Business is booming at Camelot Real Estate in Weston. Owner Vickie Kelley barely has time for herself these days. "In 27 years I've never been this busy," Kelley said. "That's remarkable."
Kelley and her team recently closed on six homes, putting them on track to record their best sales volume in the past several years. She points to a number of factors spurring the buying spree. "We're seeing a lot of people promoted from the mid-west," she said. "People are finding Connecticut to be more affordable, and [they] enjoy the tax benefits."
Kathleen O'Connell at Raveis Real Estate agreed that houses are going faster these days. Trulia.com reports that the number of houses sold has increased 8.3 percent over five years.
The increase can be attributed in part to prices, which have been falling since mid-2008. The median price took a sharp drop at the end of 2010, falling 12.4 percent from the previous quarter. It was down more than 9 percent compared with this same period a year ago, Trulia reports. These comparisons zig-zag from month to month and don't measure the value of individual homes, but they show a trend.
Weston homes held on to their value longer than those in surrounding towns, which saw prices begin to fall in 2006. Over five years, prices are off by more than 14 percent.
"It is a buyer's market," O'Connell added. "It's challenging to get sellers to list their homes, knowing they're not getting what they paid five or six years ago."
Prices are lower, but there are fewer homes on the market. Currently there are 114 homes listed in Weston, which is 12.3 percent less than last year, according to RealtyMarketUpdate.com. The median price is down 6 percent from last year.
Both O'Connell and Kelley remain optimistic. "We're all hustling around in blizzards, working together," Kelley said. "It's a big difference" from previous years.
What do you think about the housing market in Weston? Are prices fair or are they too low?
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