FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Despite dreary weather, first-quarter real estate statistics looked encouraging for Fairfield County homeowners.
Single-family home sales jumped 13 percent in Fairfield County for the first quarter, compared with the same time frame last year, according to the first-quarter report from William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. Days on market declined by 8 percent. The median selling price fell 3 percent countywide, down to $394,000 from $405,000 in the first quarter of 2014.
“It’s hard to encapsulate the first quarter,’’ said Rick Higgins, CEO of Higgins Group. “It was like three different periods -- before the snow, the snow and after the snow. Since March it has been pretty busy. The spring market has started to take off.”
Wilton, Weston, Redding and Easton saw discrepant numbers. In Wilton, closed sales fell 21 percent. The median selling price for a single-family home rose 23 percent to $860,000, and the average days on market fell 34 percent to 104, one of the lowest totals in the county.
Redding’s single-family homes jumped 84 percent -- from 13 to 24 -- and the median sale price grew 13 percent compared with the first quarter of 2014. Inventory in Redding dropped 41 percent.
In Weston, sales increased 24 percent, but the median sale price fell by 21 percent from the first quarter of 2014, to $655,000. Inventory dropped by 69 percent in Weston.
Easton saw a 58 percent increase in sales and a 9 percent advance in the median sale price for a single-family home.
“We’re seeing more homes coming on to the market in the past few weeks,’’ said Peg Koellmer, principal broker-owner of Realty Seven in Wilton. “The reason is the weather. All those homes would have been trickling into the spring market in January or February, but they didn’t because of the snow.”
Koellmer said many homeowners could not list properties due to the weather until March. “For the first 2 ½ months of a three-month quarter, you couldn’t see if a house had a pool. I’d stand in the house and say, ‘Are there gardens?’ I couldn’t tell because there was so much snow.”
The first-quarter report from William Pitt Sotheby’s said low interest rates and a strong economy bode well for the rest of the year.
“Pending sales were a full 78 percent higher than the first quarter of 2014 as buyers took advantage of the strong economy and low interest rates to secure new housing. Both local buyers and relocating buyers were active in the marketplace very early in the season, mirroring 2014 patterns,’’ the report said.
The delayed spring market could spark a strong second quarter. Gregg Wagner, Coldwell Banker's regional vice president in Fairfield County, said there are already encouraging signs.
"We thought a lot of the demand might be shifted to the second quarter, and so far that is coming true,'' Wagner said. "It could be a really dynamite second quarter. It has all the trappings for just that. I think this is going to be the most important quarter for the year."
Click here for the William Pitt Sotheby’s market report. The first quarter report from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties is attached as a PDF.
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