With the end of the first half of the year, the market is sending mixed messages. Sales for June were 13% behind 2014 for the same month. The median sale price for the month was up a strong 18.4% (almost $150,000). The average sale rose close to 9% ($80,000). However, inventory also rose, reaching levels we have not seen on July 1 since 2012. The average list price of the inventory dropped approximately $35,000. It should be noted that the high-end ($2,000,000 and up) does not currently represent as high a percentage of the inventory as it has in the past.
June sales pushed the year-to-date results to a point where sales now lag 2014 by more than 10%. However, the median price is now $85,000, or close to 11%, above the same level in 2014. And while it is only $8,000 (less than 1%) ahead of 2014, the average is back in the black. As can be expected, the total revenue for single-family houses trails the first half of 2014 by more than 9%.
Looking back on the first six months there are some trends worth noting. There has been a significant dropoff in the number of sales under $700,000 — 40 in 2014 for first six months, compared to 27 in 2015. This fact alone would contribute to the increase in the median sale price. Yet in the $700,000 to $1,000,000 range, sales have been higher by five in 2015.
While tighter, 2015 is ahead of 2014 in the $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 range. The pattern changes over $1,500,000. Here the numbers swing back in 2014’s favor substantially in the $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 and above $3,000,000 ranges, while there are three sales between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 in 2015 and none in 2014.
What is most concerning is the downward trend in sales for the last two years. This is hardly likely to be reversed going into the second half of the year, which typically has fewer transactions. Looking forward, Wilton needs to be mindful of raising taxes, which tend to drive the buyers to different towns seeking a lower tax burden. This is a frequent lament from purchasers looking in the surrounding area and comparing rates town to town. The 2015-2016 increase was very modest but it is doubtful this will be the case in years to come.