FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The number of home sales slid throughout Fairfield County in the second quarter, but the median sales price increased and turnover hastened for most of Westport, Norwalk and surrounding communities.
“This is a safe building of the real estate marketplace,’’ said Peg Koellmer, owner-broker of Realty Seven in Wilton. “If we had come out with double-digit growth, it would burn out. This is an ideal situation now. This is a controlled growth, which in the long run is good.”
Second quarter sales fell 8 percent across Fairfield County, according to the quarterly report from William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. The median price across the county was flat, and closed dollar volume was down 6 percent.
Some statistics, however, were more positive. The median price for a single-family home in Westport jumped 10.2 percent in the last year, according to the quarterly report from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. The complete Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties report is attached as a PDF.
The median price for single family homes also increased 3.8 percent in Wilton, 2.2 percent in Weston and 21.1 percent in Redding. Median single prices fell slightly 3.8 percent in Norwalk and 2.8 percent in Easton.
Homes were turning over more quickly as well. The average number of days it took to sell a home declined in every community. In Norwalk, the average time to sell fell to 134 days in the first six months of 2014, down from 175 last year, according to the report from the Mid-Fairfield County Association of Realtors. In 2012, the average days on the market in Norwalk was 199. The report from the Mid-Fairfield County Association of Realtors is online .
The average days on market in Westport was 176, down from 204 a year ago, and 174 in Easton, down from 272 in 2013.
But sales were down sharply in some communities. Sales fell 18.9 percent in Westport, according to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England report. Wilton fell 12.8 percent; Norwalk dropped 11.8 percent; Weston declined 22.0 percent; and Redding was down 13.5 percent. Only Easton, with a 28.1 percent increase, saw an increase among those communities.
The harsh winter delayed the start of the spring market, but that's not the only reason for the decline in sales compared with 2013.
"This year we’re coming off a big bump from 2013, so the numbers won't look as good,'' said Scott-Daniels, President of the Mid-Fairfield County Association of Realtors. "Last year, people suddenly decided it was time to move. There was also a little rise in interest rates and that made people move."
Most Realtors saw an increase in activity in the second half of the second quarter, and the start of the third quarter has been unusually robust in many real estate offices.
“I think we're getting into a better balanced market,'' Scott-Daniels said. "Inventory is a little bit lower, and it's taking less time for things to sell."
Realtors are also encouraged that the second half of the year will be stable.
"I’m hearing from more sellers,'' Scott-Daniels said. "People are thinking about how they’re houses are presented and concerned about staging. That will boost prices and reduce the number of days it will take to sell. I’m looking forward to a good second half."