Closing Comments: Mixed messages from housing market
August continued the pattern of this year’s real estate market in Wilton. Sales were up — this month a more modest 8% — to 26 compared to last year’s 24. Encouragingly, you had to go back several years, in this case 2007, to find an equivalent performance. The median sale dipped to $735,000, 17% below last August. While the average sale in August 2011 was boosted by the $4,000,000 sale on Keeler’s Ridge, the 34.6% drop in average sale in 2012 is substantially greater than expected. Inventory continued downward from the previous month, but the average price is now approximately $100,000 higher than Sept. 1, 2011. This is due to an increase in higher-priced homes being actively on the market.
Year-to-date closings are up from 2011 by 31, close to 25%. At the same time, the median sale is now 11% lower than this time last year. Average sales are 17% below last year. Overall revenue is ahead 3%, but that represents slightly over $4,000,000 on 31 additional sales. Like the monthly figures, the year-to-date closings continue to gain (now over 28% ahead of 2011). With the growth in sales, the total revenue is now up 13%. However, median sales, now down 6%, and average sales, down 12%, continue their downward slide from last year’s level.
Nationally there has been an increasing amount of optimistic news regarding real estate trends (including the Case-Shiller report of the first monthly increase in their index of property values since September 2010.) Connecticut faces ongoing challenges. There is a good Aug. 28 analysis available from Bloomberg.com (http://bloom.bg/OG3kdH). Perhaps one of the most telling points cited is the Warren Group’s finding that in the first half of 2012 conventional mortgages rose 8.4% statewide, while jumbo loans fell 9.4%. Wilton continues to outpace the area in number of sales. At the same time, there are an increasing number of properties that represent significant value to buyers, which is why the sales rate has risen.
Marion Filley is a Realtor at Prudential CT Realty, 101 Old Ridgefield Road. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or MFilley@prudentialct.com.