Sellers and buyers alike will find many opportunities available to them in the market this summer. In Fairfield County, Connecticut, the notable growth in sales this year so far as compared to last year indicates that buyers are seeing now as a perfect time to enter the market. For example, in Westport units sold have risen from 294 to 383, while dollar volume has risen by 57% year to date in 2013 versus this time in 2012. A number of factors have contributed to this activity, including favorable mortgage rates, prices having stabilized, and consumers feeling more confident than they have in recent times. Buyers are also finding plenty of quality inventory on the market, such as the beautiful Nantucket-style residence located at 24 Surf Road. With inventory standing at low levels and driving more competition among buyers, sellers are enormously benefiting. William Pitt’s Westport brokerage manager Marc Caldarone says, “If a seller has a strong property that’s priced effectively, it will generate an offer.”
Virginia Doetsch, Julia B. Fee’s Bronxville brokerage manager, concurs, stating that “Buyer demand is very high. There is an absolute heightened sense of urgency in every price range.” Much as in Westport, the market in Bronxville, New York, as well as neighboring markets like Yonkers and Mount Vernon is improving as property prices stabilize and purchasers feel more secure at their jobs. With many buyers feeling ready to make the long-term commitment to investing in a new property, a number of properties are seeing multiple bids, and smaller, more manageable homes are experiencing the most activity. Bronxville Village is especially attractive with its top public schools, easy and quick access to Manhattan, lovely village setting and amenities, quintessential Tudor-style homes dating from the 1920s and 1930s, and exceptional offerings now available—offerings like the historic European-style residence at 21 Ridge Road. With buyer demand and low inventory fueling competition, sellers are accepting terrific offers as long as their homes are priced correctly, and even better ones if their residences are renovated.
Inventory is also low in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, market, standing at 17% lower than the same period of 2012. At the same time, sold listings this year to date are 22% higher than this time last year, illustrating the level of buyer demand. This is certainly great news for sellers, who are in a market where the average list price has increased by 2% over the same time in 2012 because of the combination of low inventory and buyer competition. In particular, newly listed properties are selling very close to their original listing price. Residences such as 150 Mt. Washington Road in Egremont, Massachusetts, a wonderful weekend home, are sought after by purchasers for their privacy, amazing views and close proximity to amenities in town or in neighboring areas. “Properties that are new to the market at 2013 prices are going quickly, so buyers really need to be attentive to the market to score the deals that are out there,” advises Dan Alden, an agent with William Pitt’s Great Barrington brokerage. “Since prices are starting to creep back up, now is a good time to buy.”
In Litchfield County, Connecticut, summer rentals are serving as the most active segment in the real estate market. With its quaint villages, natural scenery and outdoor lifestyle, ideal for activities such as biking, hiking and kayaking, the area draws New Yorkers seeking a weekend or second home as an escape from city life. Renters will find cultural amenities such as fine art galleries, exceptional dining, scenic hills and a peaceful country lifestyle. Carolyn Fugere, regional manager of the Litchfield Hills and Berkshire brokerages, remarks that “The summer rental market is really hot right now. We are seeing a lot of qualified inquiries—many more than we have received in the past two years.” There are a number of unique listings on the market now for these renters—listings such as a sophisticated Kent, Connecticut, home with magnificent views. For those more interested in purchasing, Litchfield County is also a wonderful year-round region with its highly ranked private schools.
Both buyers and sellers will discover a host of amazing opportunities in the market this summer. We invite you to contact us to discuss any of your real estate needs.