First-quarter real estate sales nearly double

Wilton turned in a powerful first quarter for single-family home sales, with 44 houses being sold, up from 26 a year earlier. That was a remarkable increase of 69.2%, and was the strongest showing of any town in lower Fairfield County.

The data was provided by Realty Seven.

“My best explanation refers to the political discord going on in the second half of last year. Sales were down leading up to the election, which is normal no matter who is running. Once it was over you saw a jump in the last quarter of homes going under binder, referred to as a post-election bump. Those are the homes that closed in the first quarter of 2017 causing the uptick,” said Peg Koellmer, president of Realty Seven.

That has calmed down significantly, which will be apparent in the next quarter’s numbers, Koellmer said, “unless we have a late spring market that has yet to bloom.”

The town with the percentage increase nearest to Wilton’s in the first quarter was New Canaan, which was up 35.3%, from 34 sold last first quarter to 46 sold this first quarter. The poorest performing town was Easton, down 51.9%, from 27 units to 13 units sold.

Demand in Wilton was higher, for certain, but prices did not climb. Rather, the average list price dropped to $990,414 from $1,006,285 a year earlier. The average sale price in 2016 was $944,635 and dropped 1.3%, to $932,066. The median sale price in 2016 was $861,000; in 2017 it was $735,000. It took longer to sell a home, too. The average days on market were 161, compared with 126 a year earlier.

Wilton was not the only town where prices dropped. The average sale price in New Canaan dropped 9.4%, from $1.8 million in 2016 to $1.6 million this year. Likewise, the median sale price dropped 8.5%, from $1.5 million to $1.4 million.

Condo sales did not fare as well. Two units sold during the first quarter, compared with five the previous first quarter, down 4.4%. However, the average sale price was much higher, at $382,500 compared with $312,000. Again, it took longer to sell the units. The average days on the market was 202, compared with 103 a year earlier.

Will this continue?

“I hope so,” said Donna Williams, Realtor of William Pitt Sotheby’s in Wilton. She also attributed it to pent-up demand from the contentious election season. “After the election, people got back into it, and did what they needed to do,” she said.

“I think people have really been looking and they’re going for it, finding what they want,” Williams said. “The market looks very strong right now and it looks like it will continue.”