New Canaan 2016 4th Quarter Real Estate Market Report

For most of 2016, local markets in Darien and New Canaan were driven by a nagging oversupply of inventory and a resulting lack of urgency on the part of homebuyers. As such, the picture painted by the typical year-end statistics is not particularly pretty for sellers: The number of homes sold in Darien and New Canaan during 2016 was down 10.3% and 24.3%, respectively, compared to the 2015 totals.

That said, a careful look at the fourth quarter (particularly the post-election period) reveals some compelling reasons for optimism. Consider the following:

New Canaan year-end pending sales are higher. In New Canaan, the number of transactions pending on December 31, 2016 was 28, compared to only 13 pending transactions on that date in 2015; this marks a year-over-year increase of 115.4% in pending sales activity. For more detailed information..

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2016 New Canaan 4th Quarter Market Report.

Signs Of A Recovering Real Estate Market

With temperatures chilly real estate sales grew hot in the first quarter of 2013. The number of buyers has out paced the inventory of homes available (currently 222 offered down approx. 12% from last year) and many sales went to multiple bids.  We are starting to see some modest price increases and sales where the average sale price was higher than the average list price. Sales are up about 25% with an average sale price of $1,696,000.

Value, updated amenities and close to the center of the town continue to lead buyers’ wish lists. There are 66 houses with contracts signed as well as 9 condominiums pending which is up approximately 26% from last year. What does this mean to you? The housing market is gaining strength locally as well as nationally. Below is a sampling of some of the homes sold in the past couple of months.

New Canaan Condominium Market 2012

My mother always said, “Good things come in small packages”.  As she was only 5’1″ in stature I understand her fondness for the saying.  In many ways she was right. But, smaller does not necessarily mean sacrificing comfortable amenities and functional space. Condominium buyers sought both last year in their effort to downsize and simplify their lives.

More than 50% of the units sold consisted of 3 bedrooms with 2.5 bathrooms and between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet of finished living space. 17 larger units also sold. More than half  of the condominiums were renovated or updated and had a least a one car garage. Several have transformed their lower levels to provide additional areas for playrooms, offices etc. A quarter of the properties sold have an in-ground pool included in the association amenities and all are walking distance to the center of  New Canaan’s restaurants and vibrant village.

A sampling of some of last year’s sales.


What New Canaan Buyers Purchased Last Year

Buyers headed towards the closing table with a little more gusto this past year in terms of number of homes sold.  This is a value driven real estate market so the number of homes sold is up by 4.2%, but average sales prices were down by approximately 13%.

The strongest segment continues to be a 4-5 bedroom colonial home priced between $850,000. and $2 million. The $3.75 – $4.25 million price range picked up a bit, but the high end market remains slow due in part to a large inventory of competitively priced  homes. Two homes sold over $5 million compared to 6 the previous year. New construction continues to be appealing to buyers with 13 homes sold and 4 more under contract.

* In 2012 the average listing price was $1,759,369.00 (slightly lower than last year) with an average selling price of $1,652,445.00. The sold price to original list price ratio was 92.96% with an average of 185 days on the market.

Pricing is key. Buyers are looking for value. The top three factors driving home buyers are the characteristics of the neighborhood, updated kitchens and/or baths and overall affordability.



ReCap of 2012 New Canaan Real Estate Sales

Happy New Year and welcome to a chilly New England week. After putting away the Christmas decorations and already breaking those New Years food resolutions I finally had a chance to look at the numbers for the 2012 New Canaan real estate market.

New Canaan real estate ended on a strong note with a higher than usual number of closings in November and December. The so called “fiscal cliff” and threats of higher taxes prompted buyers and sellers to seal their deals by December 31st.  All in all, we closed about the same number of properties in 2012 as we did in 2011. There is still a demand for new construction and 18 lots sold to make way for new homes.

The hardest part for me last year was finding the right house for a buyer ready to purchase.  There simply were not enough choices. Many homes had offers as soon as they were listed (read, they were priced right) and only a 140 single family homes were put on the market.

More numbers will follow. From all the signs it looks like we will have an upswing in the spring market. So what are you waiting for?


