WESTPORT, Conn. Like the weather, making real estate predictions isn't 100 percent accurate. But Westport Realtors Bunny Mostad and Deb Alderson, a mother-daughter team at Coldwell Banker, think Westport will see the biggest upswing in home sales this year since 2009.
After the recession, the number of home sales plummeted, Mostad said. In 2009, a total of 250 homes were sold, compared with the 400 homes sold three years earlier, she said. Conditions improved over the next two years, with 351 homes sold in 2010 and 344 sold in 2011. That's one reason Mostad thinks 2012 will be a good one.
"The number of units sold should continue to go up," she said. "I think we'll get back closer to what we saw about five years ago. We should definitely at least reach last year's number and probably more."
Although the trends in numbers show people have regained some confidence in the market, Mostad said insecurity remains. Alderson agreed, saying she has found buyers are still fearful of buying and having the market drop again.
However, when the number of home sales dropped, so did the average selling price in Westport, Mostad said. In 2006, the average selling price was $1.598 million. This past year, the average home price was $1.338 million a factor that she believes will help sales increase.
"I think prices will stay down, which is great for buyers," she said, especially first-time buyers. First-time buyers, she added, have become the National Association of Realtors' biggest market.
Continued lower prices, coupled with Westport's appeal, should prove fruitful for sales, Mostad said. The town's schools, clean beaches, proximity to New York City and "unique" amenities such as Longshore Club Park, attract buyers, she said.
On the national front, Mostad said there are signs that investors will be more active this year, which should also help drive sales. And mortgage companies, she said, have reported there will be an influx of foreclosures.
"I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what they've told us," she said. "There aren't many [foreclosures] in Westport, but there are some."
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