Marion Filley's Closing Comments: August 2015

For the third month in a row during the peak selling period, monthly sales were below the same time last year. For 2015, August closings trailed 2014 by 14%. The median price was $5,000 ahead of last year. At the same time the average price rose $10,749, or 1.2%, from August 2014. Of greater concern was the continuing rise in inventory to the level of 206 on Sept. 1. This is more than 20 houses higher than we have seen in the last 10 years on that date.
The number of closings year-to-date is now more than 9% below this time last year. The median sale price is more than 7% above 2014. Meanwhile, the average sale price is just over $16,000 above last year. Total single-family sales revenue, as is apparent from the numbers cited, is lagging — now down by $11,500,000 or just over 8%. The pipeline (houses under agreement and with contingency-free contracts) is not strong — 30 homes in all price ranges as of Sept. 11. Another five have been sold since the first of the month. None of the solds and only six in the pipeline are listed above $1,000,000, which would indicate a dip ahead in median and average prices.
It remains to be seen what impact the Fed announcement will have on the real estate market. No matter the size of an interest rate hike, we will still have very reasonable mortgage rates. Many of the houses currently on the market have excellent value, but consumer confidence in real estate in Connecticut and certainly in southwestern Fairfield County continues to be much lower than in other parts of the country. At the same time, perhaps underscoring some of the value in the market, 15 homes have sold for list price and above in the last three months and seven of these sold for over $1,000,000, one for over $2,000,000. The next two months will be critical in determining how Wilton real estate ends 2015.