Third quarter sees home sales slide

The third quarter was a tough one for real estate in Wilton, in which single-family home sales were down from the same period a year ago. They were also down for the second quarter in a row.

A total of 66 homes sold in the third quarter, down from 72 the previous third quarter, according to data provided by  Realty 7.

It was the fourth straight year of third-quarter sales weakness.

The average sale price was $828,890, up 4.5% from $793,106 the previous third quarter. The average number of days on the market was 117, up from 115 days the year before.

Overall home sales volume was $54.7 million, down 4.2% from $57.1 million the previous year.

In home sales for the year, 181 homes sold at $153.64 million, up 3.6% from the previous year. This puts Wilton at odds with Fairfield County as a whole, which saw unit sales up by 5% over the first three quarters of 2016, and 3% quarter over quarter, according to a report by William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty.

The picture was brighter in condominiums, for which data is kept separately. In condos, 10 units sold, up 2.8% from eight the year before, at an average sale price of $336,590, up from $327,375 the year before. Sales volume was $3.4 million, up 28.5% from $2.6 million the previous year.

For the year, condo sales were 21 units, at $7.4 million, down 10.9% for the year.

The number of single-family home sales did not faze agent Ninfa Valella of Coldwell Banker. For her, the summer is a normal time of low activity.

People are on vacation and not closing on homes during the summer months, she said.

“It’s normal, end of the summertime, for sure. But there is activity, so I’m optimistic,” Valella said. “We’re still up for the year, so that’s healthy.”

Inventory heading into the fourth quarter is 210 homes, which she said is a 12-month supply, a bit high.

“At the end of the day it will be an OK year,” she said.

But single-family home sales were down in the second quarter as well, at 70 units with an average sale price of $821,662, down from 75 units at an average sale price of $888,506 the previous second quarter. That means most of the buying activity was in the previously reported first quarter, during which pent-up demand from the presidential election year was at play. The average days on the market in the second quarter was 142, up from 130 a year earlier. Dollar volume was down 13.7%, at $57.5 million from $66.6 million.

One of the good points about 2017 is that homes have been selling within a strong sweet spot at $800,000, compared with a more diffuse $600,000 to $900,000 the year before, said Donna Williams of William Pitt-Sotheby’s.

“The year start was robust and activity was strong until mid-August, when things slowed down a little bit. While we are in the traditional fall selling season, things are moving well, but at the moment are not outpacing last year,” Williams said.