Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Chief Economist of National Association of Realtors Speech at the Norwalk Inn

Last week, Laurence Yun, the chief economist of N.A.R. spoke for about 90 minutes about the state of the real estate market in Connecticut as well as nationally. 

While once the wealthiest state in the nation, many of the wealthier residents have started to leave Connecticut.  This has been enhanced, in part, by the new tax laws which disadvantage states that have real estate taxes greater than $10,000/year, the limit by the new tax laws, as well as more expensive homes for which the $750,000 mortgage limit means that mortgage amounts above that will no longer be tax deductible. 

2018 GDP was +2.9%, a healthy number, but not sufficient to cover the additional costs of the tax cuts, which means that the Federal debt will be increasing significantly.  There have been some
economists that feel that a recession might be on the horizon.  Mr. Yun is more optimistic, feeling that very low interest rates might be able to sustain a continued prosperity for longer than what we have currently experienced (though he did note that there were some signals in the yield curve that might suggest that possibility) .  The fundamentals, he pointed out are still strong and consumer sentiment is also very strong (availability of jobs a factor).  The number of short sales and foreclosures are also down significantly to more historic levels.

On a national level, real estate affordability ( a measure of what people can afford based on income and debt) is actually higher than in the year 2000 (when mortgage rates were at 8%).

Job growth in Connecticut has been mixed.  In our area (Bridgeport to Stamford) it has fallen about 3% from the year 2000.  However, during the same time period New Haven saw job growth of 4%.
Further east the Norwich/New London area saw no growth. 

Weekly earning are rising, and there appears to be the capacity to expand.  At issue, in some locals, is that there are not enough qualified people to fill jobs. 

The Fed appears ready to be 'patient' and will likely not be raising interest rates until at least 2020.

Demand for starter homes remains strong throughout the country (including Connecticut), though in some places there is a lack of inventory.

The confluence of low rates and high consumer confidence are good indicators of a strong real estate market.  California and Connecticut are two areas where this has not been manifested, though the number of information requests for mortgage pre-approvals has been on the rise.

Existing home sales were slightly off nationwide, but new home sales are on the rise.  Resales of slightly older 'McMansions' were struggling, and the high end in Connecticut is 'soft'.  What had been a 10% differential between new and existing home sale prices has now widened to about 20-25%.  The growth of inventory has been slow nationwide, and housing starts for new housing is running behind demand. 

New home starts are down in Connecticut but Multi family starts are up.

In the past a typical period of time that people stayed in their homes was 7 years.  Today it is 10-11 years.  Consumers appear less excited about inventory choices.  More people not moving is an indication that people don't feel that their lives are improving (which is when they typically buy).

Unaffordable rents in the New York City market place are an indicator that there may be a shift of those people towards purchasing outside of the 5 boroughs. 

Student debt has also been a drag on millenials purchasing homes. 

In my next blog, I will speak about future solutions to improve Connecticuts real estate market  mentioned by Dr. Yun.

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Monday, May 06, 2019

Wilton & Weston April, 2019 Sales

The number of transactions for both Wilton and Weston in April were down from the previous April.
Wilton had 19 sales in April 2018 compared to 15 this year, and Weston had 10 compared to 16 in 2018.  Sales below $1 million continue to outpace the market above that number. 

There are excellent opportunities for buyers looking for value throughout the market.

Here are the properties that traded in Wilton this April:
190 Cannon Road                         $310,000
12 Tall Trees Lane                          490,000
25 Cardinal lane                              540,000
69 Range Road                                550,000
103 Catalpa Road                            555,000
25 Ridge lane                                   555,000
3 Roxbury Lane                                630,000
1 Crowne Pond Lane                        635,000
74 Old Driftway                                700,000
105 Scarlet Oak drive                        820,000
280 Cheesespring Road                     850,000
107 Pipers Hill Road                         899,000
57 Old Farm Road                             975,000
65 Hurlbutt Street                             1,112,500
66 Borglum                                       1,262,500

Here are the Weston properties that closed in April:

81 Blue Spruce Circle                          227,950
129 Good Hill Road                             575,000
53 Treadwell Lane                               689,000
1 Cartbridge Road                                699,000
157 Godfrey Road East                        775,000
37 Osborn Farm road                            830,000
4 Smith Farm road                               1,060,000
4 Norfield road                                     1,118,000
45 Hemlock Ridge road                       1,300,000
63 Fanton Hill road                             1,400,000

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Friday, May 03, 2019

Westport Property Transfers April 2019

The April 2019 closings were nearly identical to those of April 2018.  Here are the
properties that closed:

27 Whitney Glen                                              $ 410,000
103 Harvest Commons                                        720,000
4 Davenport Ave.                                                 385,000
6 Abbotts Lane                                                     390,000
7 Fairport Road                                                    526,000
12 Fillow Street                                                    535,500
250 Wilton Road                                                  575,000
11 Fairport Road                                                  612,000
42 Kingshighway South                                       616,875
5 Whitney Street                                                   660,000
4 Robin Hill road                                                  670,000
29 Cross Highway                                                 700,000
5 Davis Lane                                                         740,000
148 Greens Farms Road                                        764,000
15 Silver Brook Road                                            775,000
9 Birchwood Lane                                                  790,000
21 Crooked Mile road                                             900,000
45 Marion Road                                                      985,000
9 Melon Patch Road                                              1,000,000
4 Scofield Place                                                     1,042,000
41 Burr Farms Road                                               1,100,000
10 Ridge Drive                                                       1,304,500
19 Bauer Place Extension                                       1,475,000
4 Tamarac Road                                                       1,527,500
15 Bradley Street                                                     1,549,000
8 Tower Ridge                                                         1,304,500
8 Linda Lane                                                            1,575,000
34 Bauer Place Extension                                        1,592,000
4 Berkeley Place                                                       1,600,000
36 Edgewater Hillside                                              1,675,000
146 Bayberry Lane                                                   1,675,000
168 Imperial Ave.                                                     1,720,000
7 River Lane                                                              1,775,000
12 Green Acre Lane                                                  1,950,000
6 Crystal Circle                                                         2,475,000
25 Edgemarth Hill                                                     2,500,000
11 Burr Farms Road                                                  3,050,000
2 Driftwood Road                                                      6,300,000

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