With 2014 now officially over, it’s time to look back and evaluate the housing market over the past year. Luckily, our 2014 Market Watch, detailing results in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties as well as the Shoreline in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Westchester County, New York, is released and ready for viewing.
The report stated that in most of the market areas we serve, 2014 was the second strongest year in terms of market performance since 2007, and that annual results typically paralleled those of 2013, securing the gains of that watermark year.
Westchester County, N.Y., ended 2014 with unit volume 1% lower than 2013 and dollar volume 5% higher, reflecting a significant increase in properties sold over $1,000,000. Fairfield County, Conn., finished the year not far behind 2013, with unit volume declining by 6% and dollar volume a slight 2%. Here, the $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 saw the most significant growth, with a 9% increase in both units and dollar volume, and the $3,000,000 and up segment continues to slowly improve.
In the eastern Connecticut Shoreline markets, a vibrant fourth quarter contributed to an annual 5% improvement in both units and dollars from 2013 to 2014. While Litchfield County, Conn., saw a small decline of 1% in units and a small improvement of 1% in dollar volume overall, the market experienced significant growth in its upper end, with unit sales for properties priced over $1,000,000 increasing 16% year over year. In the Southern Berkshires, Mass., annual sales were 2% higher than 2013 due to a resurgence in fall buying activity. Median selling prices were either even with or slightly higher than 2013 in most markets.
The condominium and co-op markets grew in most areas as well, especially in Westchester County, which saw double-digit unit growth in every price category. The report additionally found that new construction properties have sold particularly well recently, as builders have focused on meeting the preferences of buyers, who are often seeking smaller, amenity-rich homes in close-to-town locations.
“2014 will best be remembered as the year where we secured the robust gains of 2013 and positioned our market for strong future growth,” said President and CEO Paul Breunich. “With the economy strengthening and consumer confidence rising, we had our second best year for home sales in the past seven. Looking ahead, all of the financial indicators coupled with an expected loosening of credit suggest that 2015 will be an excellent year of forward movement for our local housing markets.”