Thursday, February 28, 2019

Manhattan Real Estate 2018

Since many of our new buyers are coming from Manhattan, and can directly affect our market, I keep up with what is going on there through several contacts at different agencies. 

The information herewith was compiled through the efforts of The Corcoran Group.

2018 was a challenging year in the Manhattan real estate market, with total sales volume  declining 11% year over year to 11,790 closings.  Those numbers dwarf the numbers in Lower Fairfield County, but  from our perspective we have been surprised that a correction in Manhattan real estate has not come sooner.  Foreign investment has in many ways helped to shield Manhattan from the big
drops that we saw after the 2008 stock market crash. 

From afar, it looks like the situation is akin to what we have been seeing over the past 5 years or so in our market. Inventory in Manhattan has been on the increase, up 10% in 2018. That is likely because potential sellers have noticed that prices are also correcting.  The median price was down 4% in 2018
to $1,100,000.  That pricing difference was less than what we experienced in most mid-Fairfield towns last year (refer to my previous blog about 2018 year end statistics).  At the end of the first quarter there should be some early indications of where the market in Manhattan (and Fairfield County) are trending.

What seems troubling as an observer is that new development sales fell at a rate five times the amount of either resale condos or resale co-ops, dropping 35% year over year.  The 1500 closings represented the fewest number of closings in 10 years.  It seems that there is a tremendous amount of new construction still underway in Manhattan. 

'Resales also saw fewer sales compared to 2017, but had more moderate declines of 7% for condos and 6% for resale co-ops'.  The high end ($5 million+) fell to the lowest level (766) since 2014.  For new developments there was a decrease of 42% year over year. 

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Friday, February 08, 2019

Electronic Repair-Resource

I recently had a problem with my laptop screen and went to the  Fairfield County uBreakIFix location in Westport (1761 Post Road East-there are also locations in Darien and Norwalk).  What I love about this place is that they do a free diagnostic while you wait to give you an idea of what the issue may be and what it can cost.  It made sense for me to get it repaired rather than replacing the laptop. I had it back in a couple of days and it has been working great.  There is a 90 day warranty for repairs.

uBreakIFix can basically repair anything that has a button-smartphones, tablets, televisions and computers are the basics, but they have fixed drones, hoverboards, and even a light-up Christmas tree sweater. They are a local family owned business that is part of a much larger network of stores which allows them to source the best quality parts at the lowest prices.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Don't Fret about moving-There is Help

I've noticed that many people don't realize the diversity of services that are on our doorstep, and I will be writing about some of these local companies in future blogs.

One of these companies, Coastal Town Moves, provides all the services involved with moving including organizing & home staging.  It's rare to find a one stop shopping for movers.  They offer to help clients declutter/store/dispose of household items and then pack what remains so they can move more easily. The next step is to coordinate the moving company to load, transport & unload. They offer unpacking services as well.  So if it's all feeling a little overwhelming this may just be what the doctor ordered.  

They offer a free consultation and provide an estimate of what it will cost. According to the owner,
Laurie Maggio,  "Moving is truly a stressful time for most people, we try to keep the mood light and treat the move like a special event .... we really get to know our clients well and sometimes continue our relationships well into their new homes."  They can be reached at  (203) 216-1376.

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Monday, February 04, 2019

Musings about Beautiful Connecticut

I grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, a flat expanse of land that was an outwash plain from glaciers, leaving hilly areas with their rock carried by the glaciers further north.  These flat plains  lent themselves to suburban development after World War II.  Unfortunately in the process of quickly developing what had been farm land, there was very little of the old 'farm' feel by the 1950s.  The jewel of the South Shore, was (and remains) the beaches and in particular Jones Beach-still one of the largest and purest example of sandy beach to be found anywhere in the Northeast, and for that matter still ranks among the best beaches in the United States.

It seemed that each town or village had a small park with a pond that served as an inspiration for those looking for a little bit of nature.  There was a patch of woods that I remember playing in with my buddies. Probably less than an acre.

Now, as I travel throughout this area, I marvel at the beautiful rolling countryside, with many protected nature reserves.  When the weather gets a little warmer I'll hike in Trout Brook,  Brett Woods, or Devil's den.  Here are a few images that I've taken in Easton and Fairfield recently.

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