Consumer Confidence, Sales Activity Soaring in 2015

A report released by William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty detailing market results for the second quarter of 2015 in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties and the Shoreline of Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and Westchester County in New York brought overwhelmingly encouraging news of a strong and sustainable market, surely music to the ears of agents, homebuyers and home sellers alike.

The report stated that at the mid-point of 2015, the local markets the company serves are performing well with strong, sustainable activity and sales exceeding 2014 levels in many areas. The quarter also experienced a significant increase in new listings compared to a year ago.

Market Watch

Westchester County overall saw year-to-date sales remaining flat versus the same period of 2014, but strong and healthy without significant quarterly fluctuations. In Fairfield County, sales activity for the first half of the year stands 12% higher than the same period a year ago with unit sales 9% ahead. On the Connecticut Shoreline north of Fairfield County, unit sales and dollar volume are both 10% higher than 2014 in comparing the first half of each year. In Litchfield County, despite the long winter that mimicked last year, the real estate market took off in March, a full two months ahead of 2014, resulting in year-to-date unit sales and dollar volume growing at double digits relative to 2014 levels. The Berkshires recovered from first quarter declines with the second quarter experiencing a 19% unit gain and 38% dollar volume gain this quarter versus the same time a year ago, while year-to-date, the market is still down but catching up quickly.

According to the report, the critical underpinning to the strength in the local housing markets is the increase in consumer confidence, which is 19% higher than a year ago. In response to the growing optimism, new listing activity is now the strongest in years, which has created a marketplace that is competitive for sellers and ideal for value-driven buyers, who are emphasizing pricing and condition above all and are active in the market as they seek to take advantage of historically low interest rates. In analyzing sales performance for properties at different price levels, the report concluded that homes at lower price points continued their strong sales pace from the first quarter but did decline year over year, while the mid and upper ranges improved relative to a year ago.

“We are highly enthusiastic about the remainder of this year,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “We believe that the moderate sales growth we have experienced year-to-date represents a sustainable sales trajectory, and that sales will continue to strengthen, building on the rising consumer confidence as we move forward through the rest of 2015.”

As we approach the second half of 2015, the real estate market appears robust as emboldened consumers continue to fuel it with ever-increasing sales activity.

Please download our 2015 Second Quarter Market Watch here.

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