The most common question I am asked, and it is normally asked with that expression one has after they have heard one of your relatives has taken sick, “How is the real estate market in Fairfield County?”. In fact, activity has picked up in the past two months, as it tends to do at this time of year. Despite the weather, buyers are out there looking and sellers are continuing to list their homes.
Since the beginning of March, 9 days ago, in New Canaan we have seen 16 new real estate listings come on and 5 homes go to contract. Most of the purchases in February and March have been homes priced below 2 million dollars. Additionally there are 3 houses being purchased close to $5,000,000. and higher.
There has been a lot of talk out there regarding the housing market; economy experts, talk show pundits, newspaper columnists and the party circuit. There is some truth in what is reported and then there are the sensationalists. The news people work in newsrooms and not in the actual field of real estate and sound bites do not reflect the actual pulse of the market. They all agree that housing has been ailing, but don’t write the old girl off yet.
Everyone seems to be waiting for the “bottom of the market”. Truth is, by the time we realize it the bottom has already happened. I have heard that we won’t see the bottom for another year and I have also heard we are currently there. Being in the trenchs, as they say, and talking with my fellow Realtors who are all experienced, seasoned professionals, I believe the reality embraces both.
There are some great values out there. It is a good time for those with equity to purchase. For those who want to down size or upgrade they might get less for their existing home, but they save money on the purchasing side. If prices continue their downward trend, the same strategy applies. What is interesting is seeing some investors getting back into the real estate market and picking up some bargains.
I choose not to gauge the New Canaan housing market through the pessimistic eyes of the media, but to balance somewhere inbetween them and the hopeful Realtor. The patient isn’t in a coma however, I will keep monitoring her vitals which have shown increased signs of life.