Marion Filley's Closing Comments: November

With elections behind us and the holiday season in full swing, Wilton real estate had a generally good month of November. While sales were one less than in November 2013, we appear to be ending the year on a strong note. The median sale price was up 10% over last November and the average increased more than $175,000, more than 18%.  Inventory, as is typical for this time of year, is low — down about 14%, to 120 houses, from last month. Last year and in 2009 we saw lower inventory, but the general feeling is there is continuing buyer interest.

With one month to go, 2014 is running 8% behind 2013 in closings for the year and that likely will stay in the single digits. The median price year to date is almost flat from last year at .004% increase. The average continues to lead last year, up just over $25,000, or about 3%. Total single-family revenue is down more than 5%, not surprising as unit sales are 8% below last year. Considering the level of last year’s performance, these are solid numbers.

Another shutdown of the government averted, promising job numbers and falling oil prices would all seem to be cause for optimism moving into the new year. Another positive indicator we have been experiencing is a tightening of the sale-to-last-list-price ratio. It is important to note that this does not cover price reductions, much less the original list price. However, it does indicate that when homes reach a level where buyers are interested, the sale price is increasingly closer to the last list. For example, this year’s sale-to-last-list ratio was 96.5%. In 2013 the ratio was 95.7%; back in 2009-10 the ratio was below 94%. Combined with an average days-on-market over 150 in 2014, it is another reminder of pricing listings correctly and what the market is willing to accept.