Tag Archive | "westport ct real estate"

My Top 6 Words For Sellers

There are some emerging dynamics that have contributed to this very complicated market for both buyers and sellers. If I was sitting in front of a seller here would be my top 6 words of advice to effectively deal with this market:

1. Photos-Stunning photos become so critical as 90% of all buyers begin their search on the internet. Bad photos can help your home be eliminated quickly from a crowded pool of listings. Also, if a website allows for 20 photos, get 20 photos online.

2. Condition-Take care of any issues or objections that would create hesitancy in buyers in making a decision to seriously consider your home. As inventory builds in a price range, poor condition stands out, to the distinct disadvantage of the seller.

3. Pricing-In the past years, sellers could list at the high-end of the range of comparables and not be seriously affected. As a seller, you will be swiftly penalized in the market by buyers or just ignored. Either way, your home won’t sell and your listing will languish on the market.

4. Appraisals-Always an important part in which lenders make sure that their new asset is within the range of other comparable properties. Quick appraisals are also being done late in the process to safe-guard against any significant market shifts. So, if a seller was fortunate enough to get a buyer that was willing to pay more than market value, an appraisal that doesn’t match the selling price will create a red flag with the lender.

5. Time-Everything is taking longer. The mortgage process, the inspection process, the negotiations, the renegotiation and closings. Be patient and diligent and hire the right people to work with you throughout the process.

6. Cycles-Throw out any concepts of “cycles” in real estate because there seems to be little rhyme or reason to some of the activity. Don’t think that waiting for “The Spring Market” will cure your ills as a seller. Nothing magical is happening in Spring since the market has so many shifting variables. Aggressive pricing is the key to getting the attention of buyers.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on My Top 6 Words For Sellers

Weston CT Market Snapshot

The Weston Connecticut real estate market continues to be sluggish with 142 listings available. The low listing is $250,000 on Steep Hill to $3,900,000 on Saugatuck Road. The average is $1,318,919 and the median listing price is $1,099,500. The low days on market is 7 and the high is 825.

With any downturn in a market, the secondary markets shift down first and return last. Weston was impacted first a few years ago and has some inventory to push out to return to a healthy balance. Weston is a desirable area and has incredible value. Buyers should consider combing through the inventory with their agent to find those listings that are well-priced.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Weston CT Market Snapshot

Location, Location…Condition?

Location, Location…Condition?

You have heard the old real estate adage: The most important thing in real estate is Location, Location, Location. But, is that still the case for buyers? We are seeing an interesting trend in the market with a priority of finding the perfect home in great condition, with a second consideration of location. Buyers are also including many towns in their search. So, towns, areas, and neighborhoods are taking a backseat to condition.

I find this fascinating since my understanding of buyers (after 29 years in real estate) has always been that they decide on the town, and zero in on a neighborhood first, with the home becoming (almost) the secondary concern. In this market, buyers are clearly less forgiving of any home in less than perfect condition. This could simply be a by-product of the shift in leverage over the past few years to their side. So sellers who “wow” buyers with condition and staging may have a leg up.

So, maybe our new mantra should be: Location, location…condition? Let me know what you think.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT Rentals, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Location, Location…Condition?

Is Your Home “Buzzworthy”?

Is Your Home “Buzzworthy”?

Definition-

Buzz: “Excited interest or attention”

Does your listing have “buzz” within the real estate community?

It has always been interesting to see what homes get the “buzz” and which do not. Here are the common threads that I have seen over many years of those that do:

  • Well-priced or aggressively priced against competing properties on the market.
  • Homes in stunning condition, where the seller has clearly taken great care of the home.
  • Homes in a great location or setting.

When a listing has two or three components and is buzzworthy, the ball is set in motion with the potential buyers.

