Real estate agent: Wilton sets record for monthly home sales

WILTON — Wilton real estate made history in September.

The month closed out a quarter that has not been achieved in recent memory, with two months topping 50 single-family home sales and one surpassing 40.

In July, there were 59 homes sold, 57 in August and 42 in September.

According to John DiCenzo, executive director of sales for Westport and Wilton at Halstead Real Estate, Wilton has exceeded 40 sales a month only 14 times since Jan. 1, 2000.

“It has never seen 40-plus closings in two consecutive months, let alone three months,” he said. This was Wilton’s best September ever, he added.

As a result, this year’s third-quarter sales were the strongest in 20 years, according to a market report from Halstead Real Estate. Sales of 157 single-family homes in July, August and September were 104 percent above 2019, the data showed.

The third quarter also propelled year-to-date sales to 264, up 47.5 percent over 179 closings in the first nine months of 2019. Sales volume amounted to $229 million, compared to $177 million for January through September of 2019.

The 42 sales in September eclipsed the 14 recorded last year. October sales are also expected to be strong with 18 through Oct. 15, more than the 13 total sales that closed last October.

With an inventory of only 135 homes as of Sept. 30, compared to 216 on the same day last year, it continues to be a seller’s market.

According to Dianne DeWitt, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the number of single-family homes on the market shrank to 88 as of Oct. 16, and with condos added in the number rose only to 101.

“To have that kind of inventory shows the amount of sales that have occurred,” DeWitt said.

“There is no September as low as we are now,” DiCenzo said of the inventory. This creates an extremely competitive environment. “It’s classic supply and demand,” he said. “People are desiring a move and they have fewer choices to pick from.”

Who are those people? While the Fair Housing Act prevents real estate professionals from collecting demographic information on clients, it’s clear many of these buyers are coming from New York.

“Anecdotally, it does seem the New York buyers are dominating the market. The license plates are more prolific than they were a year ago,” DiCenzo said.

DeWitt agreed and said the fact many people are still working remotely has helped, particularly in a town like Wilton that is not on the main Metro-North line.

What’s selling?

“Everyone is still looking for land and privacy, and pools are still one of the top-three requests,” DeWitt said. “If a pool is on the property, we make sure to include that front and center in our listing photographs.”

In addition to a pool, people are looking for other types of spaces inside a home besides bedrooms, such as office space or even a home gym.

“If a property has an existing pool, remote work spaces, and an exercise area in the home, they garner great attention,” she said, and then added, “along with an updated kitchen.”


The average closing price in the third quarter was $893,677, compared to $822,368 last year. For the first nine months, the price range with the most sales at 73 was $500,000 to $700,000.

The price range that saw the biggest jump in number of sales was the $1.5 to $2-million range, with 13 sales, an increase of 117 percent over last year. There were only four houses in that price range on the market as of Sept. 30.

Also strong was the $700,000 to $800,000 range, with 43 sales, 79 percent more than last year.

The average list-to-sale ratio for all price ranges, from under $500,000 to over $2 million, was 97.6 percent.

Each of the 13 towns Halstead includes in its monthly report showed double-digit increases for the third quarter, and all showed an increase in the average closing price.

Fairfield registered the most homes sold, with 454, up from 245 last year.

Redding had the greatest percent change, with 79 houses sold this quarter compared to 28 last year, a jump of 182 percent.

Westport was also strong, with 266 sales, up 140 percent from 111 last year.

Not surprisingly, Greenwich had the highest average closing price of $2.67 million.

The future

DiCenzo and DeWitt do not see the market cooling off. As of Oct. 15, there were 51 homes under contract and an additional 48 with binders.

There were 94 homes in the pipeline that indicates binder transactions and housing deals in contract as of Sept. 30, compared to 31 at the same time last year. All the towns in Halstead’s market report are experiencing the same trend, with 1,141 homes in the pipeline on Sept. 30, compared to 489 the year before, an increase of 133 percent.

“Historically, fall is our second-most active market time, however, being in the middle of October we still have new properties coming on the market,” DeWitt said.