Tag Archive | "market statistics"

Bridging The Real Estate Value Gap In Westport

Bridging The Real Estate Value Gap In Westport

Throughout my 29 years in the business, I have always found the real estate process fascinating, specifically how buyers and sellers react to changes in the market. Leverage between buyers and sellers is continually shifting. Since mid 2006, leverage has been moving toward buyers, resulting in noticeable pressure on pricing for sellers. For many years prior to 2006, sellers enjoyed the leverage and could list at the “high end of the range” and locational and condition issues appeared to be virtually ignored. Lack of quality inventory and high buyer demand increased the odds of multiple offers for sellers. I remember evaluating the statistics during 2006 and noticing some changes leaning toward buyers. The first two signs of the shift: “Days on market” began to extend and the buyers appeared to be pushing back on inspection issues. Resistance in the market was starting to take shape. Subtle changes of signs of things to come and a whole new real estate reality.

In any market, buyers buy from the bottom up and sellers sell from the top down. Buyers want the best value and sellers want to maximize their investment (home). Both have diametrically opposing viewpoints of what value looks like. Since the market slowdown, the value gap in the middle has resulted extended marketing time, and multiple reductions for sellers.

When working with sellers we cover the specifics of the comparable listings, including recent sales, comparable active listings and expired listings (failures in the market). So, in order to price correctly, we evaluate what has happened in the market (solds), what may happen in the market (availables) and what has not happened in the market (expireds.) “Right” pricing early on in the process creates excitement from the buyers who are searching for value. I equate the initial listing period as the “grand opening” of the house. It’s when almost every listing has, at least, a short period of momentum in the market. Regardless of season, or price point, there is some pent up demand from buyers who will pay attention to any new listings. Buyers watch for value and will also keep an eye on a specific home until significant or relevant reductions are made. Because of buyer representation, agents educate their buyers through showings and providing comparable information. Readily accessed information also fine tunes their ability to spot a well-valued home.

Our market is being severely impacted by many variables in the economy including lack of consumer confidence and fear of job loss. In order to get attention from buyers, sellers need to be aggressive with pricing in the hopes of capitalizing on initial buyer enthusiasm because buyers simply will not overpay. Sellers who close the real estate value gap are being rewarded with showings and sales.

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Weston Connecticut Real Estate Market Update (Units Sold)

Weston Connecticut Real Estate Market Update (Units Sold)

Even though this blog is dedicated to Westport, I would be remiss by not including some of the market dynamic in the neighboring town of Weston. Weston has an entirely different feel to it from a population size and zoning requirements. It’s a sweet and comfortable small town which has a very tight-knit community as represented by the message from the First Selectman, Gayle Weinstein. “Weston is a community of friends and neighbors dedicated to our families and each other. Weston is committed to quality education in a rural and residental atmostphere.” Needless to say, it’s been a highly desired community for local buyers and buyers looking for more acreage an value.

Let’s delve into what we are seeing from a factual standpoint in the Weston market and target the trend in units sold.

The number of units sold over the past 10 years from January through September in Weston Connecticut:

2011-83

2010-91

2009-63

2008-95

2007-131

2006-111

2005-156

2004-163

2003-159

2002-183

The general feel from many local agents is that the market in Weston has slowed down considerably. In order to finish out 2011 at the same number of closed units, we would need to close 37 more properties between now and the end of December. Looking at the current bindered and pended units (and allowing for a percentage of fall-throughs), we are likely to finish out the year behind the 2010 unit count.

Even though homes are closing (albeit a slower rate), inventory is building and their are still signs of overpricing by sellers in the market. Buyers are still armed with tons of leverage in the market and are using it to their advantage. Check back in for more posts on details of the Weston Connecticut market.

 

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Westport CT Real Estate Listing Averages

Westport CT Real Estate Listing Averages

Here are some quick statistics on the state of real estate listings in Westport Connecticut according to our local MLS (Consolidated MLS). There are currently 298 active listings, with an average listing price of $2,229,367 with a low of $399,900 on George Street and a high of $24,950,000 on Beachside Avenue. The average marketing time is 137, which has snuck up from 91 days, the same time in 2010. The average listing price in 2010 was $1,472,237.

Under the “CTS” or Continue To Show (bindered) heading, looks somewhat light in comparison to previous years with 13 listings. The average listing price is $1,164,846 and days on market of 87. The low listing price is $380,000 on Oakview and the high is on Sturges Hollow at $3,379,000.