Immediately after viewing a “buzzworthy” home, agents contact their buyers and work toward getting them to see the house as quickly as possible. Their goal is to match that home with their prospects. Since agents represent their clients, they listen to the needs of their buyer and work with them on what homes will be ideal. Agents also get excited about homes and convey their excitement to their clients setting process in motion. Having “buzz” in any market places a listing in front of the competition, giving it the first opportunity to sell. Having “buzz” gives a home momentum and possible energy of multiple offers, which is the ideal situation for any seller.

I equate the first few days of a listing to a “grand opening”. Sellers should maximize this opportunity to get buyers motivated through condition and proper pricing. There is a short time frame to capitalize on buyer attention and pent up demand in the price range.

So, think about how you create the “buzz” for your home and get counsel from a local Realtor and stager. Remember, buzz equals sold.

Contact me with any questions about the selling process: Melissa Riley, (203)253-9222 or melissabrownriley@gmail. You can also follow me on twitter at Twitter.com/MelissaRiley

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Is Your Home “Buzzworthy”?

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling A Vacant House

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling A Vacant House

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling a Vacant House by Birgit Anich

There are many reasons why a home might be vacant when being sold – various reasons include:

  • New construction
  • Relocation property
  • Seller has already moved into their new home
  • It was a rental property that is now for sale

In all these cases the bottom line is that SELLING the property FAST is CRITICAL. There is a lot of money on the table because of ongoing mortgage costs, maintenance cost, insurance cost, and other carrying costs that need to be paid for all these months that the property is sitting on the market.

Selling fast in a buyers market and a down market is a challenge, but especially it is difficult for vacant homes. Vacant homes sell typically slower than occupied homes.

So, what are the 5 biggest mistakes when selling a vacant property?

Mistake #1: Selling the house as a VACANT property

We just said that vacant homes sell slower than houses that are occupied. Why is that?

a. People don’t buy houses, they by homes, they buy a lifestyle! Without furniture, wall art, rugs, lighting, décor,… there are no emotional connection points in the house – the house does not show its soul and any lifestyle buyers can aspire to.

b. Buyers do not have a point of reference

  • empty rooms look smaller
  • buyers cannot see how much furniture they will be able to fit in the room
  • they cannot envision how to set up the room functionally – how should I face the sofa, where does my TV go, can I fit…..

Adding the right furniture, rugs, lighting, wall art and other décor that reflect the target buyers’ lifestyle will make them feel drawn to and helps them envision themselves living in that home.

c. When a room is empty, buyers focus on the negative details
It is so much easier to notice cracks in the walls, paint chips, missed repairs,… if buyers have nothing else to look at. Providing them with a welcoming home they will focus more on how they can live in that house rather than what they don’t like about it. With staging we emphasize the positive features of the property while downplaying the negative features.

d. Only 10% of home buyers can actually visualize the potential of a home

Nine out of every ten people walking in your home have no imagination of the wonderful possibilities your house has to offer.

Mistake #2: Wait to see if it sells vacant

As a home stager in Connecticut, I often receive the response from clients “I want to see first if it sells vacant before I consider staging”. This can be a very costly mistake.

Selling a house is all about FIRST IMPRESSIONS. On a new listing most of the traffic is generated within the first 2-4 weeks.

The Real Estate Brokers open house will get the buyers’ Realtors into the property. They are your “sales staff”. If these brokers do not get excited about what they see, they are less likely to bring their buyers to your property instead of your neighbor’s house on the market.

Let’s say you change your mind down the road and have the property staged and then have another Realtors open house. It will be hard to get Brokers to come back to the property as they have already seen it and do not want to waist their time, nor will their buyers come back for a second time.

So, now you have wasted all that traffic and time on the market without showing the house at its’ best potential. If you had it staged upfront you may have it already sold by now.

Mistake #3: Not Differentiating Your Listing from the competition

Put yourself into the shoes of a home buyer – 94% of home buyers start their search online first looking at all the photos of houses within their qualifying criteria. This is what they might see:

House #1:

 

 

 

 

House #2:

 

 

 

 

What makes your house different from these other vacant houses? Why should they visit your house? There is nothing that would draw a buyer into these houses.

