Slow first half of year for real estate
It’s been a slow year so far for Wilton real estate now that data are in from the year’s halfway point at the end of June.
Sales of Wilton single-family homes were down 16.3% for the first six months of 2018, at 91 units, down from 115 homes sold during the same period last year.
This includes 57 sales in the second quarter, down from 71 last year.
Total sales volume also declined from $98.9 million for the first six months of 2017 to $82.8 million so far this year, according to data from Realty Seven.
The average sales price so far this year was $909,734, compared with $860,311 a year earlier.
The most popular price point in Wilton this year is the $550,000 to $700,000 range, in which 24 units were sold. This was about the same as nearby towns Weston and Easton.
New Canaan had the highest most popular price point — $1 million to $1.5 million — with 28 units sold.
The trend toward fewer home sales was reflected throughout lower Fairfield County, according to Halstead Properties data. The only towns to buck the trend with higher sales were Stamford, where sales were up 2.8%, and Easton, where sales were up 31.4%. Easton, however, has far fewer homes with just 67 sold in the first six months of this year.
Condominiums saw an uptick in sales in Wilton, with 16 units sold January through June, up from 11 units during the same period last year. The average sale price was $385,500, up 5.3% from $366,091 a year earlier.
Although there are fewer homes are on the market — 252 as of June 30, compared to 258 at this point in 2017 and 282 in 2016, John DiCenzo, executive director of sales for Westport and Wilton at Halstead Real Estate, characterized this as a buyer’s market. The inventory, he said, “is historically higher than in other markets but it’s been correcting positively.”
As inventory generally dips in the fourth quarter, weather permitting, a seller who lists their house then could have an advantage in the first quarter.
While sales numbers are below last year’s, they are not “atrocious,” DiCenzo said, adding “this is a solid-value market. If positioned properly, houses will move.”
The average days on market is 131 so far this year, “about what you’d expect in a supply-driven market,” he said.
Sales increases of 5% to 10% a year, he said, would be “a good performance.” Much higher than that would be an “overheated market which leads to damage on the other side.”
The downward sales trend is not worrisome to Peg Koellmer, broker of Realty Seven.
“We have, officially, entered the summer market which is typically a down market. We have hopes for a healthy fall market as home prices are more affordable and interest rates are still favorable,” Koellmer said.
Connecticut’s entire 2018 spring market could be called unremarkable, according to a report from Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices New England Properties. Single-family home sales were down nearly 3% year over year across the state. The average price was $394,346 and average days on market was 89.
The sweet spot was the $300,000 to $600,000 price range, which saw a 6% increase in sales year over year. This price range is where a growing number of young professionals and empty nesters alike are finding a good balance between home sizes and financial costs, according to the report.
Nationwide, there is a housing shortage as there are not enough homes on the market to meet demand and prices are rising as a result, according to Forbes magazine. The median home price has risen by 40% in the past five years and is still increasing, according to Forbes.
— Jeannette Ross contributed to this story