Pended listings are those under contract.  There are 31 pended listings with an average listing price of $1,590,442. The low listing price is $294,900 on Saugatuck Avenue and the high pended listing is $5,800,000 on Hillspoint Road. The listing on Hillspoint bindered with 17 days of marketing time.

The expired group looks dismal with 32 expired from September 1 through October 4, 2011. The average listing price was $2,046,634 and with marketing time of 142 days. Expireds represent the failure in the market and typically have extended days on market as buyers clearly have rejected those listings at their listing price. The low was on Clinton Avenue at $460,000 and the high was on Charmers Landing at $12,995,000. Expired listings are sometimes relisted for sale on the market so they may eventually fall into the active listing group, “CTS” and pending group.

Rentals are very popular in Westport. There are 100 on the market, with an average days on market of 55. The average listing price is $5857 with a low of $1000 for a studio apartment on Greens Farm to a high of $30,000 per month for a season rental on Hillspoint. The feeling about rentals is that they either go quickly with mulitple offers or tenants outright reject them in the market. Like buyers, tenants are showing some of the same behavior in the market.

Overall, the market continues to be active, allthough pressure on pricing is the theme with aggressively priced and well-condtioned homes being perceived positively in the market.

Check back in for more statistics on Westport Connecticut or request any information that you would find helpful in the sale of your home, in purchasing a home or renting a home.

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Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Find out what has listed and sold in the Fairfield County real estate market or neighborhood of your choice. Your monthly, customizable “Market Snapshot” gives details on listing and sold housing trends. Whether you are selling your home or searching for a home, get inside access to the latest activity in your neighborhood on easy-to-understand graphics from real time MLS data. You can also receive a compelling monthly newsletter which outlines the latest market scoop. Click on the red widget on the right hand column to begin receiving your “Market Snapshot”. Contact me for additional information on real estate related questions at Melissa Riley (203)253-9222.

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Market Activity Comparison For Westport Connecticut Real Estate

Market Activity Comparison For Westport Connecticut Real Estate

It’s important to evaluate the market from a few different angles. I like to look at actives (listings), CTS (continue to show or bindered) and pendings (under contract). Obviously, the CTS and pending numbers are an indication of what is expected in the market in the next few months.

Actives as of:

4/11/11-279

5/4/11-318

6/15/11-355

7/6/11-342

8/17/11-321

So, inventory is up from April by 15%, but not at its highest this year. The peak was in June, during the summer doldrums. We would assume that if the market has the same amount of buyers that leverage is shifting more to their side. Actually, it has felt that way in the past few weeks, however we do have signs of seller leverage in some popular price points.

Binders numbers for the same times during the year are 29, 32, 30, 28, and 24 so they are relatively flat.

Where we are seeing a significant dropoff in numbers since April are in contracts.

4/11/11-76

5/4/11-75

6/15/11-73

7/6/11-63

8/17/11-41

Here is my assessment: It could be a function of a more challenging environment for transactions as a whole. We are seeing more unresolved issues on inspections, disclosures and mortgage challenges. It’s taking longer to get a transaction to the contract phase and a ton more negotiation on everyone’s part.

It will be telling to see where the closing numbers net out over the next few months. As of the end of the second quarter, Westport had closed 20.5% MORE than in the same time frame from 2010. So, from a seller’s perspective it’s still possible to sell your home. Superb condition and aggressive pricing will place you in the best position with any potential buyers.

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Average Listing Prices in Weston, Connecticut

Weston Connecticut has experienced an interesting change in average prices. Weston residents love the beauty and tranquility of Weston. The trade off is that Weston is a little more removed from convenient amenities including shopping and major roads such as I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. It’s a smaller community than Westport and tends to be viewed as a “secondary” market. In a downturn, secondary markets tend to go first and suffer from pressure on pricing before primary markets. This is what we are seeing in Weston. If we look at the market over the past ten years, Weston is holding at 2002 pricing. The plus for buyers is that there is value in the market and it’s a great time to maximize your opportunity. The graph shows the drop over the past few years. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for monthly information you may find helpful whether you are buying or selling.

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Average Listing Prices in Westport, Connecticut

Check out our graph of Average Listing Prices in Westport, Connecticut for single family homes, condominiums and multi-family homes over the past two years. Averages in June 2011 are $1,824,605 for single family, $581,388 for condominiums and $565,750 for multi-family homes. Despite some slight positive movement in pricing in specific price ranges, there coninues to be pressure on pricing and appraisers characterize the market as “declining”. However, there are specific price ranges where leverage is with the sellers dues to lack of well-conditioned, well-priced inventory. Be sure to click on my newsletter to receive monthly updates and tips.

 

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Fast Spring Market In Westport Connecticut

Fast Spring Market In Westport Connecticut

Despite early predictions, our Spring market in Westport Connecticut has been very active with sold units up over 25.49% from May (Year To Date) 2010. There were 128 closed units versus 102 in 2010. With the winter storms lasting well through the beginning of 2011, we expected the real estate market to be severely impacted compared to 2010. Many sellers withdrew their homes from the market or delayed listing to fix the extensive damage from weather-related issues with roofs, sump pumps and interiors. 61 units were closed by May 2009, and 90 were closed by May 2008. 2007 was one of the strongest Spring markets with 156 closings. So, 128 closings is a respectable start to the year. More interesting market statistics to follow.

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Latest Market Statistics From Westport Connecticut

Latest Market Statistics From Westport Connecticut

It’s been a very strange market in Westport, Connecticut.  I was talking with an attorney yesterday regarding what he is seeing. We are all experiencing more pitfalls along the way from binder to closing than ever before. Stricter lender guidelines and appraisals are taking center stage in the transactions, impacting buyers and sellers. Despite the bumps and buyers generally having the leverage in the market, there are still price ranges that are readily selling and in some cases, in multiple offer situations. Well-priced, well-conditioned homes are being sought after by buyers where the inventory has been picked over.

Properties under $700,000 are selling within a reasonable time frame with a healthy balance of 6 months of supply. For some reason, $700,000-$749,000 is sluggish with 72 months of inventory. $750,000-$899,900 is balanced but the brakes get slammed on sellers between $900,000-$999,000 with over 42 months of inventory. This could be the glut of listings that were initially above $1 million but are now reduced. $1 million-$1,399,900 is somewhat balanced at 10 months. Historically, this would be considered an oversupply, but it appears to be closer to the new norm. $1.4-$1.499,900 is another slow moving price range with 33 months of supply. $1.5-$1,899,900 is being absorbed along with an average of  9.5 months of supply and $1.9 and above is seeing extended days on market supply ranging from 14 months to 54 months.

Despite some of the inventory numbers, the average “days on market” is 121 which is not far from what we have experienced historically. The median list price is $1,199,000 and the median sale price is $1,081,250. The median price on active listings is $1,630,000, the median on bindered properties is $1,186,500 and the median pended (contracts) price is $1,299,000. The median price of sold properties in the past six months is $1,199,000. As we know, the median is the middle of the market, so right now, it’s more favored toward the lower end.

The best advice for sellers is to price aggressively against the comparable homes. And, for buyers to be prepared to move fast in the the lower price points, especially with well-priced, and well-conditioned gems. There is still opportunity for both buyers and sellers, but it’s important to know the details of the market.

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Westport, CT Real Estate Market-Median Sales Prices from 2001-2010

Median sales prices are, most likely, a more accurate indication of the market. Based upon our statistics on medians, the height of the Westport, CT market was 2007-2008. Looking at the last column, which shows the change from the previous year, it shows a rise in median sales price from 2001 to 2008, when it flattens out. From 2008 to 2010, we have seen a backslide in median sales prices from the previous years. 2009 in particular was a gamer changer for sellers. Buyers were beginning to push back on pricing, negotiating stronger and coming back to sellers on inspection issues. Overall, comparing 2010 to the previous years, we are back to 2004 pricing. This becomes a critical fact to consider if you have purchased in Westport in the past 6 years and you are planning on listing your home for sale.

 

1/1 – 12/1
Units Sold
Ave DOM
Median     List $
Median    Sale $
Med Sale % Change
2010
328
102
$1,199,000
$1,140,000
-4.08%
2009
230
127
$1,282,500
$1,188,500
-11.96%
2008
257
106
$1,395,000
$1,350,000
0.00%
2007
386
107
$1,418,750
$1,350,000
4.41%
2006
376
97
$1,349,500
$1,293,000
4.19%
2005
462
81
$1,287,000
$1,241,000
12.82%
2004
470
82
$1,125,000
$1,100,000
20.09%
2003
392
81
$943,500
$916,000
13.79%
2002
467
78
$819,000
$805,000
10.01%
2001
416
93
$759,000
$731,750
4.54%
2000
459
85
$724,500
$700,000
n/a

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Westport, CT Real Estate Market-Average Days on Market Comparison 2001-2010

Average Days on Market shows how long the properties stay on the market before closing. It includes time from last list to close, so it doesn’t capture true marketing time as properties are pulled off of the market and relisted for numerous reasons. However, we can make the assumption that this tactic has been consistently used each year. So, here’s my point: It is an apple to apple comparison. 2010 has not been as sluggish as many would believe even though we aren’t seeing the same numbers as any year prior to 2006. Those of us in the market in 2006 definitely felt the beginning of the shift and began coaching sellers to change strategy and be more aggressive with their pricing and aware of competing properties.  Buyers began putting on the brakes and the pinch was on for sellers and it continues in 2010. This has been good news in some price points for buyers. Check back in for info on median price and how it ties in with the number of units sold and days on market.

