Marion Filley's Closing Comments: April
The first part of 2015 continues to mirror the swings of the 2014 real estate market. The number of closed transactions lagged in April, wiping out the small gains of February and March. Compared to the 21-year average, this April was down more than 30%. However, it should be noted that 2015 was up somewhat from the monthly results for April in 2011-2013. The median sale price dropped 29% compared to the previous year. The average was only slightly better at 24%. One explanation for this downturn is the drop of sales over a million dollars for the month of April 2015 to three, whereas the same month in 2014 saw eight properties close.
The year-to-date results are not as encouraging as this time last year. Overall sales are currently down 14%. The median sale is up 7% ($57,500) — definitely a positive sign. However, the average sale is down close to $60,000 or 6%. Total sales volume for the period is trailing 2014 by more than $9,000,000 (over 19%). Year-to-date there have been 11 sales over $1,000,000 in 2015 compared to 20 in 2014 — a drop of 45%. Part of this may be due to the severe winter as there are currently 20 homes over a million dollars in the pipeline (either under agreement or with contingency free contracts.)
Inventory, with the usual spring increase, is now up to 179 houses. The $125,000 drop since last month in average price is due primarily to an over $4,000,000 price reduction of the most expensive property currently on the market.
Wilton is not the only local market to be down in number of houses sold, but we are the only one of the towns abutting us that is down over 10%. At the same time, 10 of the 43 houses sold at or above their asking price and only one had been previously reduced. While there are enough houses in the pipeline to catch up to last year’s sales in the next couple of months, it is very unlikely all of those will close in the first half of the year. The predominance of inventory over $1,250,000 and the lack of sales-to-date in this price range is a concern. NAR (National Association of Realtors) has reported a large uptick in spring buyers who are out looking, but it is not as yet translated to actual sales in Wilton.