Remember – A SALE CAN BE LOST BY ONE MOUSE CLICK – if your house does not stand out and attract these buyers for a visit, you have lost a potential sale.

Mistake #4: Price has now become your only marketing strategy

Selling a house, typically the home owner’s most valuable asset, is not any different than marketing a commercial product. Location, Condition & Showcasing, Price and Promotion need to be considered together. There is nothing that you can do about the location of the property, but you can influence the other marketing factors. The price is being influenced by the Location and the Condition & Showcasing (the packaging) of the house. The Promotion to bring the traffic into your house will be most effective if the Showcasing and Photographs are professionally done.

So, if there is no showcasing, the promotional pictures will not stand out, so price is now your only marketing strategy. (click here for more details about the marketing strategy)

Buyers are willing to pay more if they feel emotionally connected to a house – on average staged homes sell for a 5-10% higher price tag.

Mistake #5: Seeing home staging as a COST instead of an INVESTMENT

Staging a house for sale can help you MAKE money. It is an INVESTMENT into your home selling process – most investments into home staging range between 1 and 3 percent of the listing price, which yield in a 5 to 10 higher sales price –how nice is this, but this is not all. If selling your house faster you will SAVE ongoing mortgage payments and carrying costs. See more details and examples on how Birgit Anich Staging and Interiors helped their clients MAKING a PROFIT by staging.

Barbara Corcoran, one of the biggest real estate experts in the US, says: “Never sell a home without furniture!” “Once the staging is complete you might even find that you can raise the price”

see Barbara’s 2 mintues segment on The TODAY SHOW

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Birgit Anich is the president and chief  stager of Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, LLC, a Real Estate Home Staging and Interior Styling Company in Fairfield county. Birgit is a National and Regional Awards Winner by the Real Estate Staging Company (RESA). Having been trained and mentored by HGTV star Matthew Finlason (“The Stagers”), she specializes in the most advanced and successful staging techniques of Target Staging & Lifestyle Merchandising. Birgit has been featured on local TV stations of FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, the radio, Life@Home Magazine, and other media. For more information contact 203.807.4040 or birgit@BirgitAnich.com or visit www.BirgitAnich.com

 

 

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Featured, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling A Vacant House

Sales For Westport Connecticut 2011 Versus 2006-2010

Sales For Westport Connecticut 2011 Versus 2006-2010

Trends in sales in Westport Connecticut have been very interesting so far this year, from January through November. I averaged the sales between 2006 and 2010 and compared them to where we are in 2011, by month. 2011 sales have been up and down beginning strong in January against the previous five years. Here is a market snapshot:

January 2011-18 closings vs average of 17.8

February 2011-15 closings vs average of 17.2

March 2011-20 closings vs average of 23.4

April 2011-32 closings vs average of 24.2

May 2011-42 closings vs average of 31

June 2011-54 closings vs average of 43.2

July 2011-36 closings vs average of 39.8

August 2011-43 closings vs average of 40.8

September 2011- 26 closings vs average of 27.8

October 2011-21 closings vs average 26.4

November 2011-17 closings vs average of 21.8

So, as of the end of November 2011 we had 324 closings vs 325 from November 2010. However, that doesn’t tell the entire story. In December 2010, we had 26 closings. Looking at the “pipeline” of bindered and properties under contract, December 2011 closings will be much leaner than in December 2010.

This subtle shift in pipeline may be contributing to increased inventory in many price points. Check back in for my analysis of the market, including active listings, bindered, pending and sold units.

 



Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Sales For Westport Connecticut 2011 Versus 2006-2010

Are You Interested OR Committed To Selling Your House?

Are You Interested OR Committed To Selling Your House?

Are you interested or committed to selling your house? … How this can impact your house sale

I am sure you have heard this before – what is the difference between being interested and being committed?

It has been said that “when you are interested, you do whatever is most convenient. When you are committed, you do whatever it takes.”

Are YOU interested or committed to selling your house? This should be your first question when deciding to put your house on the market. YES, you are hiring a real estate agent to help with your home sale, but NO, your agent cannot do this on his/her own. The Real Estate Agent needs your commitment. There are certain aspects in the house selling process that he/she will need your help with, as these can have a big impact on how quickly your house will sell and for how much. These aspects will influence the tools that will be available to your real estate agent for most efficiently and successfully selling your single most valuable asset.

Once a house is on the market it is no longer your home, but a house, a PRODUCT that needs to be sold. Therefore, it needs to be marketed as such, it needs to be merchandised. After all, you are in competition now with all those other home sellers in your area. Products that we purchase on a daily basis are being merchandised and marketed – look at cars, beauty product, fashion, food products.,,,,, A house is not an exception.  So what are the marketing tools that are available to you and your real estate agent?

  1. Location – you cannot change the location of the house that you are selling.
  2. Condition and Showcasing –  how well your house has been maintained and the presentation of the home for promotions and showings. Committed home sellers take this part of preparing the home for sale very seriously. The best, most efficient way to get this step of the home selling process done is by getting advice from a professional home stager. Real estate stagers have extensive knowledge about what buyers are looking for and how to set your house up that these buyers are being attracted. This includes deep knowledge and experience in which home repairs, home upgrades, paint colors, furniture placement,… will give you the highest return on investment and will sell your house faster. As Kris Berg from HGTV’s FrontDoor.com states: “Staging is not a do-it-yourself sport, and only a third party specialist can bring the neutrality and objectivity needed to accomplish the goal.” According to a research conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) professionally staged homes sell on average 67% faster.
  3. Price – the price is greatly influenced by the Location and the Condition/Showcasing as well as market value. If the listing price is set right, real estate home staging can influence the price buyers are willing to pay. According to several sources such as Barbara Corcoran, National Association of Realtors and others professionally staged homes sell on average for a 5% to 10% higher price.
  4. Promotion –  Did you know that over 94% of home buyers look online first, before visiting a listing? So, your online presentation is the best marketing tool that you have to get traffic into your house. If buyers do not like the online pictures they will not even take a look at your property – your house will be off the list before even being on the “to visit” list for home buyers. Therefore, it is critical that these pictures look awesome! Having your house staged BEFORE these MLS pictures are being taken will ensure that your house will stand out from your competition. Keep in mind that you can loose the sale by ONE click of the mouse. It is all about first impressions and immediate connection with the home buyers within the first 2-5 seconds.

Barbara Corcoran emphasizes the importance of staging: “Staging is no longer an option, but a must if you want to sell your home”. Staging a home for sale is the key to success. Most successful real estate agents across the country will not even accept any more a listing if the seller does not at least have a home staging consultation and act on the recommendations because these agents know that their marketing strategy would be solely limited to PRICE (see graph below). Yes, at one point the price of your home, after sitting on the market for a long time and having one price drop after another, there will be a buyer eventually. Is this your goal when selling your home? So, are you an interested or a committed home seller?

About the Author:

Birgit Anich is the president and chief lifestyle stager of Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, LLC, a Real Estate Home Staging and Interior Styling Company in Fairfield county. Birgit is a National and Regional Awards Winner by the Real Estate Staging Company (RESA). Having been trained and mentored by HGTV star Matthew Finlason (“The Stagers”), she specializes in the most advanced and successful staging techniques of Target Staging & Lifestyle Merchandising. Birgit has been featured on local FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, the radio, Life@Home Magazine, and other media. For more information contact 203.807.4040 or birgit@BirgitAnich.com or visit www.BirgitAnich.com

 

Posted in Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Are You Interested OR Committed To Selling Your House?