The State of the New Canaan Real Estate Market / a Snapshot of 2011

First let me thank all of my clients who ventured into the local real estate market in 2011. It is a joy and a privilege working with such wonderful people who honored me with multiple closings including the listing and selling of one of New Canaan’s landmark homes in less than a week. I appreciate all your referrals and business.

This past year was the second straight year of modest improvement for New Canaan real estate. While we are not back to our 2006 highs, we have experienced two consecutive years of volume and price appreciation.

The real estate market has stabilized.  We are getting more of the distressed properties sold and out of the bank system. It was predicted that Shadow Inventory (foreclosed or ready for foreclosure homes) would flood the market. Well, it never happened. Foreclosure filings in Connecticut dropped sharply in 2011 compared with the previous year, plunging 48%, according to RealtyTrac.

New Canaan saw year over year increases in every category, a trend suggesting a growing optimism on the part of buyers and sellers for 2012 market conditions. Here are some important numbers for the past year:

2011 Single Family Homes:

Median Price: $1.60 million as compared to $1.46 million in 2010, up 9.4 %

Average Price: $1.90 million as compared to $1.69 million in 2010, up 11.9%

Homes Sold: 214 homes sold in 2011 as compared to 195 a year ago, up 9.7%

Absorption Rate: 10.7 months of inventory compared to 15.38, an improvement of 30.4%

Active Inventory: 207 houses for sale compared to 236 a year ago, an improvement of 12%


2011 Condominiums:

Median Price: $657,000 as compared to $595,000 in 2010, up 12 %

Average Price: $711,000 as compared to $656,000 in 2010, up 8.2%

Condos Sold: 62 condos sold in 2011 as compared to 39 a year ago, up 59%

Absorption Rate: 7.88 months of inventory compared to 21.94, an improvement of 64%

2011 Land Sales:

Perhaps the most dramatic increase has come in the market for land sales, again indicating an increased optimism on the part of builders and their customers.

The median sale price for the 3 lots sold in 2010 was $1,025,000.  For 2011 the median price fell 31% to $700,000 and builders did respond, buying 19 lots this past year, an increase of 533% in volume.  New construction activity has picked up as a result; builders are buying land at a cost that makes sense to build, primarily midrange homes.

The rental market has improved. The absorption rate for rentals has dropped from 7.4 months to 4.1 months. That is how long the current inventory of properties would last at the current rate of sales. The number of rentals closed in 2011 increased 16.5% to 120 from 103.  And while the average rental price has increased 40% to $3550, the median rental price has increased 162% to $4200.  The rental market tells us a good deal about the broader market. The reduction in the rental inventory and higher rental rates is due to a number of reasons; tighter lending requirements, people’s damaged credit, loss of equity hence the inability to produce a down payment, job insecurity and the continued lack of confidence in the overall economy. For some it is a wait and see before purchasing.

The rental market is starting to produce much better cash flow and investors are actively purchasing more rental real estate.

Interest rates broke their historical lows of 2004-2005. The rates on average are about .5% to .75% below last year rates. A sample of rates as of first week of November 2011 with zero points: Loans under $417K=3.87% (conforming loans). Loans between $417K to $625K=4% (this is the new Jumbo conforming) Loans above $625K=4.5% (this is Jumbo loans). $729K  is no longer the jumbo loan limit.

This year was a much better year than last year and we expect it to continue to get even better next year.  The reason?  We’re experiencing an improving economy, low interest rates and an upcoming presidential election. Historically, presidential elections bring about increased real estate activity, and coupled with low interest rates and increasing consumer confidence, it will help the New Canaan market to continue to grow in the coming year.

Finally, it is always important to bear in mind that in real estate there are neither “good” nor “bad” markets.   The market is simply the market and value is ultimately a function of supply and demand.  In the current market cycle, as we see an alignment between the expectations of buyers and sellers, the statistics are encouraging.  But while statistics provide a snapshot of the marketplace there is no substitute for the full picture.   For reports like this throughout the year come visit my website,  and please call me.

Wishing you and your family a prosperous 2012!