New Canaan – Closings are up 20% this quarter. Pending sales are down by the same amount. First quarter sales have dramatically increased for the past 3 years. 42 may be the new normal, up from 20 to 34 in years prior. Average price is down to $1.338 million, about where it was in 2012-2013, and now equal to Darien. Condo sales, 14% of the market, usually consistent, are down 42% from normal levels of 12 sales. Inventory is level with last year, 301 houses and 41 condos.
Riverside – 7 closings versus a range of 13 to 19 in the last 8 years. Average price of $2.1 million is the low end of an 8 year range of $1.8 to $3.6 million. Inventory is level with last year, 89 houses. Riverside is performing consistently with the larger Greenwich market which is also starting late and also down to an average price point of $2.3 million.
Rowayton – 11 closings in the quarter, same as last year, within an 8 year range showing between 8 and 15 closings. Prices of $1.17 million are up 12% but sit in the middle of an 8 year range of $960,000 to $1.32 million.
Stamford -120 closings, down from 153 a year ago. Last year was exceptional and 120 is in the middle of an 8 year range of 93 to 153. Average prices ($565,000) are down for the second year in a row and are the lowest they’ve been in 8 years. Condos ($340,000) are at the high end of an 8 year range between $274,000 and $355,000. There was only 1 house sale over $1.5 million and 3 house sales over $1 million while 2 condos closed over $1 million.
Weston – 27 sales vs. 23 a year ago and the best year of an 8 year range of 17 to 24. The average price is down to $640,000, the fifth straight year of price decline from a high of $1,015,000 in 2014 and a low of $628,000 in 2012. Sales volume is up despite very low inventory of 140 houses.
Westport – First thought is “wow”. 46 sales versus 84 a year ago, a 45% drop. Westport is struggling with the lowest total in 8 years by a substantial margin and the lowest average price they’ve seen in 8 years, $1,291,000, a number which has dropped for 4 straight years. The absorption rate is up from 10.2 months a year ago to 11.8 months of inventory now. Note, in the categories below $1.2 million the absorption rate has gone down.
Wilton – is looking good with a 17% increase in sales, 40 versus 34 a year ago and 15 additional sales pending, same as a year ago, despite a modest rise in inventory (10%) to 208 houses. Those 40 houses account for the second best quarter in 8 years (Each of the last 3 years has been above average.) Prices steadily climbed from $794,000 8 years ago to a peak of $944,000 in 2016 before returning to 2012 levels, currently $768,000. Wilton has much inventory and sales in the $500,000 to $700,000 category with 2 sales over $1.5 million in the quarter (same as last year) and 4 sales between $1.2 and $1.5 million (which is double that of last year).
Cos Cob – 9 sales in the first quarter is the worst start in 5 years, down from 18 and 14 the previous two years. However, Cos Cob is one of the few towns that experienced an increase in the average sale price, up 4% to $1,520,000 which is an 8-year high. Prior to this year the average price ranged between $1,209,000 and $1,489,000. Cos Cob has one of the lowest absorption rates at only 7.4 months of inventory, down 32% since last year.
Darien – Steady in sales, 42 is up from 40, and the 3rd best in 8 years, but like her sister New Canaan experiencing strength in the lower price categories bringing the average sale price down 8% to $1,335,000. The hope is that Darien has a late selling season like last year but the fear is that the 37% decrease in pending sales (20) is a harbinger of things to come.
Easton – The 21 sales versus 23 is unremarkable, as is a 10% increase in average sale price ($605,000). What is worth noting is the 26% decrease in inventory to 76, by far the biggest change in inventory levels in Fairfield County. The steady decrease in Easton’s absorption rate (-30%) in a year to 7.7 months of inventory is impressive, and we note they have low absorption rates the top of the Easton market, over $1 million.
Fairfield – The number of sales has steadily risen in Fairfield for 8 years in a row to 142, up 8%. This year we saw a 5% decrease in average price to $724,000, 3% fewer pending sales, and an 8% increase in inventory. Condo sales also rose from 21 to 26 and now represents 18% of sales.
Greenwich – They say Greenwich will be the first to come out of the slump. Well, not this quarter. With only 39 sales, down 35% from a total of 60 a year ago, we are looking for good news and not finding it. Average price is down 15% to $2.466 million, pending sales are down 34%, inventory levels are up 10%. The reason is simple: there is far less inventory available in Greenwich at every level under $2 million and 7 fewer sales under $1 million. And, despite dramatic increases in inventory (34 houses) at every level above $4 million we had 11 fewer sales over 4 million than a year ago. The good news in Greenwich is that condo sales are steady at 24 while condo inventory has dropped 9% and the average condo closing has risen 27% to over $1.05 million, a new high water mark.
Norwalk – The number of houses sold is down a little, 5%, but is down two years in a row and is below the 8 year average. Prices went up a very small amount to $578,000, the highest point in 8 years. Condo prices are also at their highest point in 8 years, now $334,000. Norwalk only saw 2 sales over $1.5 million but the $1.0 to $1.5 million band was up from 1 sale to 7 sales, a 600% bump. The ratio between list and sale price is the highest in Fairfield County, 97.7% of asking, peaking in the categories below $500,000. where they sell at 99% of asking. The greatest number of active homes are in the $600,000 to $800,000 level where the absorption rate is 9.4 months of inventory, down from 12.4 months a year ago.
Old Greenwich – Up 35% in closings from 14 to 19. Prices unchanged at $2.4 million. Inventory unchanged at 73 homes available. Condo prices and inventory also unchanged with a year ago. The 19 closings are a new 8 year high over a previous range of 9 to 16 sales. The average sale price of $2.4 million over the last three years is also significantly better than the previous five years which ranged from $1.5 million to $2.2 million. 8 pending sales tell us that this energy will continue into the second quarter. Old Greenwich is one of the few towns seeing steadily increasing inventory peaks over the last 3 years, enough to stimulate sales but not enough to disrupt pricing confidence.
Redding – Down 4 sales to 17 and down 15% in price to $455,000, but poised to make up for it immediately with 17 pending sales, up from 10 a year ago. Inventory is down from 95 to 84. Redding has had 4 solid years previously and we expect a rebound.
Ridgefield – 48 sales each of the last two years, and about average for the last 8 years. Prices are up 5% to $706,000 while inventory is down 5%. The number of listings in each category is consistent, year to year, while the sales came at the top and bottom of the price range. What is interesting is that condo sales which currently make up 45% of the Ridgefield market are down 26% and prices declined 15% while condo inventory Rose 39%
Fairfield County – At the end of March the supply of active single family homes was almost identical to the supply at the same time last year. Rowayton and Easton had the greatest price increases while New Canaan, Weston and Wilton saw the largest sales increases.