Westport Connecticut Real Estate-Price Distribution And Absorption

Westport Connecticut Real Estate-Price Distribution And Absorption

The Westport Connecticut real estate market is never boring and our Price Distribution And Absorption Statistics Report from January through November 2011 doesn’t disappoint. The bottom of the market up to $549,000 is showing 2-4 months of inventory. The supply time immediately pops back up to 12 months at the price point between $550,000-$599,000. This may be due
to an overload of inventory in the same price point in neighboring towns of Weston, Fairfield and Norwalk. From $600,000 to $1.4 million, the supply time varies from 1 month to 7.8 months. The pace starts to break down again at $1,500,000 where there is 16.5 months of inventory. At $1,600,000 to $2,499,000 the time ranges from 6.6 months to 10.5 months. $2,500,000 is another breaking point at 60 months of inventory, which is a severe sign of an over abundance of inventory. The chart also highlights by: Less than one year, 1-2 years and 2-3 years of inventory. Interesting statistics and important information, whether you are buying or selling in Westport. Contact me at mriley@prudentialct.com for additional insight or market information. We love working with educated clients.

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Westport CT Real Estate Market Update-Active Listings (Single Family and Condominiums)

Here is a quick market update on active single family homes in Westport Connecticut:

There are 307 single family listings on the market with the lowest price at $399,000 on Oakview and a high of $24,950,000 (yes, that is million) on Beachside Avenue. The median listing price is $1,595,000. I always like to use median, which is the “middle of the market” versus averages. The highest “days on market” is 808 days with the median at 126 days.

Here is a snapshot of the active condominium units in Westport Connecticut:

There are 20 condominiums on the market with the low of $294,500 on Hills Lane and the high of $1,495,000 in Regent’s Park. The median listing price is $699,500. The highest “days on market” is 440 days with the median at 109.

Prices are holding steady however, with a slow pipeline of binders and contracts in the hopper compared to last year, there will be pressure on prices in the next few months. I expect that we will be looking at a more aggressively priced market in the Spring.

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Like Ants At A Picnic

Like Ants At A Picnic

I was just catching up with one of my top agents on some of the dynamics of the Westport market. Every November and December the market becomes cyclical from an inventory standpoint. Much of the inventory that is available on the market has been “picked through” by buyers.  Three components are needed for a house to be perceived positively in the market: Proper/aggressive pricing, good or excellent location and good condition. When these three components do not align, listings experience resistance resulting extended marketing time and multiple reductions. Even more extreme, some overpriced properties that are so far out of range, simply become invisible to the market.

However, when a well-priced, well-condition home in a great location comes on the market, we see an immediate reaction. Just like ants at a good picnic, the buyers converge in an almost frenzied state and we see multiple offers. Quality inventory is definitely still desirable and sells quickly. I thought the “ants at a picnic” analogy from Jon Deak was clever and an accurate reflection of the well-positioned listings that hit the market.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Like Ants At A Picnic

Westport Connecticut Real Estate Peaks And Valleys

Westport Connecticut Real Estate Peaks And Valleys

In evaluating the history of Westport Connecticut real estate it shows some interesting peaks and valleys. We have a gut feel for trends in the market because as a real estate company are the entry point to sellers placing their homes on the market and buyers beginning their home search process. So our experience has been that we are close to 2004 pricing with significant leverage shifting away from sellers to buyers since 2008. Our 2000-2011 statistics confirm those hunches. Here are the peaks and valleys in the market in the past decade and what has stood out.

Units sold: Tie between 2002 and 2004 at 408 closings in Westport. To put that number in perspective, in 2011 (through September), we have had 285 closings. So, 2002 and 2004 were brisk markets for closings. 2009 was a deep valley with a total of 174 closings. There was a tremendous amount of uncertainty and fear on both the seller and buyer sides and the closings reflected that.

Average Days On Market: The peak (for sellers) was 2002 with 75 days and the valley was in 2009 with 116. Extended marketing time tends to reflect hesitancy in the market.

