HOME SALES DOWN AS PRICES CLIMB
“Inventory continues to stall our state’s real estate growth with fewer properties being put on the market, making it tough to keep up with the demand of buyers. Overall, it is truly a seller’s market ... with impending loan rate increases, high consumer confidence and (a) strong economy.”
Candace Adams, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties
Despite a resurgent residential real estate market in several towns, Fairfield County home sales dropped in the third quarter, which captures the latter half of the summer selling season as families look to move in advance of the new school year.
About 2,570 homes sold in Fairfield County between July and September, according to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, about 40 fewer compared to the third quarter of 2017 for a 1.8 percent decline.
The price of the median home sold climbed 8 percent from its equivalent a year ago, as calculated by Berkshire Hathaway, to $504,000.
Redding, Weston and Sherman led southwestern Connecticut with sales transactions up by about half from a year earlier. The Bethel market logged a gain of more than 40 percent.
Greenwich was tops among the larger markets as home sales jumped 27 percent from a year earlier, according to Berkshire Hathaway, with Norwalk and Wilton combining for a 15 percent increase. Stratford was the only other municipality to register a double-digit percentage gain at 11 percent.
Among southwestern Connecticut cities, Bridgeport saw a slight decline in sales, with Stamford and Danbury recording steeper drops of 13 percent and 27 percent respectively.
Stalled inventory, despite demand
Through September, home sales were running 2.6 percent below the first nine months of 2017, with just under 8,800 transactions. Statewide, 220 fewer homes sold in Connecticut during the third quarter for a 1.7 percent decline to below 13,000 units, with year-todate sales off 2.2 percent to less than 33,900 homes in all.
In the third quarter, new home listings in both Fairfield County and Connecticut were down from 12 months earlier, at 3.3 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.
For sellers in the market, many appear to be getting better offers than in previous years, with median prices rising in about twothirds of Fairfield County municipalities.
“Inventory continues to stall our state’s real estate growth with fewer properties being put on the market, making it tough to keep up with the demand of buyers,”
stated Candace Adams, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, in an analysis accompanying her firm’s report. “Overall, it is truly a seller’s market ... with impending loan rate increases, high
consumer confidence and (a) strong economy.”
Affordability hindering buyers
Real estate agents nationally gather in Boston in early November for the National Association of Realtors’ annual Realtors Conference & Expo, with 125 sessions on everything from a
look ahead from NAR’s chief econmoist Lawrence Yun, to real estate considerations for tenants who are entering the legalized marijuana industry.
In discussing last month the recent downward trend nationally in pending home sales and transaction closings, Yun said buyers continue to have difficulties finding properties at price
points they can afford. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has hiked mortgage rates steadily in the past year-plus, creating a longer term cost buyers must take into account in deciding whether to prolong their search.
“Affordability is hindering buyers ... (and) is due to the lack of inventory,” Yun said in a video review of the national market
posted by NAR. “Just a couple of years ago, you (saw) 55 percent of sellers indicating it is a good time to sell. ... That figure has climbed close to 80 percent today.”
A home listed for sale in Bridgeport earlier this year. About 2,570 homes sold in Fairfield County between July and September, according to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties.