Closing Comments: Jan. 16

December brought both a strong close to 2013 and some positive trends to the Wilton market. The number of sales for the month was higher than any other December since 2005 and more than double 2012. The median was $731,688, 8.4% (somewhat more than $55,000) higher than last year. The average sale, boosted by the two highest sales of 2013 (one being the highest-recorded MLS sale in Wilton) was over $400,000 (or 60 %+) higher than last year for the month. The inventory shrank to 79 listings on Jan. 1, the lowest in eight years. The drop in listings has also raised the average price higher than we have seen in those eight years.

For the year 259 houses were sold, 18% ahead of 2012 and the strongest year for sales since 2005. Median price was up 10%, close to $70,000. The average for the year was up a very strong 16% over $125,000. And, as might be expected, the total homes sold were extremely impressive, up over 37%.

The trend in units sold under $700,000 was slightly reversed in 2013. After the sudden increase in 2012 from 57 to 102 sales under $700,000, 2013 saw a slight pullback to 95, still representing 37% of the solds. The most encouraging numbers are in the $1,000,000 and up sales. In the $1,000,000-$1,500,000 range there were 50 sales, 43% above 2012 and the highest since 2007. We also had the highest recorded sale on the MLS, plus two additional sales over $2,500,000. While there was some narrowing between final asking price and sale price, it is important to examine the situation. A total of 45 homes sold for their last list price or above. However, if you check the original list price that is reduced to 33 homes.

Looking back over the past year the positive general direction was not felt across the board. Not all properties experienced a sense of euphoria with the sale. There were many examples of houses purchased in 2000, 2003, 2005-2008 and 2010 that sold for less and in some circumstances far less than they were purchased for previously even after substantial improvements. Condition and updates continue to be vital in the eyes of the buyers who are frugal with their cash. A large number of factors would seem to indicate that we will not see equivalent growth to 2013, but a continuing improvement in the market for 2014.