Average Listing Price: The peak (for sellers) was 2008 at $1,845,220 while the average list price valley was $926,086 in 2000.

Average Sales Price: This coincided with the peak year in 2008 at $1,732,733 and the valley in 2000 at $893,291.

Median Listing Price: The peak was 2008 at $1,474,500 and the valley was in 2000 at $724,700.

Median Sales Price: The peak was 2007 at $1,400,000 and the valley was in 2000 at $703,000.

Looking at the statistics from 2000-2001, the strongest year for sellers was 2008. And, the most significant positive shift upward for prices was from 2003 into 2004. There are many parallels between 2011 and 2004 for pricing. We often mention to sellers that we are close to “2004 pricing”.

End of the year statistics, most likely, will show a subtle drop from 2010 in average listing price, average sale price, median listing price and median sales price. However, there will continue to be pressure on pricing due to a build-up of inventory in many ranges and a slowdown in binders and contracts. This may lead to more significant declines for sellers in 2012. Time will tell and we will post the year end numbers.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Westport Connecticut Real Estate Peaks And Valleys

Let Us Save You Time Before and After Your Closing

Let Us Save You Time Before and After Your Closing

Prudential CT Realty is the only real estate company that offers to assist buyers and sellers with the ancillary services. Here are some of the processes or services that our HOMEefficient Division facilitates at no costs to our clients:

  • BEFORE: We can help you find an Inspector, Mold, Radon, Lead and Asbestos Consulting/Service Company, Air Quality Testing, and Construction Consultation Services
  • DURING: HOMEefficient will assist you with contacting electric and gas companies, helping with phone, cable and internet options, and advising on gas, oil, propane, trash and more. Additional move in services include movers, locksmiths, cleaning companies home/carpet, and security.
  • AFTER: Your will have access to HOMEefficient operator assisted services and our online Vendor Resource Directory, even when you are in their new home.

Reach our HOMEefficient team Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5pm at 866-811-5214 or  visit our online Vendor Resource Directory at www.homeefficient.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Let Us Save You Time Before and After Your Closing

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.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Westport CT Real Estate Listing Averages

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.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

No Electricity Needed

No Electricity Needed

Despite the challenges with flooding and no electricity from tropical storm Irene, Westport Connecticut’s farmer’s market is still thriving and open for business on Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Stop by for fresh fruits and vegetables from local vendors. The Westport Farmers Market has an informative website for directions and additional information if you would like to be a vendor or sponsor. Here is their mission statement:

 

The Westport Farmers Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food. Aspire to create a safe and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Increase awareness, knowledge and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.

Visit their site at http://www.westportfarmersmarket.com

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Why Are Rates So Low?

Why Are Rates So Low?

Jeff Jensen is our local Connecticut Home Mortgage Officer who has years of experience in evaluating the mortgage markets. This is an interesting guest post from him:

It seems one cannot go anywhere today without hearing how mortgage interest rates are at their all-time lows.  “What controls interest rates?”, one might ask.  Some might answer the Fed keeps interest rates low and has pledged to continue doing so until 2013.   While is true that the Fed has kept the Fed rate low and has indicated a willingness to keep it low for months to come, that does not directly affect mortgage rates.  The Fed rate is the rate at which banks can borrow from one another.  The Fed rate is currently .25%.  The rationale for keeping the Fed rate so low is that banks will be encouraged to lend money and thus the economy will be stimulated.  Normally the prime rate is three points above the Fed rate.  Correspondingly if the rate at which a bank’s best customers can borrow (prime rate) is only 3.25%, small business should be encouraged to borrow money and expand.  Let us take a brief look at what does make interest rates move in one direction or another.