                    Average Market Time  
           
Year 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Year Total
2010 102 106 91 119 102
2009 144 113 110 155 128
2008 123 104 93 121 107
2007 119 101 104 118 108
2006 103 87 92 113 97
2005 94 71 77 88 80
2004 109 71 78 91 83
2003 86 78 74 93 82
2002 98 76 62 91 78
2001 106 98 83 99 94

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Westport, CT Real Estate Market-Number of Units Sold Comparison 2001-2010

It has been such as interesting year in Westport, CT real estate. We began 2010 much stronger than in 2009. The increase in the number of units was a reflection of strong showing and selling months in November and December 2009. As I look at the numbers in Westport of units sold, days on market and median prices, it all points to the need for aggressive marketing by sellers. Since price is the number one marketing tool, those sellers that priced “in front of the market” were rewarded with activity and offers. Those who didn’t price to appeal to buyers, languished on the real estate vine. We will finish out 2010 comparable to activity in 2006, certainly not as challenged as 2008 and 2009, which was clearly the beginning of the downturn in Westport, CT. Check back in to look at “days on market” and “median sales prices”. Some interesting trends will be shown, and it’s not all bad news.

    # of Units Sold    
           
Year 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Year Total
2010 54 97 126 54 331
2009 28 62 84 76 250
2008 47 74 97 53 271
2007 65 152 111 79 407
2006 97 108 122 72 399
2005 99 141 166 82 488
2004 79 164 165 93 501
2003 62 112 142 108 424
2002 91 150 167 88 496
2001 77 112 167 85 441

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2010 Third Quarter Snapshot-Westport, CT and Surrounding Areas

There is a little good news if anyone lives in or works Weston and/or Easton. They appear to be the only local towns showing positive moves in both average and median sale prices. As “secondary markets”, they may have bottomed out before everyone else. The average sale in Weston is almost identical to 2009 and Easton is UP 9.79%. The Median Sale in Weston is UP 15.57% over the year end median for 2009 and Easton has increased a modest 1.3%. Most other towns are still down 4-10% under 2009 year-end numbers. Time will tell as is a little shocking, given the feel of both Easton and Weston markets on a day-to-day basis.

Westport, which historically has faired well, isn’t doing quite as well as Weston or Easton. While units sold have increased and we are tracking toward a year-end total around 360 (at the current pace which may not happen with 22 CTS and 38 Pending), the average and median sale prices aren’t rebounding just yet. The average sale is down 2.59% (from 2009) which is still an improvement over the 16.93% drop from 2008 to 2009, and the median is also down 4.92% compared to 2009. While the numbers are still off, the decline appears to be slowing. Maybe there is hope for a strong Spring 2011!

As for the Price Distribution Report in Westport: There is a mini glut of inventory from $2.25-$3.0 million, while there is a hot spot from $1.9-$2.0. Our $2.25-$3 million range is usually gobbled up in anticipation of Wall Street bonuses. Anyone that has a listing in the low $2,000,000s should really consider a price reduction to get under $2,000,000 at this point. The other well performing range is from $1.0 -$1.3 and the current listings appeared to be “picked over”.

An interesting side note: Fairfiield’s average sale price is down 3.03%, median sale price is down 5.05% and units sold are up 3.01% (tracking 639 at the current rate – I’m guessing/hoping for around 600 even). So, even brisk activity doesn’t necessarily ensure that prices will hold. Sellers and buyers are coming together, but probably not at what sellers have expected or wanted.

So, there are bright spots in the market, but working with a knowledgeable agent who knows the dynamics of the market is absolutely crucial now. Your agent will need to provide this detailed information and sometimes, the tough news about what is working and not working in the market. It will save you tons of time on the market and frustration.

More specific, interesting statistics to follow soon!

