Marion Filley's Closing Comments: October

When we look back on 2014, the monthly results are going to look like an erratic stock market chart. If nothing else, that is the lesson of single-month results in real estate. October closings jumped 66%, from 12 in 2013 to 20 in 2014. The median sales price was down sharply, by almost $140,000, or more than 17%. The average sale price was hit even harder, dropping more than $325,000, or 32%. Perspective is always important, and despite these surprisingly large drops, the total revenue for October 2014 was up more than 14%, or more than $1,827,000.

Inventory has started its normal slump toward a January low. At the beginning of November, we were at exactly the same level as last year. However, both years were quite a bit below November levels in previous years.

Through the first 10 months of the year, we are running 8% below 2013 in number of sales. Once again the median sale has dropped below 2013, but only a scant 1%. However, the gap on the average sale, which remains positive, is closing. We will need to see a significant number of the higher-priced houses with accepted offers close to assure that this continues at year-end.

To show just how hyper-local the market continues to be, the performance in neighboring towns differs considerably. All towns are off from last year in sales volume. The range is extreme, from Norwalk’s -4.3% (Weston at -7.6% and Wilton at -8.2%) to Redding’s -21% (Westport was at -16.8% and Ridgefield down 16.1%).

Looking at the total revenue year-to-date, we find Weston off 4.2% being the closest to last year and Wilton following closely at a drop of 6.7%. However, New Canaan, with large gains in average price (17%) and median price (20%), is up 6% year to date in overall revenue. Westport and Weston both registered gains in median and average, but not enough to bring their overall markets even close to last year’s numbers. Interest rates continue to be extremely attractive, making for great end-of-year buying opportunities.