Tuesday, April 29, 2014

March: In with a bang, slowed by the weather

There were some signs in March that spring was around the corner, but then Mother nature decided that it was a little premature to go in that direction. Momentum from the early part of the month was able to carry many of the towns through the month. Early signs of cold weather plus holidays (Easter/Passover and Spring breaks) will likely bring down April sales. March saw a quick run on some of the new construction in Westport. Some partially built homes went to contract, along with some pricier homes. Bonuses may have played a part in the median sold price for the Month of March increasing to $1,600,000, signficantly higher than it was a year earlier in March. The year to date figure of $1,300,000 is much closer to the year end median sales price. Sales were up slightly from the previous year's March figures, with 52 properties going to contract, though year to date figures are behind 2013 figures in Westport, and supply of new homes increased by the end of March to 271 properties. The month inventory of homes at 8.6 is practically unchanged from the previous year. These are fairly healthy figures though still above what we would expect in a pure seller's market. We continue to be in a more mixed environment. At the highest end of the spectrum larger inventories and a smaller buyer pool give buyers the edge. The opposite is true on the lower end of the spectrum. Wilton was the suprise leader in March in terms of seeing an increase in properties going to contract. 25 properties in Wilton went to contract versus only 15 in March of 2013. Much of this activity was focused on the entry level properties resulting in the median sold price decreasing to $698,000 year to date, down about 1.8%. Sales through March were 48 compared to 45 in the first 3 months of 2013, and inventory is slightly down. The month supply of inventory is now at 8.5 months a big change for the positive in Wilton. Weston also had a successful March with 13 properties going to contract, though the 29 properties under contract through March was down 2 from the previous year. The number of homes that have closed through March was identical with the first 3 months of 2013, and the median price has increased to $830,000 through March indicating that buyers have been attracted to moderately priced homes in Weston. Fairfield, which has a large inventory in entry level homes has been very hot on entry level homes. One moderately priced home in our office drew 8 offers. There were 75 properties that went to contract in March in Fairfield, up from 61 last March, and the numbers through the end of March were up to 151. A modest increase in the number of listings has resulted in inventory levels of 8.4 months in Fairfield, similar to levels in Westport and Wilton. Easton sales are up slightly. The median sales price of $523,000 is up from last year's median price of $468,000 but the lower end of the market continues to outpace larger, more expensive home sales.

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