Broker: Wilton real estate on track for unprecedented year

Wilton is on pace to record its most home sales in a single year.

Wilton is on pace to record its most home sales in a single year.

Paul Chinn / The Chronicle

WILTON — As the town marked its fifth month in a row with more than 40 single-family home sales, the number of houses on the market dipped into double digits, something not seen since the giddy real estate days of 2006, according to John DiCenzo, of Brown Harris Stevens.

If December brings another 40-plus month, 2020 sales will exceed 2018 (190) and 2019 (206) combined.

“If we do 44 sales, we’ll be at 400, which we’ve never done before,” DiCenzo said.

That’s certainly a possibility with 65 transactions in the pipeline — pending sales either with binders or in contract. That is a higher total than any month so far this year, including the spring market and summer closing peak months, he said.

Wilton single-family home sales totaled 44 in November, a 214-percent increase over the 14 that sold in 2019. That brings the year-to-date total to 356, up 73 percent from 206 closings for the first 11 months of 2019.

The year-to-date average closing price has also increased from $767,601 in 2019 to $875,046 in 2020, a 14-percent jump.

The active inventory as of Nov. 30 was 93, almost half the 173 homes on the market at this time in 2019. By Nov. 11, it had dropped even further to 57, a number DiCenzo termed as “historic,” even though December is traditionally the low ebb for inventory as some people withdraw their homes for the holidays.

The 65 homes in the pipeline is a 38-percent increase over the 47 in the pipeline at this time last year.

More Information

Single-family sales

2019

2020

Change

November

14

44

214.30%

YTD Single Family

206

356

72.80%

Avg. Price

$767,601

$875,046

14.00%

Active inventory

173

93

-47.30%

SF Pipeline sales

47

65

38.20%

The condo market is also active, with five sales in November, compared to just one in November 2019. Year-to-date, there have been 37 condo sales, almost double the 19 in 2019. The average condo price has risen 25 percent, from $335,653 in 2019 to $420,284 this year.

The total dollar volume of single-family and condo sales year-to-date for 2020 is $327 million, almost double the $165 million recorded for the same period last year.

Price ranges

The most active price range this year with 101 closings was $700,000 to $900,000, double the 51 closings in the first 11 months of last year.

Close behind was the $500,000 to $700,000 range with 93 closings. That was the most active price range from January through November 2019 when there were 67 closings.

Activity has also increased in homes priced over $1 million, a mark that has been sluggish in the past. There have been 76 homes sold from $1 million to $1.5 million, compared to 32 for the same period in 2019.

There have been 17 closings from $1.5 million to over $2 million, compared to just seven in the first 11 months of 2019.

Other towns

A number of other Fairfield County towns included in the Brown Harris Stevens market report also recorded triple-digit sales increases last month:

Greenwich — 92 sales, up 130 percent.

New Canaan — 41 sales, up 215 percent.

Redding — 25 sales, up 257 percent.

Ridgefield — 59 sales, up 195 percent.

Weston — 31 sales, up 182 percent.

The total dollar volume of home sales in November for the 12 lower Fairfield County municipalities in the report was $749 million, an increase of 125 percent compared to November 2019.

The future

While these record sales are welcome after a 15-year drought of trying to recover from the bull market of the mid-2000s, DiCenzo warned they will not last.

After five consecutive months of more than 40 sales, “there’s no way we can sustain that level,” he said.

Looking at the fourth quarter of the last five years, the best month was the 27 sales recorded last December.

“My fear is if we do 30 next December, that is not a disaster,” he said. “If we do 400 sales this year and the previous record was 333 [in 2004 and 2005], if we then do 350, is that a bad year?”

“It warps our perspective and resets our expectations,” he said. “I don’t think we can expect these kinds of numbers, but we can still have a really strong real estate market.”

There are some things working in Wilton’s and Fairfield County’s favor due to COVID, specifically remote working that he said is “an immediate benefit for us.”

He is also hopeful the incoming Biden administration will provide relief on the state and local tax deductions the Trump administration reduced to a $10,000 threshold.

“If we can go even from $10,000 to $25,000, that would be beneficial for us later in 2021,” he said.

Barring unforeseen economic factors, DiCenzo is optimistic 2021 will be a good year.