Wilton real estate market delivers on predictions
WILTON — Wilton has not seen real estate numbers like these in a very long time. July was expected to be a big month, but it was stupendous.
There were 57 single-family homes sold in July, a 78.1-percent increase over the 32 sales recorded in July 2019, according to a report from Halstead Real Estate. That number just misses the 58 homes sold in July 2004, the best in recent memory.
July’s performance boosted Wilton’s seven-month total to 164 homes sold, an increase of 22.4 percent over the 134 homes sold January to July in 2019. As of July 31, there were 49 pending sales, compared to 29 a year ago. There were 171 active listings on July 31, compared to 221 on the same day last year.
The average closing price for the first seven months climbed 6.2 percent from $794,547 to $843,832.
Condos also saw a bump with 16 sales in the first seven months, compared to 11 in 2019. There were 22 condos on the active sales list as of July 31.
Condo prices also rose, from an average of $314,173 last year to $350,844 for the first seven months of 2020. That’s an increase of 11.7 percent.
John DiCenzo, Halstead’s executive director of sales for Westport and Wilton, said he was not surprised at the number “but that’s quite a leap above,” he said, of last year’s number. “It’s indicative of the frenzy,” he said, adding, “I haven’t seen a market that’s turned as quickly.”
He was referring to the pivot the market made from April to May. On April 30, 2020, there were 604 homes in the pipeline that indicates binder transactions and housing deals in contract in the 10 lower Fairfield County towns and cities the report tracks. That was 18 percent fewer than the 743 in the pipeline on April 30, 2019.
A month later, on May 31, 2020, there were 920 homes in the pipeline, 7.4 percent more than the 856 a year earlier and 252 more than just a month earlier.
The $700,000 to $899,999 price range is the most active so far this year, with 52 homes sold this year of the 164-home total. In July, there were 16 homes sold in that price range.
The $500,000 to $699,999 price range is also very active, with 45 homes sold during the first seven months of this year, 18 in July.
There have been 30 homes sold in the $900,000 to $1.2-million range sold so far this year, almost double the 17 sold last year. Eleven were sold in this price range in July.
Lower Fairfield County
Every town in lower Fairfield County surveyed by Halstead Real Estate showed an increase in sales numbers in July, with the greatest percentage increase shown by Westport, with 95 sales this year compared to 32 last year, for a jump of 197 percent.
New Canaan’s increase was more modest, rising from 32 sales in 2019 to 46 this year, but it had the greatest increase in average closing price, jumping 17.4 percent to $1,610,109.
Greenwich had the highest overall average closing price of $2,135,545, although this was down 10 percent from last year.
The pipeline for continued energetic sales also looks promising. On July 31, the pipeline that indicates binder transactions and housing deals in contract stood at 118 for Wilton, compared to 43 in 2019.
On Aug. 1, there were 49 homes in contract, compared to 31 closings last year.
“I think we will easily eclipse 31,” DiCenzo said.
For lower Fairfield County, the pipeline showed a 68.4-percent increase with 1,420 houses under a binder or in contract as of June 30. As of July 31, the pipeline showed a 120.8-percent increase with 1,387 house in the pipeline, compared to 628 a year ago.
What is causing a bit of frustration among buyers is the lower inventory, DiCenzo said. In July, there were 175 active listings in Wilton, far fewer than the 227 at the same time last year. In 2018, the inventory was even higher, at 255; 237 in 2017; and 261 in 2016.
Total dollar volume
Wilton’s July home sales totaled $50 million, an increase of 79 percent over last year. For 12 cities and towns in lower Fairfield County, total dollar volume of closings was $944 million, an increase of 55 percent over July 2019.
“This is the highest-dollar volume of closings for July in at least the past 15 years,” the report said. The number of house closings — 828 — was also the highest total in the last 15 years.
Halstead also included an analysis of the rental market with its monthly market report. It shows there have been 59 long-, short- and flexible-term rental closings for single-family homes so far this year. That is up almost 64 percent over the 36 recorded for the same period in 2019. The rental market heated up beginning in April.
What is significant is the increase in monthly rental prices, jumping from an average of $3,648 in January to $7,895 in April, $11,832 in May, $14,670 in June, and $9,770 in July.
The number of condo rentals jumped from eight in 2019 to 13 so far this year, but prices were flat at an average $2,728 per month this year.
Multi-family rentals remained the same at two, this year and last year, and prices actually dropped from $2,323 in 2019 to $1,685 in 2020.