Our company recently released the market results for the second quarter of 2014, covering Fairfield and Litchfield Counties as well as the Shoreline in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Westchester County, New York. While the report revealed a decrease in closed sales from the second quarter of 2013, the first half of 2014 has both unit and dollar sales that are right in line with last year’s findings. As we are coming off of a two-year period of steady growth with quarter-to-quarter sales increases that frequently entered the double digits, it is not completely unforeseen for this parity in market activity. Calculations made last year were clearly accurate, with our 2013 year-end report predicting that double-digit sales increases can’t last forever and that a more moderate housing market was likely for 2014.
According to the report, the brutal winter and early spring stalled the traditional selling season, greatly adding to this reduction in sales. Our confidence in a positive trend for the future of the 2014 market, however, is quite strong due to the already significant increase in pending sales during the month of June. The macro-economic factors of an improved employment picture, historically low interest rates, high consumer confidence and stable prices, have also contributed to this optimistic shift.
Several other significant results were included in the report. If we look at the overall picture, despite the recent decline in closed sales compared to the second quarter of 2013, the market is functioning at its strongest since 2007. In addition, inventory levels have increased while days on market are reduced, indicating a market that is moving faster. Median selling prices remain stable, and closed dollar volume stands approximately 5-10% higher than closed units.
“Despite the slower pace of gains, which is expected as we return to a more standard market, it is clear that total unit sales volume for the vast majority of towns is at or near pre-recessional levels,” said President and CEO Paul E. Breunich. “This moderate yet sustainable growth is healthy, and we believe that our housing markets will remain active throughout the remainder of the year..”