Thursday, August 24, 2017

Westport Coastal Real Estate Activity

We had previously looked at Greens Farms and Compo Beach real estate. Henceforth we will be including the Saugatuck Shores area to include all of the coastline in Westport.
Coastal activity in the Compo Beach area and Saugatuck Shores has increased from 2016 levels. There have been 29 sales in the Compo Beach area as of the writing of this article, with a median sales price of $2,000,000, compared to 23 sales in 2016 with a median price $2,125,000. There are 5 additional properties in the Compo Beach area that are under contract, and 46 active listings with a median list price of $2,292,000.
The Saugatuck Shores area has had 12 sold properties year to date with a median price of $1,035,000. This compares favorably to 6 properties sold at this time last year with a median price of $1,132,000. There are 2 additional properties under contract and 20 active listings with a median list price of $2,495,000.
In Greens Farms, including both coastal and inland properties, there have been 22 sales this year for a median sales price of $1,707,000, and 8 additional properties under contract. Last year’s sales at this time of year totaled 27 with a median price of $1,585,000. There are currently 40 active listings in Greens Farms with a median list price of $1,999,000.

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The Luxury Market: Buyers vs.Sellers

The definition of a luxury house has changed over the years, but for the sake of our purposes in Westport, we generally refer to homes selling for over $2 million as falling into that category. Of the 382 single family properties currently on the market, half of the homes are listed at $ 2 m + and 71 are asking $3 million or more, with 37% of them in the Greens Farms/Compo area.
For those readers who may be thinking of selling in the near future, here are some things to keep in mind when listing your home.
Today’s buyers have access to much more information than you may have had when you bought your home. They will likely establish a list of homes that fit their ‘must-haves’ and then try to see as many of these homes as possible.
Many of these buyers are very comfortable with an Excel spreadsheet and they will then break them down by categories beyond the basic bedrooms, baths, and square footage, into subcategories such as yard features, curb appeal, special features, privacy, sports features, lower level amenities, etc. Emotional buying is being replaced by value buying.
Many of us focus on the interior changes that we’ve made to our homes. Don’t overlook the first things that potential buyers may see. Repair any cracks in driveways or broken Belgian blocks. Power wash walkways, patios and decks, mulch the flower beds, and make sure that exterior paint looks fresh.

4 Hilandale road listed at $2,400,000

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Steady as she goes...

As a nautical town, I thought that the above terminology was an apt description of our current real estate market. The current inventory of 375 single family homes would appear on the surface to be slightly above average levels. A closer look shows only 84 of these listings under $1 million. The remaining 291 properties are listed over $1million and 142 of these are over $ 2million. That last sector, in particular, represents an overabundance of inventory.
The Greens Farms/Compo active inventory currently stands at 97, with 45 homes in Greens Farms and 42 in the Compo area, representing approximately 26% of town-wide inventory. Greens Farms has 15 properties under contract and Compo has 14. The current median price of homes under contract in Greens Farms is $1,844,000 while the beach area’s median price under contract in $2.4 million.
There have been 139 overall single family sales in Westport compared to 125 at this time in 2016. The current median price of those sales is at $1,486,000 compared to $1,350,000 at this time last year. Compo sales this year are one above 2016 levels while Greens Farms sales are lagging by 7. As of the writing of this article it is still a bit early to tell whether these trends will hold.

8 Tiffany lane is listed at $3,995,000

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The State of New Construction in Fairfield County

Westport has the most active new construction market along the Gold Coast. There are currently 77 new homes on the market in Westport with a median price of $2,995,000. Of those 6 are in Greens Farms and 9 are in the Compo Beach area. 11 new homes are currently under contract and 66 have sold in the past 12 months. The house above is a rendering of a proposed home listed at $11,995,000
at 17 & 20 Owenoke Park.
In Greenwich there are currently 48 new homes for sale, 44 in New Canaan and in Darien only 13. In the past 12 months, 23 new homes have sold in Greenwich, 14 in New Canaan, and 19 in Darien*.
The number of new homes being sold in Westport has been trending upward since the economic upheaval of 2008. In 2013, (a big bounce back year), there were 73 new homes sold, and in 2014, 60. That compares to 57 in 2005, 82 in 2006, and 69 in 2007. Due in part to the high costs of land in Greens Farms and Compo, there have been fewer new homes built in our neighborhoods. The numbers in the Compo Beach area on the MLS do not reflect homes that were completely rebuilt or built new after damage from Sandy or Irene.
*Statistical information taken from the Consolidated Multiple Listing Services and does not include homes not listed on the CMLS.

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Booming by the Beach

It was an exciting month for Compo Beach area real estate. Properties at 24 Manitou, 15 Buena Vista, 1 Yankee Hill, and 36 Compo Parkway took accepted offers. These homes are listed from $4,750,000 to $5,985,000. Four other homes in the Compo area listed between $1,300,000 and $1,525,000 have also accepted offers. There are currently only 2 properties in the Compo beach area listed for under $1 million. The number of homes actively listed in Compo area now stands at 38, with a total of 9 homes under binder, and 3 homes under contract.
In Greens Farms, homes at 82 Clapboard Hill, 29 West Parish and 1 Canning lane recently accepted offers. These homes are listed between $1,549,000 and $1,695,000. A home located at 75 Beachside avenue listed at $7,850,000 recently accepted an offer. This is the highest listed home in Westport to have an accepted offer this year. There are currently 46 single family homes actively listed in Greens Farms, 4 that have accepted offers, and 4 homes that are under contract.
In Westport as a whole there are 317 active listings (low for this time of year) with 53 homes that are under binder, 39 that are under contract and 63 that have sold year to date. At this time last year we had 58 homes sold, so despite the later than expected snow we are still ahead of 2016.

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Transitional Architectural Style

Trending -Transitional style 

The transitional style of architecture began to surface several years ago, but is now the dominant style in new homes being built in and around Westport. It is by definition a transition between traditional and contemporary architecture-containing some elements of both. The marriage of these elements is often defined by homes with ‘Nantucket’ style exteriors and interiors containing a color palette with variations on the grey scale and open floor plans as seen below:  
Kitchen located at 9 Rockyfield rd., Westport Listed at  $2,499,000 
 The ‘transitional’ design tends to be have moldings with fewer ‘layers’ and more square lines than traditional crown moldings.  Appliances, tiles, light and plumbing fixtures are daring to use new ‘fresh-looking’ modern designs.

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