Sales this year were significantly higher than 2014 in most of the areas that our company serves. According to the 2015 Annual Market Report, which details the market results for 2015 in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties and the Shoreline in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York, the majority of our local housing markets achieved their highest sales levels since 2007.
The report stated that homebuyer activity surpassed 2014 sales levels on both a quarterly and annual basis, with most areas experiencing their best levels in years. Significant growth occurred in our Westchester County markets, where unit sales were 10% higher than the fourth quarter of 2014, and annual sales 6% higher than the calendar year of 2014. We saw more moderated activity in both Fairfield County and the Connecticut Shoreline, including New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties. Year-end sales, though, were stronger than last year’s levels at this time, with the Shoreline seeing a 9% increase and Fairfield County a 10% increase. This marks a ten-year high in Fairfield County, and the largest increase since 2007 for the Shoreline. Second home market sales were booming this year in both Litchfield County and the Berkshires, as a result of a steadily improving economy and of course, the highly appealing, beautiful attributes of these favorable New England areas. Throughout Litchfield County, unit sales were well ahead of 2014 levels, with dollar volume also showing year over year improvement. While overall sales remained flat in Southern Berkshire County, the region experienced a 40% annual increase in home sales priced between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000, mostly in the second and third quarters of the year.
As we close 2015, the Market Watch report pointed out there was a substantial increase in inventory as sellers sought to take full advantage of buyers’ confidence in the economy, especially in the mid to upper price ranges. This imbalance between supply and demand encouraged buyers to focus more on value, and homes that met buyer expectations successfully changed hands. Lower price ranges, on the other hand, have experienced a lack of choice, with demand continuing to outpace supply. In conclusion, however, the reported predicted that the abundance of inventory in the mid to upper range markets, in addition to a strong labor market and increase in millennial buyers, will lead to both strong sales and continued consumer confidence throughout the upcoming year, as sellers look to both trade-up and downsize.
“We are thrilled to report that we have ended the year on a high note, with strong overall annual sales for our markets in 2015,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of our company. “We expect to continue to see growth across the broad home buying spectrum throughout 2016. With an improving economy, low interest rates and an abundance of beautiful properties for sale, we are confident that prospective home buyers will take advantage of this ideal time to purchase. I look forward to another strong selling year ahead.”
The 2015 Annual Market Watch is available for download on our firm’s website, williampitt.com.