Mortgage interest rates are affected by geo-political events, economic reports and technical levels created by prior market history.  All these elements, sometimes in concert and sometimes individually affect the underlying bonds which actually determine interest rates.  The bonds are called mortgage backed securities (MBS).  They are securities because they are comprised of individual mortgages that have been securitized (bundled together and sold as bonds by Wall Street firms).  We normally follow bonds with coupon rates about 75 basis points (.75%) less than the prevailing interest rate for 30 year conforming bonds as that is the fee firms charge to package the securities.  Currently with the 30 year mortgage available around 4.25%, we are watching the 3.5% coupon bond.  Each 50 basis point move in the price of a mortgage backed security equates to a .125% change in the interest rate one might attain.  Because these bonds are traded in a live market similar to the way stocks are traded, a rate quoted at any particular moment is live and, as such, subject to change at any time.

Normally, but not always, bonds trade in the opposite direction from stocks.  Bonds tend react well to bad news while stocks react well to good news.  One of the reasons that bonds have done so well recently is due to the financial unrest regarding European sovereign debt and fears that a recession in Europe could cause a second recession here.  This is bad news and creates what stock traders hate; uncertainty.  As a result, this creates a safe haven trade during which money flows out of stocks and into the perceived safety of American Treasuries and mortgage backed securities.  We saw this exact reaction in early August as 30 year rates were as low as 3.875% for a few minutes.

Alternatively positive earnings rates from American companies or a positive jobs report might cause money to flow out of bonds and into the stock market.  This happens frequently and, although the pricing on mortgage backed securities is rarely available in the news, if you hear that stocks are up or that Treasury bonds are down, most times this will mean that MBS bonds to will be down and correspondingly interest rates will be rising.  Sometimes there is no economic or geo-political event to influence a market place.  During these times, markets react to historical levels we call technicals.  Market watchers keep track of trends called moving averages.  Charting the market normally involves watching the 25, 50, 100 and 200 day moving averages.  One average might act as a support level below which a bond may not fall without outside influence.  Another moving average might act as resistance preventing a bond price from advancing higher.  Stochastics are measurements of a market being overbought or oversold and Japanese candlesticks provide analysts with information on the direction in which markets are trending.

All of these influences and tools are utilized in pricing and predicting what our interest rates will be.  Those in the market for real estate today are fortunate indeed to have such low interest rates available at the same time as homes are available at a deep discount.

Contact Jeff Jensen for additional information:

Jeffrey M. Jensen
Certified Mortgage Planner-NMLS # 109616

Connecticut Home Mortgage
NMLS # 15831

Mortgage Bankers

Mobile (203) 981-8282
Email jjensen@cthm.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Why Are Rates So Low?

5 Things We Love About Westport Connecticut

5 Things We Love About Westport Connecticut

I have the advantage of picking the brains of 50 real estate agents every day. All of them are actively involved in the community and have an in-depth knowledge of Westport and the surrounding areas. In the next few weeks, I am going to post some of the things they love about Westport Connecticut. It’s an interesting list for local Westporters, but also those thinking about buying here.

Winslow Park-This is in the heart of Westport and a designated off-leash dog walking park full of grass and trails to follow. http://www.dogster.com/local/CT/Westport/Dog_Parks/Winslow_park-123129

Westport Country Playhouse-This is another gem in the center of town. This 80-year old theater includes an intimate setting for locals and NYC theater-goers. Many of the shows eventually move to Broadway from this theater. It’s an experience and a treat to attend a show here. http://www.westportplayhouse.org/ourseason/2011seasonataglance.aspx?gclid=CPyErYne96oCFeMD5QodLkuIOw

Our local post office, where the clerks have been there for many years. They take the time to know the residents and remember their names.

Westport Public Library-This is one of the most organized and community-minded libraries around. The list of free courses is endless and the public always has something interesting to attend there. http://www.WestportLibrary.org

Westport Patch-This is a newer hyperlocal online news site. The editors have a great handle on the community and engage on a local level. It’s worth a peek at http://www.WestportPatch.com

Look for more “Things” we love about Westport Connecticut!

Posted in CT Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on 5 Things We Love About Westport Connecticut

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