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The Beginning Of The Shift Of Leverage Between Buyers and Sellers in Westport, CT

It’s interesting being on the inside of the real estate market. After 28 years in real estate, I still find it fascinating to look at the day-to-day patterns in an successful real estate office. In 2007, we started to see an increase of listings and mild buyer resistence. Sellers were pushing the upper end of the range for their listings and buyers were showing signs on weariness in overpaying. We starting focusing on making sure our listings were priced in the bottom 25% of the comparables. Since buyers search from the bottom up, it increased the odds of reaching buyers. Buyers began talking about the investment side of the transaction versus the emotional side of buying a home. The word “value” was repeated over and over again by our buyers. All of this resistance contributed to an overall increase in “days on market” or DOM. DOM is a great indicator of the pricing “disagreement” between buyers and sellers, and the gap was widening.
All of this was a new twist for sellers, who for the most part, had the leverage for many years. Many sellers were in shock and some were in denial. They were certain that this “strange” buyer behavior was short-lived, But, buyers had other plans. They began to apply the brakes. The shift was ON.
Check back for more insight on the shift in leverage, and what we call “The Price War and Beauty Contest”. If you were at buyer in 2007-2008, I would love to know what you personally experienced.

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Westport CT, Real Estate Market Overview

Westport, CT

Quarterly reports show that Westport is tracking about 136 solds for the 3rd qtr, which is the most 3rd quarter activity since 2005.  The average DOM is down to 85, which is the lowest its been in any quarter since the 3rd quarter of 2005.  The yearly Average List, Average Sale and Median List prices are at the lowest points since 2004-2005.  The Median Sale is now at 2004 levels.
Price Distribution for Westport continues to show activity at the bottom of the market (Under $600,00), almost 15% of the sales this year (35 of 242) are at that level. There is a hot price point, $1,000,000 – $1,300,000 with 48 sales this year which is 20% of the activity. Nine of the 68 Bindered/Pending properties also fall in the range (another 13+%).
The YTD numbers show that we have continued to lose ground in Average List, Average Sale, Median List & Median Sale for 3 years running. The Median Sale-List % has been dropping for 5 straight years at this point. The good news is that the units sold are up 57% over last year, and the average DOM is also down significantly (-17%), although that could be explained by agents removing and reliisting properties at more accurate price points as new listings. 

Comparing 2010 to the last 5 years (2005-2009), volume is down 6.8%, market time is also down 2.6%.  The Average and Median List and Sale Prices are down from 12.3% to 15.1%. Sale-to-List ratios (Average and Median) are also down showing more negotiability on the sellers part.

So, the advice to sellers is price aggressively from the very beginning. Pressure on pricing still remains as the buyers are driving the bus. It appears that once a property hits the “sweet spot” (according to the buyers), it will get attention and a sale. In some cases, there are multiple offers. Save yourself extended days on market and a load of frustration. If you list too high, you become invisible to the market.

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Westport, CT Average Days On Market 2001-2010

                    Average Market Time  
           
Year 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Year Total
2010 102 106 85   97
2009 144 113 110 155 128
2008 123 104 93 121 107
2007 119 101 104 118 108
2006 103 87 92 113 97
2005 94 71 77 88 80
2004 109 71 78 91 83
2003 86 78 74 93 82
2002 98 76 62 91 78
2001 106 98 83 99 94

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Westport, CT Number Of Units Sold YTD By Quarter

         # of Units Sold    
           
Year 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Year Total
2010 54 97 91   242
2009 28 62 84 76 250
2008 47 74 97 53 271
2007 65 152 111 79 407
2006 97 108 122 72 399
2005 99 141 166 82 488
2004 79 164 165 93 501
2003 62 112 142 108 424
2002 91 150 167 88 496
2001 77 112 167 85 441

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Westport, CT Real Estate-Average Days On Market 2001-2010

                    Average Market Time  
           
Year 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Year Total
2010 102 106     105
2009 144 113 110 155 128
2008 123 104 93 121 107
2007 119 101 104 118 108
2006 103 87 92 113 97
2005 94 71 77 88 80
2004 109 71 78 91 83
2003 86 78 74 93 82
2002 98 76 62 91 78
2001 106 98 83 99 94

Please leave your comments about your hyper local real estate market.

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Buying, Selling Or Renting In Fairfield County Connecticut? Contact Us At (203)253-9222

FreshPickedRealEstate.com is known as "Fairfield County CT's Favorite Real Estate Blog". We feature market statistics, community events and interesting happenings in and around lower Fairfield County Connecticut, including Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Fairfield and Easton. Look for real estate tips with a focus on "green living" in the area.
Contact me at MelissaBrownRiley@gmail.com or at (203)253-9222 for info on all real estate services, including buying, selling or renting in Fairfield County, Connecticut or in any other county or state through our national network. We also specialize in buying or selling "short sales" and foreclosures.

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