Closing Comments: October sales spike
October emphasized the danger of making presumptions from a single month’s performance in the real estate market. After the major downturn in September closings, October sales jumped to 17 versus 11 in 2011. More impressively, that is the largest number of October sales since 2005. The balance of the equation is the continuing lower levels for median and average sales. The median price was $175,000 below October 2011, or 21%. The average price was over $261,000, or 24%, lower, even with the first $2,000,000-plus sale of the year included. Inventory dropped to 167 with an average price of $1,223,269.
With October sales, Wilton is running close to 20% (30 houses) ahead of last year — well ahead of surrounding towns. Median and average performance is not as good, running, respectively, 9% and 16% below last year at this time. Total revenue, largely due to the volume of October sales, is once again ahead of last year, but by a very small margin.
While we read a great deal of national press about housing recovery, New England, in general, and Connecticut in particular are not seeing the same price appreciation indicators at this time. Through the first three quarters of the year, the national year-over-year increase in median price is over 7.5% with Western states up the most. Conversely, the Commercial Record reports the state of Connecticut is down 4% in median price through the first three quarters. The number of houses sold is up 13%.
Real estate is a hyper-local industry, but it appears Wilton is following the overall Connecticut pattern quite closely. As the election and Sandy recede into the rearview mirror, many will be looking for signs of changes in mortgage and buyer confidence. The continued uptick in volume of sales is a most welcome sign which will eventually translate into price stability.
Marion Filley is a Realtor at Prudential CT Realty, 101 Old Ridgefield Road. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or MFilley@prudentialct.com.