Marion Filley's Closing Comments: January

January 2015 tried very hard to continue 2014. Closings were down close to 47% from January 2014. Median was up almost 39%. Meanwhile, the average sales price was up 14%. All of which serves as a reminder, small samplings provide very little indication of actual market trends.

Inventory, while ahead of 2014 and 2011 levels, is down from other years since 2006. The price level is also down from 2014 level, but higher than every other Feb. 1 back to 2008. Weather may be playing a factor as not that many houses have come on since the beginning of the month.

Historically, putting houses on the market in late winter/early spring ahead of the crowd is advantageous for sellers. There are fewer competing homes and buyers who have looked in the fall are ready to make decisions. Now, more than ever, sellers need to take the time in advance to declutter and freshen up so that their homes sparkle. Keeping this in mind my favorite stager’s quote is “Clutter eats equity.”

What does 2015 hold for Wilton real estate? While cautiously optimistic certain indicators give one pause. Currently oil prices are lower than they have been in a long time and interest rates are still attractively low. Taking this and other indices into account, January has proven to be a somewhat enigmatic start to the year with stock market volatility, disappointing economic data, and continued global economic and political worries.