Are you curious to know how houses on the coastline are doing in the market? With our newly created marketing piece called “The Shore Report,” you won’t have to wonder any longer. This addition focuses on the year over year sales increases we have seen in the waterfront market throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties. The report details results through the end of the third quarter of 2014, and was released yesterday to the public.
Our motivation for creating this report was the question of how the waterfront segment has performed in the face of overall market improvements in recent years, which we normally cover in our quarterly Market Watch reports. The report found that in Fairfield and Westchester County’s upper end shorefront housing markets, comprising direct Long Island Sound-front single-family homes priced over $1 million, both unit sales and dollar volume experienced year over year increases from the first three quarters of 2013 to the same period of 2014.
We believe that one of the major factors contributing to the surge in waterfront activity is the effect of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which has made flood insurance easier to obtain for most buyers. While a previous bill had removed subsidized insurance rates for older waterfront homes, the new bill restores those earlier discounted rates, while also reinstating the ability for a seller to sign over an insurance policy with its current rate to a buyer.
In Fairfield County’s shoreline markets of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield, a 73.1% overall year-over-year increase in sales volume occurred, while unit sales jumped ahead by 46.8%. Greenwich saw the most dramatic improvement, with dollar volume 294.6% and units 166.7% higher than the prior year. In Westchester County’s shoreline markets of Rye, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and New Rochelle, unit sales increased by 33% from 2013 to 2014 while sales dollar volume grew by a substantial 44.2%, largely driven by sales activity in Rye and Mamaroneck.
“We know that our housing markets overall have performed exceedingly well in 2014 and 2013, yet the question of how the waterfront segment in particular is doing, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, has gone unanswered—and, indeed, unasked,” said President and CEO Paul Breunich. “We are excited to find that shorefront sales in the towns we serve have made a strong comeback this year, particularly in the high end.”
The Shore Report is available to view online here.