| March marked the end of the first quarter and the third month in a row where sales equaled or outpaced 2016. The growth for the month was over 12%. While the median price dipped over $235,000; the average was down $220,000. Inventory ticked up from last month to 177 single family houses. However, that is 12% below last April 1st’s record setting level. (Average price is up $100,000, but that is attributable to 144 Huckleberry Hill coming back on the market for $22,000,000.)|
With the first quarter now finished, the year-to-date numbers start to become indicators for the year. The numbers of homes sold has risen surprisingly close to 70%. At the same time, the median sale is down 14.6%. While it is not unexpected that there would be a lower median with this large an increase in units, a differential of $125,000 is noteworthy. The average price lost ground in March, the year-to-date is a small loss of 1.3% ($12,500). On the positive side, the total revenue is up a whopping 67%.
There are trends that bear watching. Just under 30% of the sales through the first quarter were $1,000,000+ only 15% of the homes under agreement/under contract are over $1,000,000. The uncertainties of the current economy have pushed a large number of people into the market and some well-priced houses are seeing multiple offers in lower price ranges. Mortgage rates have slipped back slightly even with prime rising but that could vary week-by-week. The chart below illustrates how other towns are performing (the large increase in sales in New Canaan is not surprising after their close to a 25% drop in sales last year). Finally, the possibility of a “buyer’s conveyance tax” is being considered in the state legislature. (House Bill 6926 would allow municipalities to add up to a 1% conveyance tax to be paid by the buyer on sales over $150,000.) Everyone should write their representative in opposition to a levy that could have a significant impact on buyers’ attitudes.