Real Estate Rally Stalls in Southwestern Connecticut
Residential real estate markets in southwestern Connecticut and statewide were "uninspired" in the words of one large brokerage firm, with sales down 1% from a year earlier to about 9,240 units. The number of days homes have been sitting on the market increased while the average price statewide was off 3.7% from a year ago to $379,000.
Across municipal-level markets, results were mixed, in some cases in the extremes, with market gyrations creating opportunities for buyers at both upper-tier and bargain price points, according to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, which has its corporate office in Wallingford and nearly 20 more agency offices throughout southwestern Connecticut.
"Sellers of luxury homes are starting to drop prices dramatically, giving homebuyers the opportunity to buy their dream home in desirable neighborhoods," CEO Candace Adams stated in an analysis accompanying the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties report. "At the other end of the spectrum, buyers looking for a fixer-upper and low monthly payments are benefiting from the increase of foreclosure starts in the state as Connecticut countered the national trend in the month of July with a 50% increase."
While Stamford and Fairfield were neck and neck in the third quarter in southwestern Connecticut topping the 200-unit mark in single-family home sales, Stratford had by far the healthiest bounce-back quarter as tracked by Berkshire Hathaway.
Stratford recorded improvements in sales, prices and days homes are on the market on average — three key criteria used by real estate brokers to gauge market momentum. The town saw a 35% increase in single-family home sales to 105 in all, with the average price up 14% to about $272,000.
Farther down the Gold Coast, the Darien market is struggling with third-quarter sales off 44% from a year ago to 68 units sold, and with the average price off 16% at $1.4 million, with a similar decline in the price of the median home sold in both quarters.
In other major markets locally, single-family home sales were down 24% in Bridgeport, 9% in Norwalk and 11% in Danbury, though several Danbury-area towns saw increases. Greenwich recorded an 8% gain in units sold, though the average price was down 13% to $2.2 million.