Closing Comments...A Look Back on 2016
December closed the year with another month of sales running ahead of 2015. The median was slightly more than $43,000 ahead of last year. However, the average sale was $215,000 above the previous year’s level. The sale of Millstone Farm, at $5,900,000, was the key element in that jump. The inventory dropped over 25% (46 homes) and almost $10,000 in average price. Still the inventory is higher than all but one January 1st in the last ten years.
The total number of single family sales this year was up a healthy 7.7%. The median price remained below the 2015 level by $14,000. While the average sale was down only 1.4%--a little over $12,000—from the previous year, the effect of the $5,900,000 sale was significant. Total single family revenue was $11,500 higher than 2015 (6.2%).
Sales in neighboring towns were all over the place. Most significant was New Canaan’s 59 house (24.3%) drop in sales with total single family revenue down 24.7% or almost $110,000,000. On a positive note, Wilton had the second largest increase in the number of sold properties by percentage trailing only Ridgefield. Only Redding and, surprisingly, Fairfield had an increase in median price. Only Redding and Norwalk recorded an increase in average sales.
With the core Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index have both shown recent increases recently and, in turn, pushed mortgage rates higher. At the same time, the recent increase in Brexit discussion has driven investors back to safer investments, including U.S. mortgage-backed securities (a demand that is good for mortgage rates). And in the next few months we may have some indications of how the new administration’s policies will help or hurt the housing market.