that there might be a shortage of new inventory later in the spring. As a result, inventory supply is down in all towns to levels close to 6 months of inventory. There has been a slight increase in inventory since the beginning of the year, though many of the properties had previously been on the market. I know of many brokers who are holding back on listing new inventory until the weather improves. I expect to see a large influx of properties in April, and with an existing buyer demand, I think that buyers should be prepared to deal with multiple offer situations. In these situations buyers should be in touch with their mortgage brokers now, to be prepared to have Pre-approval letters provided at the time when offers are made. Buyers who are already familiar with the market will be prepared to make offers within one week of a property being listed if it is priced at what is perceived to be within a few percent of its fair market value. This will be particularly true of certain price ranges in different towns. In Westport, inventory below $1 million will likely be very active, as will homes listed between $1 million and 1.5 million. New construction continues to be very active, and supply is still below demand. In Wilton, Weston & Fairfield there continues to be a lack of inventory between $600,000-800,000 and I expect that well-maintained, well-priced properties in those price points will be extremely active this spring.

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