Real estate market is stagnant

The real estate sales market in Wilton barely budged for the first half of the year, compared with the previous year from January to June 30, according to data from the Mid-Fairfield Association of Realtors.
Sales volume in Wilton totalled $91.2 million for the first six months, compared with $91.9 million the same period a year earlier. The asking price in both cases had to be negotiated downward, from an original total of about $95.4 million both years.

The total number of homes sold this year to date is 101, about the same as 99 sold last year at this time, but considerably less than 125 sold in 2013, which was the best year of the past 10 years. That high mark was a bubble though, preceded by a couple of years of much lower sales following the recession of 2008.
The average sale price year to date was $902,955, compared with $928,635 the year before, and the number of days on the market before being sold was about the same, 129 days this year compared with 121 days in 2015.
There are now 269 active listings in Wilton, with an average list price of $1.1 million.
What this data shows is that Wilton is a high-end town with a lot of residential properties on the market, with little or no sales growth year to year and still a buyer’s market on prices.
“I don’t know if possibly we’re more affected by the down county economy, we probably have more New York commuters in Wilton because we have the train line,” said Peg Koellmer, president of the association and broker with Realty Seven in Wilton.
The peak of the market with the best prices was 2005, she said, and then it slowed down.
“We’re not losing now, we’re not going down,” Koellmer said on the upside. “I’m OK with this level of sales.”
A strong point for the summer market is that there are a lot of sales pending, more so than in previous years at this time when families are settled in for the new school year when they’ve moved. “We have a lot of houses cued up for closings, so I’m not worried about it,” she said.
“Normally very few homes go under binder during the summer but this year is different.”
Going forward, the Wilton real estate market will continue on its steady course, said Donna Williams, an agent with William Pitt Sotheby’s.
“We think the low interest rates are just going to do nothing but help us in the foreseeable future,” Williams said.
Connecticut has been slower to recover than the rest of the country, but Williams said Wilton has strong points to pick itself up, including the value of its real estate combined with the excellent school district and quality of community life, with two train stations serving the New York commuter line.
Fairfield County in general has had a very uneven comeback from the economic crash of 2008, according to the data. Westport has fared the best, with 17% more home sales in the first six months of the year than in the previous year’s six-month marker. Redding, Ridgefield and Norwalk have also enjoyed robust sales growth.
Lagging behind are towns including Fairfield, down 1.6%, and New Canaan, the biggest loser, down 14%. Greenwich, Bridgeport, Monroe, Trumbull, Shelton and Stratford were not included in the data.